Just one of my largest gripes with the mainline Borderlands sequence is its humor. I’ve had some superior laughs while enjoying, but Borderlands’ jokes land far more like a shotgun blast exactly where some hit and many others do not. Which is alright in bursts, but shotgun blast just after shotgun blast can get exhausting. Telltale Games’ take on this universe, Tales From The Borderlands, remedied this by delivering a a lot more nuanced and delicate take on the humor coursing through the franchise’s veins. It became one of my favored Borderlands video games, with a great story and memorable figures.
I’m happy to report Gearbox’s get on that formulation in New Tales From The Borderlands retains that exact same sense of humor with a vastly improved visible fashion more in line with the series’ latter entries. It also attributes a solid just as memorable – I already want additional of them. However, while, the entire package deal is allow down by a lackluster overarching narrative missing cohesion, and I’m remaining wishing Gearbox gave these characters a far better tale to exist inside of.
New Tales From The Borderlands features a few acquainted faces and names with Tales From The Borderlands’ Rhys, now CEO of gun-maker Atlas, and other mega-businesses like Maliwan and Tediore. Most of the match can take position on Promethea, which Borderlands 3 gamers must identify.
Altruistic but internally selfish scientist Anu teams up with her adopted road-smart brother Octavio, his assassination bot LOU13, and Fran’s Frogurt operator Fran. Jointly, they goal to protect Promethea from a Tediore invasion, secure a hidden vault treasure and, finally, endeavor to generate and adjust the globe with an anti-gun system. The tale sets this up rather properly in the first episode of this five-section story, and I was energized to see in which it went. But just a number of hrs afterwards, I was still left baffled.
Without spoiling everything, the story bounces between seemingly random subplots that sense unimportant to the major conflict. At a single level, I’m determined to dodge a Tediore invasion. Then, an hour later, I’m on a Shark Tank-like match show making an attempt to pitch Anu’s device to buyers. And then, my principal worry is seemingly to open a organization amidst the rubble of the Tediore invasion that’s still ongoing. I wished extra of the help save-the-entire world narrative the very first episode set up, but the facet beats and actions together the way are distracting and loosely hooked up a lot more than something else.
The story does wrap itself up properly, with a sweet instant of a bow on top, and by the time the credits rolled, I was happy to have seasoned what this squad of people went by means of. I just wish the complete game highlighted the cohesion I felt in the to start with and ultimate episodes.
Tale aside, New Tales From The Borderlands functions four of my new beloved characters in this universe. Anu is funny and quirky in a vintage scientist-obtaining-in-the-way-of-herself way, and some late-game revelations include much more depth to her personality that I respect. Octavio plays it amazing, and I had entertaining shaping the variety of “cool” he is with my selections. Fran is a sexually-self-confident middle-aged lady who’s place aside subtlety in favor of outright telling folks, “we should really bone.” She feels the most like a basic Borderlands character – with a handful of fart jokes, far too (admittedly, just one of these produced me giggle a large amount).
LOU13 was my beloved, though. His deadpan humor and his journey to split totally free from the parameters of his assassination programming retained me smiling the entire way by way of. Every single character shined in their very own methods when isolated, but collectively, my preferred conversations in the total match took area, allowing each and every riff on the other people in distinctive ways.
Of program, the good results of these times came down to Gearbox’s excellent character crafting and the options the match presented me with at equally trivial and pivotal times in the narrative. I could established Fran up with a large ability enjoy of a remark when arrested by Tediore troops, or I could just have her response queries by earning fart noises. I loved crafting my just take on every single of these people and Gearbox, considerably like Telltale, excelled in that regard.
Generally gone are the Telltale “this particular person will remember” notifications. In theory, this is a wonderful touch, as it eliminates that gamified ingredient from the formula and lets the player to live with their choices with out understanding how they have an impact on the story. In practice, while, I skipped them. With no these tip-offs, save for a several random kinds that happen devoid of rationalization, I felt like I had missing a contact of agency. Absolutely sure, I was buying the alternatives I needed, but I struggled to piece collectively how my steps impacted the grander narrative. The instant reactions have been there it was effortless to explain to if Octavio, for example, didn’t like what Anu reported. But how my steps exactly adjusted the broader narrative remained a mystery. I experienced guesses all over, but I question if Conclusion X led to Consequence Y.
I also was not impressed by what I was carrying out when I wasn’t choosing dialogue decisions. Gameplay boils down to swiping remaining, ideal, up, or down, or pressing a button, mashing it continuously, or keeping it down. Occasionally, you can wander all over a tiny area to obtain dollars or chat with locals, but these didn’t do a lot for me. This variety of adventure gameplay was the conventional years back at the peak of Telltale’s improvement, but it feels previous now, and I needed more wide range.
Occasional minigames, these as a parody of a turn-based mostly JRPG, or yet another wherever I had to hack into a laptop or computer by eradicating NSFW spam on a screen, helped in that regard, but I even now wanted much more.
Vaultlanders, a minigame that appears a number of times in each individual episode, is a fun minifigure-dependent battling match but only for the to start with couple of occasions. There are Vaultlander figures to acquire in each individual episode, and each has its individual stats and abilities, but it matters minimal. I by no means struggled to defeat an enemy and under no circumstances concerned about my qualities or stats. That is mainly because playing requires mindlessly spamming the attack button and occasionally dodging by swiping a way when the enemy attacks. Like all the other minigames, this one can be skipped solely, but I was eager to come across a function for its inclusion in the activity and performed through every single a person. Unfortunately, I didn’t obtain a function, and these immediately turned tempo-breaking annoyances I experienced to deal with when I just wanted to get back to the tale.
However, by the time my 10-hour journey in New Tales From The Borderlands ended, I was joyful to have professional it. There is fantastic in there, but it is at times muddled by dated mechanics that experience extra compulsory due to the fact Telltale did them in the former sport alternatively than some thing necessary to its pleasure. The forged is fantastic, and as a character-pushed practical experience, this activity excels. I just wished Gearbox propped them up with a story as potent as their particular person arcs.
Eventually, New Tales From The Borderlands feels like extra of the same and fans of the 1st are possible to love this, but given it’s been nearly eight yrs considering that that to start with just one, I wanted much more of an evolution.