E3 2014 – Tales from the Borderlands Impressions

Who would’ve known Borderlands could ever be made into an adventure game? For one, the folks at Telltale Games. Tales from the Borderlands is their newest episodic game set in the crazy world of Pandora, that follows the events right after the end of Borderlands 2. Whether or not you were wondering what was going on down there after whatever the heck happened during that game’s story – frankly, I wasn’t paying much attention – you are about to find out.

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Tales from the Borderlands stars Fiona and Rhys, two troublemakers out for fortune, on the hunt for the legendary vault key, which is told to open a treasure trove of unimaginable fortune. Rhys is a tech junkie who works at Hyperion Corporation, one of the major powers in the world of Borderlands. Eyeing the empty president’s seat left by Handsome Jack, the big baddie in Borderlands 2, Rhys is ready to do anything to get his hands on the prize.
Fiona, on the other hand, is a grifter and has an uneasy relationship with Rhys. The both of them have a backstory which the E3 show floor presentation did not go into much detail, safe to say they hate eachother’s guts. Most of the demo shown, in fact, featured Rhys’ retelling of how both of them got to Pandora and in the predicament they are in.

The ‘Tales’ in the name of this new series lives up to its meaning, since most of Rhys’ stories are absolute bologne, but entertaining nonetheless. What little there was of a story in the Borderlands games is surprisingly well implemented in adventure game form, and true to Telltale’s formula, it’s all up to your choices.

loaderbot-v2There’s also a notable larger focus on action. During one particular part of the demo, Rhys and his friend Vaugh (voiced by Chris Hardwick of Nerdist fame) are surrounded by bandits, having just arrived to Pandora. You are then given the option of assembling a robotic loader, and depending on how much money you have on you – loot is also a part of the game, but the presentation did not go into detail on how it would exactly work – you can arm it to your whim. The action bit that followed worked in the same basic way the latest The Walking Dead and A Wolf Among Us do, via quick prompts on screen.

Regardless of how you might feel about Telltale’s approach to adventure gaming, there’s no denying the level of care in their craft of Tales from the Borderlands, from watching their presentation. The humor and visual flair associated to the series is there, and it will be interesting to see where they will take these characters. I wasn’t particularly enthralled by the idea of having a Telltale game in that world, but after getting to see it in action, things turned around for me.

According to Telltale, Tales from the Borderlands is very close to completion, so we should be hearing about its release date soon on just about every platform known to humanity.

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