Review: Tales from the Borderlands

Let me get this out of the way: I never played any Borderlands game before, so I started Tales from the Borderlands without having a clue about its lore. Now, I’m sure Borderlands fans will find a lot of little details in the game I simply missed or didn’t “get”, but it never bothered me. I was immediately drawn into the world of Pandora thanks to masterful storytelling by Telltale.

Tales from the Borderlands is a collaboration between Telltale games, famous for The Walking Dead and other choice-based adventure games, and Gearbox, most famous for Borderlands (and infamous for Alien: Colonial Marines and in part for Duke Nukem: Forever).

the race
Are those spikes legal? Who cares!

Tales from the Borderlands has 2 playable characters, both in the morally grey area – a corporate wannabe called Rhys and a small-time scammer called Fiona. Their chemistry together is amazing – and not only between the two of them, but also between all the supporting characters.

If you played any of Telltales recent games like The Walking Dead or Wolf Among Us, you know pretty much what to expect; a story-driven game with pretty much non-existent standard gameplay – but with great characters, story and timed choices that shape how the story unfolds.

hooray
Hyperion briefcase, the most wanted item in the first episode

This is probably their funniest game since Sam and Max – during the 3 hours of the first episode (mind you, twice as long as some of the Walking Dead episodes), I laughed aloud at least 10 times. And I’m not the type that laughs just like that.

Seriously, I will name my firstborn “Loader Bot”.

strangle
Guard is laughing at Rhys trying to strangle him with his girly corporate hands

Sadly, the game comes with standard Telltale problems – stiff character animation, bad lip syncing and most of all – button mashing. Press Q 20 times to do this then press E, press Q 20 times then press E to do that. How is button mashing still a thing?!

Without those issues, I would gladly give Tales from the Borderlands 10/10

This way, my final score is 9/10 – Impressive. For Telltale fans, it’s a must buy.