Tales From The Borderlands Wrapping Up Next Week

Yes, I know this screen isn't from episode 5.

It seems RPS mostly ran tickety-boo while I was on holiday last week but – gasp! – what’s this, an oversight? You guys! I can’t believe you didn’t mention that the final episode of Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands [official site] will be out next week, on October 20th. Tch. Clearly I should never go on holiday ever again.

I’ve more catching-up of my own to do, mind – I really enjoyed the first few episodes of Tales but I’m one behind. Here, come have a peek at episode 5.

You’ll want to skip ahead to the one-minute mark in this here teaser trailer, past all the gubbins about review scores and a free episode for console versions. Being an episode behind myself, I have no idea what it’s teasing. Folks who aren’t awful slackers might have a better idea. Anyway:

Even in a year this full of amazing games – hasn’t 2015 been great? – I’m surprised that Tales from the Borderlands seems to have slipped many people’s attentions. I dislike Gearbox Software’s original Borderlands FPS-RPGs – the combat’s boring and the characters grating – but I’m glad I gave Tales a punt. It’s a fun, funny adventure through a silly world with a good cast I grew quite fond of. Nice stuff. I’m keen to catch up and see how it all ends. Though Telltale talking about it as the “season finale” rather than the end would suggest more’s coming.

Tales from the Borderlands is on Windows and Mac.

23 Comments

  1. noodlecake says:

    I loved this series so much!! I bought the collection through Telltale’s site for some silly reason and my laptop’s HD packed in so I have to play through it all again to get to the last episode with my own choices. :(

    The Wolf Among Us was also amazing. I hope we get a season 2.

    • silentdan says:

      I’m a longtime Telltale fan; I’ve played almost all of their games since Tales of Monkey Island. Tales from the Borderlands is my favourite so far, and I’m not even that into Borderlands. The characters are amusing, if not laugh-out-loud funny, the animation is smooth and dramatic, and the music is outstanding. Their musical intros to each chapter are kickass, and really boost the enthusiasm. True, there’s not much real agency, but it feels like there is, and if you’ll only ever play through it once, that’ll do.

  2. TheAngriestHobo says:

    Wait, isn’t that the same day as the tentative release date for LiS episode 5? Making me pick what to play is just cruel!

    • ribby says:

      It is?

      When you were a kid and got lots of toys at Christmas, were you upset because you didn’t know which ones to play with first? :P

  3. Kefren says:

    Do Telltale still do a “coming in the next episode!” bit at the end of each? That really annoyed me in the Walking Dead games, because I hate knowing anything about what is due to come. I remember taking the headphones off and scrabbling in the dark for the volume and monitor buttons so I could avoid taking any of it in, then trying to guess how long it would last before it was safe to turn sound back on to watch the credits/listen to the nice music. I hate it in TV programmes too, it is as if they don’t think what they’ve done is any good so they have to persuade you that next time it will be better or you’ll stop watching/playing…

    • ribby says:

      The only good bits of Doctor Who are the “Next time” bits. Every time I see one I go ‘oooh that looks interesting’ and it’s always a massive disappointment.

  4. Kollega says:

    I haven’t actually played this series, because A) I’m not nearly enough a big fan of Borderlands as a setting, and B) the obsession with Handsome Jack on display in BL2 was something I hated with a passion. People can threaten cartoonish violence all they want, but I found Jack at the same time completely reprehensible and horribly unfunny, and his omnipresence in the storyline did nothing to ease that. And I didn’t even get to torture the bastard for his crimes because he dies in one shot.

    So what I want to ask from the people who played this series is simple: how much of the story in this series also revolve around Handsome Jack’s? Is it on the same level as in BL2, or somewhat easier?

    (Also, this is entirely unrelated, but this theme song is very Borderlands and all sorts of kickass.)

    • noodlecake says:

      He is somewhat important to the story but for the most part he’s not in it. He makes the odd little cameo.

      • Kollega says:

        Well, thank goodness for that. I honestly thought that Jack had worn out his welcome by the time of Pre-Sequel, so it’s nice to know that in a game set after his death, he only makes cameo appearances. I was honestly afraid that the story would continue to gravitate towards him untill the entirety of Borderlands falls into a space-time Jackularity.

        • TehKory says:

          He’s certainly more than a cameo character, and a central character, if not playable, though his appearance is much more limited than Borderlands 2.

