This is a new segment that we will be introducing at Grounded Games where we will be reviewing the games that are available free for PS Plus members each month. Personally, I would usually just add most games to my library and never play them. From now on I will be reviewing the PS4 selection to let you know which of the games are worth your time.
Tales from the Borderlands is a Telltale Games’ release that was completed in October 2015. It follows the same episodic format and decision based gameplay that the series is best known for. I have limited experience with Telltale Games having only played the first two Walking Dead seasons but I do believe that they have milked their format to the point of overexposure at this point. I had heard good things about this game and I went in with an open mind.
I was very impressed by this game. Tales is a very funny and exciting story and the use of the Borderlands setting worked better than I could have expected. For starters, the cel-shaded style of both games works great together for this style of game. Secondly, the weird and wacky characters allow the Telltale team to go wild with their imagination and come up with many hilarious and over the top set pieces.
This game has two lead characters, the businessman Rhys and the con-artist Fiona and the perspective swaps between the two regularly. Rhys is a great fish out of water character and Fiona is a confident character who will do anything to keep her sister safe. A series of events lead them to hunting down a vault with the help of the also entertaining side characters.
I have a feeling that everyone is going to fall in love with the robot sidekicks in this game. Loader Bot may be one of the best characters I’ve seen in a videogame. I know that’s a big call but he is so likeable and his attempts to understand humanity are funny but also kind of touching.
The story is interesting but I have to question everyone in the Borderlands world’s obsession with the vaults. I’m not sure about the lore by any stretch but it really seems like more people die trying to open them than actually receive any tangible reward. I know that it’s a game and the story needs to happen but I just really have to wonder what they think they will achieve.
Gameplay is the same as always in Telltale Games. The decision based gameplay is still exciting but when it comes time to walk around a small area to solve a “puzzle” it just falls flat for me. I prefer just talking to the characters in these areas as the puzzles just feel like busy-work. There are some issues with bugs and poorly animated bits but fans of Telltale Games will have probably just gotten used to that at this point. This is an engine that is definitely showing its age and when things get hectic it really struggles.
Overall, I did enjoy my time with Tales from the Borderlands. The story is fun and isn’t afraid to go overboard. Some jokes did fall flat and were a bit weird but I do recommend this game for its great cast of characters. These are the guys that will pull you through the story and make it all worthwhile. Its another engaging game but I really hope that Telltale takes some time to upgrade their engine as the cracks are visible here.