Tales from the Borderlands Episode One evaluation: Busy earnin'

PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Mac, iOS, Android
Tales from the Borderlands Episode One review: Busy earnin'

You must in all probability know who Good-looking Jack is. That is actually the one recommendation I might give to anybody trying to dip into Telltale’s newest episodic collection, Tales from the Borderlands. Granted, Borderlands does not have probably the most refined lore, subsisting largely on dick jokes, popular culture references and plenty of screaming jerks, however suffice it to say that you do not have to be intimately acquainted with Gearbox’s first-individual shooters to understand Tales. If you already know that Good-looking Jack is a villain, maybe heard his smarmy voice in a trailer or two, you have to be high-quality.

In different phrases, no matter your degree of Borderlands expertise, Tales from the Borderlands is a witty, properly-written journey with broad attraction. And yeah, there is a dick joke or two.

Tales from the Borderlands begins one thing like an interstellar Workplace Area. You play as Rhys, an worker of the (evil) Hyperion company, which has been thrown into disarray following the dying of its (evil) CEO, Good-looking Jack. Because of some murderous company shuffling, Rhys butts heads together with his workplace nemesis, Hugo Vasquez, an excruciatingly nicely-groomed man with a golden, cybernetic pinkie and the voice of Patrick “Puddy” Warburton. Lengthy story brief: Rhys and his buddy Vaughn concoct a plan to screw over Vasquez, a plan that includes stealing ten million dollars of Hyperion’s cash and conducting a shady enterprise deal on Pandora, a tough-and-tumble planet overrun by bandits and fortune seekers. The Workplace Area vibes left me ready for Rhys and Vaughn to start out smashing a Claptrap to the tune of Geto Boys’ “Nonetheless,” however belief me once I say that the duo’s arrival on Pandora is a lot cooler.

However, as shady enterprise offers typically do, the assembly goes awry, and Rhys and Vaughn quickly discover themselves entangled with Fiona, Tales‘ second playable character, and her sister, Sasha, a few lawbreakers making an attempt to make it on Pandora any method they will. Everybody within the group is after the identical factor, which results in a shaky alliance that types the inspiration of the primary episode, and presumably the remainder of the collection.

With out going into particulars which may spoil issues, I’ll say that the gang runs into loads of colourful characters, together with some that even informal Borderlands followers will acknowledge, and, in fact, there are the requisite bandits and psychos. The world is filled with good little touches, just like the columns of sunshine emitted by collectible gadgets, an impact pulled instantly from the Borderlands FPS video games. Motion sequences make sensible use of fast time occasions to tug you into the second (although the QTEs themselves aren’t terribly demanding). The writing is snappy, and the voice appearing is prime-notch, with nice performances by the likes of Troy Baker, Laura Bailey, Nolan North and Chris Hardwick. After which there’s Loader Bot. I will not give something away, aside from to say I love Loader Bot.

As in different Telltale video games, nearly all of Tales from the Borderlands is spent speaking with different characters or going about some mild exploration. The sport remembers your decisions and alters the story accordingly. That features characters remembering how you’ve got handled them, although we’ll have to attend for future episodes to learn how far-reaching your selections actually are.

One main change from Telltale’s different tasks is Tales‘ use of two playable characters. Splitting the main target amongst two protagonists permits Tales to take a look at the identical occasions from totally different views, and to let gamers management a number of occasions directly. So, as an example, whereas Rhys is quietly hacking a pc, Fiona is getting ready for a really loud bandit sporting occasion. There’s all the time the hazard that splitting focus like this will injury a story in the long term, however in episode one, at the very least, it really works superbly.

Tales from the Borderlands Episode One review: Busy earnin'

One other change of tempo from Telltale’s current choices is that every part is not so damned grim on a regular basis. In contrast to, say, The Strolling Lifeless, I am not continually worrying about each determination probably affecting the destiny of a personality I’ve grown to like. Hell, I am going to guess that even when my actions do get a serious character killed, it’s going to in all probability be humorous anyway. And, on the opposite finish of the spectrum, I am not dying for the chance to kill off troublesome characters, as a result of the story is extra fascinating and entertaining with them round. Tales from the Borderlands is extra lighthearted than the homicide investigations of The Wolf Amongst Us, which means that your decisions aren’t burdened by the load of duty – it is enjoyable to take the probabilities you would not danger in a darker story.

A gripe I’ll degree at Tales from the Borderlands is that Telltale’s graphical tech is beginning to look very dated. Whereas the cel-shaded character fashions themselves look nice – they match completely with the prevailing Borderlands aesthetic – animation is usually stiff and unnatural. The faces are expressive, however once more, animation could be very stilted, and lip sync throughout dialogue leaves one thing to be desired. This does not actually detract from the general expertise, however when the writing is that this good, the occasional distracting, puppet-like animation actually stands out.

However that is a tiny grievance towards what’s in any other case a artistic, playful and sometimes snicker-out-loud journey. Borderlands followers in search of a problem is perhaps disenchanted, with Tales of the Borderlands solely providing mild puzzle parts and really forgiving QTEs, however the story is an effective one, filled with properly-realized characters and amusing dialogue. The choices you make really feel vital – even when they do not carry the dire penalties of a zombie apocalypse – and the outcomes will virtually definitely put a smile in your face.

This evaluate is predicated on a Steam obtain of the PC model of Tales from the Borderlands, offered by Telltale Video games. Photographs: Telltale Video games.

Starting with this evaluate, Joystiq will not present star scores for particular person episodes in episodic recreation collection.

Joystiq’s evaluation scores are based mostly on a scale of whether or not the sport in query is value your time — a 5-star being a definitive “sure,” and a one-star being a definitive “no.” Learn right here for extra info on our scores tips.

<a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/sony/ps/three/late-2012/”> Sony PlayStation three (late 2012) </a>

<a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/microsoft/xbox/one/”> Microsoft Xbox One </a>

This text was initially revealed on Joystiq.

Featured Tales

Sponsored Content material

Examine Your Devices

Tales from the Borderlands Episode One review: Busy earnin&#039;

Immediately examine merchandise aspect by aspect and see which one is greatest for you!

Attempt it now →