Tales from the Borderlands

tales gang

Howdy Folks!


5 Episodic Chapters, 5 Reviews, 5 characters, 5 Fingers, 5 Sweet & Sour Ribs (starter), Five. 

The following contains a loose collection of thoughts as I adventure through Pandora. Pandora is the name of the Borderlands world. What do you mean you knew that already? No need for that language! Look, I was simply explaining just in case you had no idea. You want me to go into the legend Pandora’s box? No? Well shutup then.

Episode – 1

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‘ere we go.

Blimey. Tales from the Borderlands doesn’t feel like I’m doing anything meaningful, as far as actual game is concerned. You take control of Rhys or Fiona to barely investigated the surrounding areas. Not much to pick-up, select or explore. Oh, there is quick-time action, in which you dodge things or hit a button contributing to the illusion that you are a flashy sod, Han Solo’ing through the action. Got a fair few none-important choices, say this witty line or don’t. It’s pretty funny though. Not “ha-ha this brings tears to my eyes” funny. More of a grinning experience.

Let’s mention The Walking Dead as soon as possible, get it out the way. The reason we can all enjoy these pleasant storybook adventures is because of its huge success. Life and Death choices made up the narrative thrust of The Walking Dead. Tales in that ol’ Borderlands is a far more sedate experience, choices don’t have the same tension. Guess I don’t mind, can’t all be The Walking Dead can it? Still, takes the pressure off saying and doing things, reducing the experience to a moving book. At least, that’s how this first episode is playing out. Maybe it counts a few episodes in, the crafty sods.

Nice set up though. I don’t really care for the Borderlands games or remember it’s lore, so a few of the gags fell short, but that’s on me.

The end ‘choices’ screen proved on this occasion I’m mostly different from the other humans, that’s nice. No I’m not signing up to a TellTale games account to see what other choices I could have made, stop withholding information, you tart.

Very important point: Never ever have a elderly con-man/father figure say ‘don’t trust anyone’. Tiresome.

Decent start. Looking forward to the next episode.

Episode – 2

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‘ere we go, yet again.

We have reached that point in any adventure game where I need to test things out. Mostly because I was turning the game off anyway. Hooray! An exciting car chase with quick time events! It consisted of moving to the left… then, if very lucky, moving to the right! I screwed it up, so I thought… why not try it again; tomorrow. The quick time events aren’t too hard, but its very easy to lose concentration. This time round I gave a shit and aced it, as I moved to the left and to the right correctly.

Yes, you guessed it, same outcome as screwing it up. Why bother with the charade. I’m not a huge fan of being taken advantage of. Sleazy adventure game.

Blimey, some of the puzzles consist of turning things on. Pretty weak.

So far, nice filler story.

As you can probably guess I’m hating the quicktime events in this chapter. Not because I hate quicktime events, but because I’m sitting through a load of dialogue and boom. Unexpected thing!  Grasp the control pad! QUICK! Do a thing! Like my life depends on it (which we established, mostly doesn’t). Talky talking talky talk, and pickupyourpadquicktomove. Bah.

If it wasn’t for the action quick time events, you could use one hand to pick choices. I wouldn’t mind that.

Episode – 3

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‘ere, ‘ere.

Bit rubbish watching a recap after finishing a chapter. Downside of buying completed episodic content I guess.

The characters are likeable and I’m enjoying the group dynamic and interactions, but man I’m getting tired of mashing buttons to do things!

Having people ‘remember things’ doesn’t carry the same weight as other TellTale games.

Hah, just noticed, if you didn’t have to move the cursor to interact with the world. It would be even less of a gamey game.

Really enjoyed the credits montage.

Man, the camera work is all over the place in this chapter.

Very enjoyable story, becoming far more interesting and I’m invested. Stops me from getting miserable about mashing buttons to climb over a thing, or whatever.

It sounds like I’m downbeat on Tales From the Borderlands, but I’m not really. When you’re in an enthralling adventure, when something niggles, it grates a little harder.

Episode – 4

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‘ere you go then. Screenshot saved.

It finally all comes together and I’ve really enjoyed this episode. Memorable moments.

Strange that the introduction credits play halfway through the episode.

The slow build up from previous chapters starting to pay off, I wonder if my choices will affect the final outcome? Even the ones that didn’t appear to really do anything?

I suspect critical acclaim and fan blabbering came after this excellent chapter.

Yep… Best chapter by a mile.

Episode – 5

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Yes! A big ending.

I’m not sure how your story will end, but mine felt right. A fine culmination of the story as a whole.

Conclusion – What have we learned today, friends?

Tales from the Borderlands is far removed from it’s point and click game roots. That’s fine. I’m content with these modernised choose your own adventure books. At least these computerised adventures don’t suffer deaths every 2 pages, like it’s paper counterparts. The game engine needs an update as it’s still glitchy and when the screen skips a beat, it’s hugely jarring. Plus I can’t be the only one that becomes enraged at piss poor sound mixing. I don’t want to hear the explosions, I want to hear the chumps’ dialogue!

I will admit to being mildly insulted by the gamey bullshit. I’m happy with an entertaining story with meaningful choices. Drop the pretence of a game. What is the point of an inventory? I’m happy to use my right hand to select choices and items and my left hand to cup my massive balls. Or eat crisps. Or both.

Whilst Tales from the Borderlands doesn’t punch the gut quite as hard as a Walking Dead or The Wolf Among Us when it does lash out, it’s just as potent.

8I played, enjoyed and suspect I will remember my time with Rhys and Fiona in years to come. Which is unusual as I normally forget most game plots the following week. I found, at heart, I prefer nice endings, tender moments and romance. Pathetic really. Hopefully you’ll play it better.

Tales from the Borderlands doesn’t rely on “that person will remember this”, it pulls a slightly different trick, as you will remember your adventure on Pandora.