Tales From The Borderlands: Episode 1 (2014) Review

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7.8

Good

Tales From The Borderlands is an episodic series that follows the events after Borderlands 2. This series follows a Hyperion character called Rhys who is trying to become the next Handsome Jack.  It also follows Fiona, a Pandoran con artist trying to pull off the biggest scandal that’s supposed to score her big numbers. Brought together by the same reasons, Rhys and Fiona stories are told through each of their own point of view. As you switch between two characters you learn more of the story and what really actually happened. Ryhs and Fiona both claim that they are telling the truth, but they don’t get along at all so this plays a huge factor in the credibility of the story told from two different perspectives.

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GAMEPLAY 

Telltale’s games always put players in a position to make choices that bear different consequences later on in the game. Of course in Tales From The Borderlands, every decision impacts the  people around you as well as in how the game progresses in future episodes. You are able to move your character around in the nicely rendered environment while being allowed to interact with the non-playable characters, opening up conversation dialogues and such. With so many possible ways for interactivity in this game, there are lots to see and hear as you travel through the unique world of Pandora. Tales From The Borderlands is suprisingly more of a comedy as opposed to the dark, serious type of game adopted by other Telltale games. I couldn’t help but notice how many times I was caught either smiling to myself or even laughing out loud during certain exchange of dialogues. Episode One is definitely funny and it comes off with a good dose of seriousness to balance the game out well enough.

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STORY

You play as a character named Rhys who is a Hyperion employee who is trying to get promoted to a better position but Hugo Vasquez stands in the way of that. Vasquez is the main antagonist of Episode 1 and he essentially tries to make Rhys’ life as difficult as possible. Fiona is an ex con who is trying to pull off her biggest job yet which is supposed to make her tons of money.  Fiona is currently working on the job with her sister named Sasha and their mentor Felix. Overhearing his boss making a deal, Rhys takes matter into his own hands and works out the deal with his co worker Vaughn, all the while running into some trouble with local bandits. Playing on the other side of things are Fiona and Sasha, who are both plotting to create one of the best scandals of all time – a fake Vault key to sell for 10 million dollars. As you switch between characters, several plot twists unfold before you, all of which keeps you well on the edge of your seat as you find yourself attached to the well told narrative.

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SOUND

Character voices are a huge factor that tie into a game that is heavily narrative driven like this one. Rhys is voiced by the well known Troy Baker who did an excellent job as usual. After spending a couple of hours with Episode 1, I instantly fell in love with the character development and the backstory of Ryhs. Troy Baker is the perfect fit for this role.  With his humorous dialogues and seriousness, Telltale Games couldn’t have picked a better voice actor.  Another character I happen to love is Vaughn, who is generally very fun to have as a partner. I think Ryhs and Vaughn have made a personal bond with me and I definitely enjoy watching them develop great character skills together. Vasquez the main antagonist is played by Patrick Warburton who is also known as Joe from Family Guy. Personally for me I don’t think they should have picked this voice actor as the voice of the main antagonists. Vasquez’s voice doesn’t really match the look that he has going for himself. Vasquez comes off as seemingly cocky and obnoxious but Patrick Warburton didn’t deliver any of that.

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GRAPHICS

Visually, this game happens to be one of the best I’ve seen in a Telltale game so far. It looks a lot like the actual Borderlands games which says a lot about this game. The game portrays a lot of similarities between other Telltale’s games offering similar visuals we all know and love from Borderlands. TellTale successfully captures the essence of Borderlands with unique new characters.  Above all, graphically this game feels a lot like the classic Borderland games. Coming from Telltale, we can be assured of the addictive and fun gameplay backed with great story elements as they have proven again and again with the success of their The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us series. Playing Episode One generally makes me feel like I’m actually a part of the world of Pandora. Between smooth textures and seamless gameplay, Episode One delivers and is definitely considered one of the best TellTale games. TellTale Games is one of the best developers out there and this game really reflects that. This is the first of five episodes and it already had me snagging the season pass for it. What do you guys think about the critically acclaimed Tales From The Borderlands? Is it a solid stellar performance? Leave a comment down below! For all things gaming stay tuned to FGE!

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Good

  • Game progress is tailored to every decisions you make
  • Great visuals reminiscent of the Borderlands game series
  • Great voice performance by Troy Baker as Rhys

Bad

  • Vasquez's voice actor is miscast
7.8

Good

Gameplay - 8
Story - 7
Graphics - 8
Sound - 8
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