Tales From the Borderlands Review

Tales From the Borderlands is a 2014 episodic graphic adventure comedy video game developed and published by Telltale Games, based on the Borderlands series.  The game was released for Android, iOS, OS X, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, and follows Hyperion employee, Rhys, and a con artist, Fiona, who, along with their friends, search for a Vault Key while dealing with psychos, corporate tyrants, and alien creatures.


Positives:

  • Great, well-written characters
  • Well-written, compelling story
  • Great voice performances
  • Terrific soundtrack
  • Great balance of humor and drama
  • Good visuals

Negatives:

  • Game freezes during loading screens
  • Long loading screens
  • Occasional graphical glitches

Campaign:  The story is original and goes at a good pace.  It manages to tell a well-written story that continues to be compelling, and unpredictable.  One of the highlights is the fact that it unravels in very exciting and humorous ways told from the perspectives of both the protagonists, Rhys and Fiona.  The story features fast paced entertainment and when it does slow down it does a great job of fleshing out characters. The game features likable, well-written characters.  The game focuses on the characters Rhys, Vaughn, Fiona, and Sasha and all of these characters are great.  Each have their own personalities that compliment the others, their own motivations, strengths, and weaknesses that contribute to the overall group. There is this great progression that builds that builds these characters while keeping them true to their quirks (Fiona still picks at Rhys for some of his decisions). Handsome Jack is great bringing that humorous yet brutal charm that he’s known for. There is this kinship between Jack and Rhys because their personalities are so alike, especially their ambitions. (5 out of 5)

Gameplay: The point and click gameplay mechanics are simple and although follow the same formula from other Telltale titles still remains entertaining.  The quick time events aren’t overbearing and do work to keep the gameplay immersive.  Like previous titles, the game does suffer from slight glitches (unsynced voice overs, slight lag, etc.) and long loading times. (3 out of 5)

Graphics: Visually the game is appealing, maintaining a good blend of the Borderlands animation style as well as the traditional Telltale animation.  Character design do have depth. The attention to detail is to be commended.  There are many instances where the background scenery is just beautiful to look at and sets a great mode for the game. (3 out of 5)

Score: The score is terrific. The soundtrack is compelling and the intro songs and cinematics do a great job of establishing the tone of the episodes. The game’s voice performances are just phenomenal.  (5 out of 5)

Replay Value: Like all games like this players who appreciate the story and characters will take advantage of the dialogue choices and branching pathways that keep the level of replayability high. There are some moments where despite the different choice made that it got the same result. (3 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, Tales From the Borderlands is a terrific game.  Although fans who’ll want some deviation from the typical Telltale formula will be disappointed it is still a great game none-the-less.  Despite the occasional lag and the loading times, the story is immersive, the humor on point, the characters great, the gameplay solid, the voice performances solid, and a terrific soundtrack.  Tales from the Borderlands gets 4 out of 5.  Definitely different from its first person shooter counterparts but just as much a part of the Borderlands series.

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