Martin Burgoyne reviews Tales from The Borderlands: Episode 2…
Now I have never played a Borderlands game before, but thought they looked cool. All cel-shaded and very different to anything else out there. I think that all of this translates over so well as the games clearly have a very specific sarcastic style of humour. Don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with the goings on in Pandora, the series makes it easy for you to jump right into a brand new story with no “Previously on…” required.
Our Hero & Heroine are typically very different people, hence the charm of the dynamic. You have Rhys (voiced charismatically by Troy Baker) an up and coming Hyperion Employee and Fiona (voiced by Laura Bailey) a down and out ‘Grifter’ who’s having somewhat of an unlucky streak of late. How they’ve teamed up is not really of much importance, can they trust each other is the more important question here.
The dialogue heavy/point & click Telltale formula is all still here with a subtle twist… This is the first game in the series where you have two main characters to play with. You kind of navigate through two different main paths that tend to overlap with each other. It’s very cleverly done as this episode promptly splits our characters up at the very beginning of the episode, in one of the COOLEST title sequences I have ever seen in a Telltale game. This is probably because this is the best looking game so far, and the engine used here is already kinda leaning towards a cel-shaded/comic book art style. The fact that Gearbox Software and 2K Games are on hand to help is probably what gives the game that extra bit of graphical sheen.
While the episode is quick with the wit and punchy dialogue, it’s a shame that this episode is also quick with the running time. At taking me just over an hour to complete, it felt much shorter than the previous instalment. It more serves as a continuation of the first episode and therefore doesn’t really stand on its own two feet. That being said, it’s one of the most enjoyable and refreshing 75 minutes that you’re likely to spend with a game.
Weirdly enough, TFTB is probably the one Telltale game that feels the most like you’re watching a TV show. All of the main characters are very relatable and the voice acting here is of a very high calibre. A lot of the cast have worked on previous Telltale outings and therefore know what a good team of storytellers they are.
Telltale has a habit of lulling you into a false sense of security on the sophomore episode, and there are some minor decisions in this episode that are VERY likely to bite you in the rear next time. Hard. I think there’s some mighty fine bumps in the road ahead for our band of outlaw misfits…
Martin Burgoyne – Follow me on Twitter