Tales from the Borderlands Season 1 Review (with Streams)
Perfect recreation of Borderlands universe and feel
Smart writing, characters
Very much “on rails”
Not enough items/details/freedom when walking around
Action not paced well with rest of story
The point and click adventure from Borderlands you never knew you wanted.
Watch a stream of this entire series HERE.
To continue Telltale Games run of point and click adventures based on popular IPOs, we now have Tales from the Borderlands. A faithful recreation to the Borderlands series, this episodic adventure lets you play as two very different characters named Rhys and Fiona. Rhys being a corporate ladder climber for Hyperion, and Fiona being a Pandoran con artist lets you have a lot of great different interactions with all aspects of life.
The Borderlands series was known for its unique cell shaded look, which Telltale replicates perfectly. With the source material having such a rich and well known lore, with crazy, yet great characters, this was a perfect find to make into an adventure game. Moving from FPS to a point and click style is definitely different, but with new original characters and stories it blends seamlessly. The silly title cards, along with the cell shading, awesome weapons, dark humor, and insane bad guys absolutely makes you feel like you’re in a Borderlands game so it’s clear that gearbox had some sage advice to give on this project.
Starting with Episode 1, you play Rhys, the corporate hotshot, and think you’re going to take over Handsome Jacks place as CEO, only to find someone else beat you to the punch. It’s a great start and there is tons of character development for everyone involved. No one character is one dimensional, and there’s a great deal of gray to their moral fiber. It ends with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing what the hell is actually going on and some good action scenes with great humor spliced in perfectly.
Episode 2 is a more somber occasion for dealing with your decisions from ep 1. A new villain (or ally) is now involved just increasing the tension and confuses the morals even further. Getting captured and pushed around makes for great character details, and the episode ends with the first decision with real weight and emotion tied to it.
The third installment is a much more positive play through since your back on your feet, and you have a new ally, who happens to be a throwback from the original games. You’re now on the quest for an item to save the day, and things are at least progressing. There’s some great dialogue, cool story, possibly even the start of budding relationship, but not really enough action to keep it going at a good pace.
The 4th story starts out with one of the most epic openings in the whole series, with the whole gang trying to get a rocket to the moon to start an epic heist. Definitely being more focused like an Ocean’s 11 movie and the quest for the item on the evil moon base plays more like a movie. Just like a movie, there are sacrifices, betrayals, and lots of story which really keeps the player engaged the whole time.
Following the losses in the last episode, the Finale is the reuniting of the whole group to take on an epic, yet more likely impossible task. It got the feel of a sequel to the following episode, with some significant time taking place in between, so our characters are definitely different, and they use their newfound strength to take on monsters both literal and figurative. The ending does not disappoint and there is a real feeling of catharsis when considering how this all started, and where it ended.
With an amazing story, deep and emotionally complex characters, and great visuals this game is an absolute must. Even if you’re not a fan of the Borderlands series, this is still a great story on its own with a rag tag group of morons that fall into a grand quest and grow in the process. Almost nothing is obvious or predictable and that’s not even taking into consideration all of your choices along the way, which make every play through a unique experience. The only minor caveats I would have are that I wish I had more freedom to move around and learn more, and I wish there was slightly more action that was better paced. These small negatives are barely worth mentioning when weighed against everything else, especially the perfect acting, comedy, and dialogue that make this adventure game worth buying.