Tales From the Borderlands is a decision based story-driven game developed and produced by Telltale Games. You can find more information about them and other games on their website and you can get Tales From the Borderlands for Steam right here! Also, if you register on their website, you can view and compare the choices you’ve made with others as well.
There are five episodes total and I gotta say, being able to play them all back-to-back is a pretty great experience but also very time consuming! It took roughly 11 hours to complete with some afk time thrown in. The story you experience is quite dynamic and very dependent upon the actions and decisions you’ve made which leads to a fair amount of replay value if you’ve got the time. I can definitely see myself playing this again int he future but doing the exact opposite of my current playthrough.
The artwork and graphics is still the same as with the Borderlands series but definitely still looks and feels better since you’re not just wandering around on Pandora trying not to get killed. Well, I mean the characters still are, but luckily for you, you’re mostly just doing quick-time events. That being said, the few times that you are in control of movement is excruciatingly slow. At least you don’t have to worry about exploring everything for achievements and such, although the things you do investigate tend to give a pretty good laugh. Since you don’t have to worry about anything actively coming to kill your sorry butt until the game dictates it must, you can sit back and enjoy the environment as well. There are some seriously beautiful areas that would make for great wallpapers and I’ll share them below.
The music is also fantastic and really helps with immersion. The only issue occurred at the end of Episode 5 where the voice overs stopped playing periodically and the music during the credits didn’t play; not that I would have watched the credits anyways but would still have liked to have had some music while I waited to skip it. The timing and composition in some scenes did bring forth some tears so be prepared! As light-hearted as the series is sometimes, you definitely connect with the characters and there are some painful moments. The voice actors all did an absolutely stellar job, which definitely makes connecting with the characters a hell of a lot easier. Vasquez, your main nemesis, is voiced by Patrick Warburton so enjoy that first little interaction. For those unaware, he is also the voice actor for Joe Swanson in Family Guy and I could not for the life of me stop having him say “Peter” in my own head every time he opens his mouth.
Speaking of the cast, you are in control of both Rhys and Fiona. This game brings the phrase “every story has two sides” to life and at first, you will just be in control of one or the either but later on paths will cross so you will need to pay attention to the timer bar to know who you’re making a decision for. Don’t be nervous about the timer, though. It’s enough time to read all the options, assess the situation, and pick one. Even if you don’t pick an option in time, sometimes doing nothing is a good thing and other times it just defaults to the […] option where you remain silent. I went with the “yay, friendship!” path which made the connection between everyone just absolutely charming and the rough spots hurt that much worse. Oh, and if you’re familiar at all with Borderlands, yeah there’s gonna be a lot of the backstabbing theme. They make that very apparent in the first chapter of Episode 1. The story is extremely well written and you feel great attachment to even the minor characters that you get to interact with.
There’s more I want to say about the game but it would be difficult without giving spoilers so I will just leave it at this: don’t worry about exploring every little thing because it’s a pretty linear path. Exploration is just for some references and some laughs. The decisions that are game altering will notify you with “….will remember/will not forget that.” or something along those lines. I can’t really say how much of an impact certain choices make (akin to butterfly effect) but you can always rewind and choose differently next time. Just let the story play out as you chose and enjoy the ride!
- Difficulty: Very Easy (Well, depends on your moral compass.)
- Gameplay: 4.5/5 (Mostly just the walking sucked. It was needlessly slow. Even those idiots who clog up an entire hallway don’t walk this slow. Everything else is fantastic and the quick time events aren’t terrible.)
- Graphics: 4.5/5 (It’s not cel-shading but looks damn close. Very unique and I’m definitely a fan of it. My main issue is that the movements can seem a bit stiff sometimes and in the last episode, character models tend to teleport a few centimeters during cutscenes but I can understand why it happened.)
- Music: 5/5 (In a story driven game, atmosphere is everything so music and sound engineering need to be on point. Fantastic work.)
I will say that I was left a bit teary-eyed and heartbroken at the end because, hell, it was rather touching. But then what happened at the very end seriously left me with a bag of mixed emotions, with a bit of anger, disbelief, and just general “oh come the **** on, seriously?!” They better add another episode or something because it can’t end like this T__T but seriously though, get this game. Absolutely fantastic. Other than a few minor gripes, this would have been perfect.
See you next game and Happy New Year! -DecoyEC has logged out.