REVIEW | "Tales From The Borderlands”: Episode Four
If there's one thing I learned from Handsome Jack, it's that being an asshole is loads of fun in the gaming world. Sure, things may blow up in your face in the end, but the ride you went on with your Denis Leary-like ways was as fun as you could possibly imagine it. So when it came time for Rhys to return to Hyperion for Gortys's final upgrade, well... how else would you make your triumphant return?
"Escape Plan Bravo," Episode Four of Tales From The Borderlands, has the gang under Queenpin Vallory's thumb. With just one final piece left to complete Gortys and find that Vault Key, Rhys, Fiona, and everyone else make their way towards Hyperion on Helios. Good ole Scooter catches them a ride on a customized rocket ship, and with some handy disguises our anti-heroes jet off into space towards their main objective. However when traitors peer their ugly peepers on the crew, they find that their perfect well-crafted plan is anything but.
Although the game wasn't as action packed as in previous episodes the real star of the game was its clever and often-funny script. Even when there are characters that you cannot help but despise, you cannot help but chuckle when it came to their dialogue and mannerisms. The best part of the game was the banter between Rhys and Handsome Jack, who not only felt like two peas in a pod (depending on your dialogue choice) but also managed to dive deeper into their psyche. One moment that appears later in the game shows the bastardly Handsome Jack showing off a humanistic side, and while there may be a chance it was just a ruse it surprisingly unveiled another side of the Borderlands super-villain we haven't quite seen enough of.
This chapter's QTEs ran just as well as in past ones, with the highlight involving Rhys (disguised as Vasquez) and some Hyperion accountants. Many times during this segment I shouted loudly, "What the f**k is going on here?!", only to double-over with laughter at the sight of some of the goofiest fake gunplay these eyes have ever seen. A scene involving Scooter and Fiona at first brings some great laughs, with the pairing ending in a sad, tragic farewell. (WRITER'S NOTE: if you didn't honor Scooter afterwards, consider yourself a jerk of the highest order.)
Props to Troy Baker for pulling off a fine Patrick Warburton impression during those moments of faulty voice-box issues as our hero struggled to find Gortys's final part. Laura Bailey brought in some fun and somber moments as Fiona, with a funny moment involving a Handsome Jack tour bringing in some good awkward chuckles. Ashley Johnson once again steals the show as Gortys, bringing in the most innocent and adorable parts of the game front-and-center.
Of course, not everything is as smooth as in the past games. Many times I came across long loading periods, some of which made me worry that my game was about to crash and force me to restart from a lengthier position. Because of this the flow of the game felt interrupted in the most tense points of the game.
- As smart & funny as previous episodes
- Finger pistol battle
- Skin pizza! Yum!
- Loading times longer than in the past
Tales From The Borderlands has been about having fun with gamers on Pandora, and with the action returning to Helios "Escape Plan Bravo" continues onward with that mentality. Unlike one of Telltale Games' other recent ventures, this partnership with Gearbox and 2K Games has been practically a smooth sail from the get-go. With only one episode remaining, it's becoming clear that the odds of Tales From The Borderlands being Telltale's magnum opus is leaning towards the pretty good side of things.
FINAL GRADE: 9.1 (out of ten)
PS4 review code provided by Telltale Games
Originally posted on the ESH EGMNOW page