          More importantly, for fans and otherwise of Handsome Jack, he’s rather unchanged. He’s the same man. But I’d get it nonetheless: he’s only in a small-ish portion of the game, and it’s Telltale’s best work so-far, or at least a strong contender for toppling Wolf.

          • ribby says:

            What’s wrong with Handsome Jack? I haven’t played any previous Borderlands games so I guess if you’re just tired of him then that makes sense… He seemed pretty funny to me though, but maybe that’s because Telltale writes good dialogue.

      • Monggerel says:

        That’s funny, my impression was that Handsome Jack is one of the main characters.
        Because he is. Doesn’t get as much of an opportunity to mouth off, as in Borderlands 2, but god damn he just can’t seem to stay dead.

        • noodlecake says:

          He is integral to the story but I’d day he’s probably only got 1/4 or 1/5 of the lines that the main four characters have.

    • ribby says:

      I’d say he’s a bit more than a cameo. He shows up a fair bit in Episodes 2 and 4 and he’s probably going to have a pretty major role in the final episode.

      They do do some interesting things with his character though. And he only shows up once in a while.

      You should definitely play it though! It’s perhaps as strong as the Walking Dead.

  5. pfooti says:

    I just bought the season pass this weekend – it was on sale on steam (all the telltale games were). I am midway through episode three, and it’s great so far. I really enjoy the comic western space opera feel to the BL series, although the one actual BL game I own (BL2) wears a bit thin after a while.

    The telltale version is well-written and captures all the feel of earlier games, but does it in a way where dialog and story really matter. I’d say you could play it even if you’d not had any experience with BL games before (you don’t need to know much background plot to follow along).

    I have a few minor quibbles – there are some scenes where you have to maneuver your character in three dimensions and it’s super-awkward, and you can’t remap the keyboard (really – so if you’re not on a qwerty keyboard, well, you’re boned). But other than that, it’s a hoot of a game / movie / immersive thing. Not much actual gameplay (typical of telltale), but the dialog, voice acting, and story are all fun.

  6. Laurentius says:

    This is a big dissapointment for me but I probably should have known better. This series mimicks Wolf Among Us weakness pretty closely meaning starting very strong and then loosing traction and focus and ending up on “meh” note. Thing is when Wolf… took gentle slope down this series plummeted down in a big way. Ep4 is a turd, story went completely random, humor is off, dialogue all over the place. It’s such a disappointment since Ep1 was excellent. Meh, Let’s Play woulkd be enogh for me from now on.

    • alms says:

      During my first playthrough of TWAU I felt the same as you, for TftB it looked like the third and fourth episodes did the most interesting things. I was bored almost to tears during Ep 1 until the twist, which is only like half hour in.

    • ribby says:

      huh, I felt that Episode 1 was pretty meh, and it just got better and better. Episode 4 wasn’t as good as 3 but it was still pretty damn good!

      And the ending of that episode was superb.

  7. JimThePea says:

    I played the first 3 episodes of TftB, it came across as well-written and true to the series, but it really shows where I feel Telltale has given up, it’s all about the dialogue choices now, it just becomes a cartoon where you get to choose from three zany things for the character to say next, too interested in telling me “X will remember that” to give me reasons why I should care. The puzzles mostly felt like token gestures, insultingly straightforward, I would’ve rather they hadn’t bothered. Oh, and don’t get me started on the QTEs.

    The fantastic writing, thought-out puzzles and difficult choices in Life is Strange make me feel like Dontnod made the best Telltale game this year.

  8. alms says:

    That’s timely, I finished Episode 4 like a couple days ago.

    I only played the first Borderlands game and far from completion so, despite everyone saying you don’t need to be au fait with those games’ universe, I kept feeling like not having a clue who Handsome Jack or Athena were, or familiar with the corporations beyond recognizing the names from some street vending machine, was interfering with my ability to enjoy the game, always too busy figuring out who’s who and what’s their significance or why should I care and what’s this thing they’re referencing…

    All of my time with Borderlands was dragging my bones around a desert killing things, I might recognize psychos or know a little about vaults but that’s the extent of it.

    • ribby says:

      I thought it explained things pretty well. Hyperion= big evil company. Handsome Jack= v evil person who’s dead now.

      • alms says:

        The backdrop is basically reduced through the intro and some remark here and there, it’s pretty much flattening two entire games into a couple of archetypes.

        BTW I have restarted Ep. 1 and having now a better understanding of the backstory, I am enjoying it more.

  9. Zenoforce says:

    Oh my god! What is that song I need it!