Tell Tale Games is becoming an iconic studio in the gaming world….by using other properties. Their first venture into greatness was by telling a separate (but very connected) story in the world of The Walking Dead. It appears they may have bottled lightning a once again in their newest venture, Tales from the Borderlands. How does it hold up to their previous efforts you may ask?
Tales from the Borderlands is best described as an interactive movie. Its setting and some of the characters are taken straight out of Gearboxes hit series Borderlands. The story takes place several years after the end of Borderlands 2. With the passing of the main antagonist in the previous game, the ultra-powerful mega corporation Hyperion has had some major shifts in its leader ship. We start with our first playable character Rhys (voiced expertly by Troy Baker), who is ambitious and depending on your choices, totally cocky and slick…or a total scaredy cat. On the flipside of the protagonist coin, we have Fiona (voiced by none other than Laura Bailey).
Fiona is a native of the post-apocalyptic Pandora (the series primary location). She is impulsive and a con artist, but she will always put her family first if the situation calls for it. Her character specific choices can make her either a brash or cool headed. Both characters have sa unique trait they have as a playable character. Rhys has a cybernetic arm and eye in that can scan things. Doing so gives some (often times) silly stats, but also back ground info that is helpful to new comers and very amusing to those with experience with the series. Fiona has the power of money….not even kidding. Certain things she can do are dependent on how much she has. Her amounts can be inscreased by finding money in hidden places or just by looking around in certain spots of the environment. These abilities will often help you make certain choices. It is interesting to see how characters who you have known in game for years react to different player choices. Relationships can be formed, Strengthened, or broken depending on what you decide to do or say….Though certain outcomes are predetermined, the world will change depending on what you do. The characters are very well written. It doesn’t take long to develop believable personalities in this game. Even secondary characters with little true purpose past a few minutes have great moments. Also the “Psychos” as their called, are insanely funny (pun most definitely intended). One thing that is definitely not crazy, is the game’s opening chapter to the five chapter series. It left me curious to see what the rest will offer.
On the visual side, the game is pleasant on the eyes. If you’ve seen one Tell Tale Game you’ve basically seen them all. This game is very good about being both colorful and very flashy. Though it’s not all smooth sailing in the desert. During both playthroughs, there were some minor issues like a screen freeze that caused whatever happened on screen to freeze for a few seconds. This happened during a couple of quick time events and during conversations. This didn’t break the game but it certainly did break the immersion. At a couple of points the audio did random repeat the first part of a sentence. These minor glitches though was quickly fixed with a patch that was released. It was a smooth ride through rocky terrain. Lots of laughs and some awesome suspense.