We’re obviously pretty big fans of the Borderlands series here at DFAT. When I was able to get the opportunity to review the upcoming game, Tales form Borderlands by Telltale Games; I jumped at the chance! I’ve always been a big fan of the Telltale Games company with such great properties such as Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, and The Walking Dead. They give players the opportunity to choose the path they want to go on, and make a completely immersive and interactive experience as you play through the game.
Tales of Borderlands: Zer0 Sum takes you on an adventure with Rhys and Fiona. Rhys is an employee of the Hyperion Corporation, the same one that’s run by Handsome Jack. Fiona is a con artist who attempts to sell a vault key to Vasquez, a Hyperion higher-up. These two characters serve as the protagonists in the game that you get to control and interact with.
The first thing that stuck out to me is just how much it’s like the other three games. It has the same cell-shaded graphics, violence, and Gearbox/2K feel to it. I know that’s it’s primarily made by Telltale, but there’s a seamless integration between their ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ format and the style and mechanics of the previous installments. It was like I never left the world of Pandora, and it was easy to jump right back in.
The other big thing that didn’t skip a beat with this game was the humor. It was crass, weird, and always-hilarious; just like the other games. I was first struck with a comment by Vasquez as he pointed out the phallic-nature in spaceships. I knew right then that I was undoubtedly playing a Borderlands game. Next stop, Buttstallions!
What Telltale brings to the series is something more than just the looting and shooting that I’ve come to know and love; it brings me a deeper understanding of the characters. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a fan of Mordecai and Maya and the others for years now; but I’ve never really gotten to know how they think and what goes on inside their heads. The fact that you have to make real choices that effect your story is something that adds a whole new element of gameplay that I greatly appreciated.
Throughout the first episode I started to connect more with Rhys and Fiona. They both started on their own separate paths that converged as the story went on. I really connected to the characters as they told their individual stories and you learned about how they are drawn to the Vault Key; the thing that all Vault Hunters covet the most.
Overall, the game did a fantastic job of integrating itself with a world I’ve been familiar with for years and only making it better. It’s the beginning of a fantastic and hilarious adventure, that I can’t wait to play more of. Great job to everyone involved in the making of Tales from Borderlands, and I can’t wait for the next installment. I loved this game.