By Nathan Grayson on December 9th, 2013 at 9:00 am.
Yes, “the” Borderlands. The relentlessly silly blast-fest from Gearbox, as opposed to, um, that other Borderlands. Telltale might not seem like the most natural fit for a spinoff of the action-heavy RPG (which is less conversational and more often gunversational), but it’s happening, per Spike’s abysmally awkward VGX “award” show over the weekend. Also fired from the dudebro-centric network’s Big Fucking Announcement Gun: a Telltale Game of Thrones series, which was first rumored last month. Scant details on both below.
Game of Thrones will be based on HBO’s version of George R.R. Martin’s lusty tale of lustful lustiness (and dragons), as opposed to reinterpreting material straight from the books. It will be done “in a Telltale way,” so probably expect plenty of choice, consequence, and, like, 30 red weddings. I’d post the VGX interview about it, but it’s entirely insubstantial and consistently awkward due to Joel McHale trying to be Joel McHale in an environment super non-conducive to it.
The big takeaways? Telltale still doesn’t really know what exactly it’s doing with the story, the main plot and side plots are still on the table, and there’ll be big battles, but they’ll be less about action and more centered on Telltale-style objectives and themes. Telltale’s Game of Thrones will kick off sometime in 2014.
The Borderlands spinoff, meanwhile, is titled Tales from Borderlands, and it’ll feature Gearbox characters and assets as well as new ones, but it’ll “play like a Telltale game.” The main characters “aren’t quite Vault Hunters,” but they’ll still encounter the likes of Handsome Jack and other familiar faces – both artificially soldered on and otherwise. Given that Telltale and Gearbox have worked together before on games like Poker Night 2, this isn’t entirely unprecedented. And honestly, Borderlands 2’s writing was pretty solid as far as comedic games go. Color me cautiously intrigued. Tales from Borderlands will also be out in 2014.
So then, that’s Walking Dead, Wolf Among Us, Game of Thrones, and Tales from Borderlands. I love Telltale’s recent output, but I do wonder if too much of this very specific good thing might grow a bit tedious with so many tails sprouting from its main body. Then again, the formula’s evolved quite a bit – albeit gradually – from Telltale’s early days up to its current Walking-Dead-born renaissance, so maybe I’m worrying over nothing. And hey, I’ll take more interesting character-driven stories over yet another military FPS any day, so even with some genre fatigue, there are worse fates. What do you think?