First Impression: Tales from the Borderlands – Episode 1 [zer0 sum]

Tales from the Borderlands brings you back to the Pandora. Telltale Games are famous for the episodic style games they have released such as Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Wolf among Us to name a few. Speaking about that, I have yet to play Wolf Among Us…..I’ll get to it. Eventually. Maybe.

The game revolves around two main characters. One is a Hyperion worker called Rhys and a con-artist called Fiona. Include ten million dollars somewhere in there as well. Both of them believe the money belongs to them (and not their “partner”). Throw in a bunch of shenanigans and bandits, the two characters have a task ahead of them.

Note: At the time of this post I have not actually completed Episode one in its entirety. Just throwing that out there now. Opinions/thoughts may change as I progress further.

I believe the plan is to release a total of five episodes? Edit: just checked. It is indeed a five part episodic game. It will swap back and forth between the two characters to show their side of the story.

Unlike the Borderlands we are familiar with from Gearbox Software, there is actually not much combat involved. Not from what I seen anyway. Any combat sequence will be mostly either a quick time event (dodging usually) or clicking on a target. Now if you have not read the Resident Evil 6 (RE6) post or know me personally, I do not have a good relationship with quick time events. At all. They hate me. In hindsight though, I know the reason I kept failing the quick time event in RE6 was due to the lag. My friend who I was hosting our co-op game had really bad internet, which was making me lag terribly.

The experience however has left me with an irrational dislike for them, even when I am the one hosting the game or playing it on single-player. So that pretty much made me go from enjoying the quick-time events since I saw it as a challenge (and it was something I did enjoy) to irrational dislike. Not that all this actually relates to the game at all, other than I wasn’t too thrilled to meet them in the game. However, since its single player, the events are very doable and you normally have an indicator of how much time you have left before you fail the quick-time.

As I mentioned earlier, there is not much combat in Tales of the Borderlands. It will be rather focused on your dialogue choices, or just choices overall really. However, there is heavy emphasis on the dialogue as it affects how other characters interact with you. They will also remember the choices you make, which may either benefit you greatly in other chapters or…basically bite you in the rear. At certain points of a conversation, you will given the option to select a response. You have a limited time to select a response, so you have to pick an option you feel will benefit you the most/saying whatever you want to see what will happen in a short amount of time. I am unsure what happens if you do not pick a response on time since I often picked a response before I ran out of time. I am assuming it will either use the response that was highlighted when the timer ran out, or you stay silent. Or perhaps it will pick a random response for you.

So far the pacing seems rather slow, especially in the first two chapters of Episode One. Nevertheless, I am hopeful that the pacing of the story will not affect my opinion of the game too much and I predict that it will speed up in later episodes.

Story-wise from what I seen so far, I am enjoying the plot so far. I like how there seems to be two subplots at play, and each of them is specific to the main characters. I like how the dynamic works since you see the story from their point of view, especially since they both have their own agendas and do not necessarily use the same method to meet their goals.

We cannot forget the trademark Borderlands humor that we all love. There is plenty of that in Tales of the Borderlands so no one will be deprived of their fix. I the humorous conversations that happen in the game, even if it is a little too slow-paced for my liking. I admit that this is my fault since I was expecting the game to be more similar to Gearbox Software’s style which was less talking and more shooting/blowing things up. Now that I am aware they are taking a different approach to the game, after the formula that has worked so well for them; I will adjust my expectations and play this with a more open-mind and not what I previously done which was place expectations of what I thought the game would be like.

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