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‘Tales from the Borderlands: Episode Two’ excels in characterization

‘Tales from the Borderlands: Episode Two’ excels in characterization

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Tales From the Borderlands: Episode Two–Atlas Mugged
Developed and Published by Telltale Games
Available on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, MAC, iOS, Android

Telltale Games have adapted yet another franchise into their realm of adventure games, but this time it is a property that already exists in the game world. In collation with Gearbox Software, Tales from the Borderlands explores the world of Pandora in a new fashion, but stays true to the series excellent characters and witty dialog. Seeing the title in action makes much more sense than on paper, because the team at Telltale Games knows exactly how to bring out the best in Borderlands.

Tales from the Borderlands takes place on the planet of Pandora, where rumors of a vault filled with insurmountable treasure lies waiting for any hunter brave enough to find it. The game takes place after the events of Borderlands 2, thus Hyperion’s president Handsome Jack was killed from previous “Vault Hunters” and it has been revealed there are numerous vaults around the galaxy. The only way to gain access to the vaults, would be to obtain one of the many vault keys.

The story follows two different protagonists, the Hyperion employee Rhys, who has been busy trying to improve his position at work, but is always stopped by his obnoxious boss. The other protagonist that player controls is Fiona, a great con artist, who has been creating fake vault keys and selling them to the highest bidder. Needless to say, these two characters, along with a exuberant bunch of others go on a wild journey trying to escape other vault hunters and unlocking the secrets of the hidden vaults.

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Chapter 2 fills in enough gaps that even players who’ve skipped the first chapter can jump right into the events. What Telltale does so well with all their franchises is creating difficult situations that there are no easy answers for. Within the first few moments of this chapter, players are asked to become inventive with the tools at their command and do something extremely uncomfortable. That of course is followed by a crazy chase sequence and plenty of laughs even before the opening credits start rolling. Fans of Telltale Games should find plenty to entertain them, even if they have previously ignored the story beats of the other Borderlands titles.

What makes the game so enjoyable, is that the characters are multifaceted and unique. From the newly created protagonists, to returning favorites like Handsome Jack, Tales from the Borderlands expertly mixes fan service and glorious set pieces. Even the motives of the villains are more than just get the key and be done with them, they all have backgrounds and are fully developed in this world. Of course the decisions players make determine whether these characters stick around or not, but while they are around each one adds something unique to the story.

If there is anything to be disappointed about the second chapter of Tales from the Borderlands, it would be its length, and that it really doesn’t move the story ahead much. Certainly many will be satisfied at the content provided and one of the reasons to play these titles is their brevity. The other complaint can’t be worked around as easily, since it would’ve been great to really see big strides in the story. If nothing else what is available is exciting and hardly ever tedious.

When Tales from the Borderlands was first announced, questions as to its purpose were instantly brought up. Many fans of Borderlands are more interested in the loot and weapons of the game rather than the adventures of the vault hunters. Telltale Games weaves its magic and demands that this is a title that should not be overlooked based solely on its material. Fans of Borderlands and fans of Telltale Games style of adventures should not miss this exciting entry into the world of Pandora.

[wpchatai]