Tales From The Borderlands Episode Four: Escape Plan Bravo Review

I am loving this series so damn much.

02

Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Format: iOS, PC (reviewed), PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Released: August 18, 2015
Copy supplied by publisher

Tales From The Borderlands is now officially my favorite Telltale series to date. Episode Four continues the brilliant tone set by Catch A Ride, with Escape Plan Bravo returning us to Hyperion for an infiltrating heist.

The fourth installment delivers some deliciously dark humor, one particular scene managing to be both amusing and disturbing at once. It also did something I never thought possible – it made me care about Scooter as a character, possibly even like him. I won’t spoil exactly what happens, but Tales does something surprisingly touching with him, turning him into something more than the screaming stereotype he’s been in the past.

03

A lot of this episode is business as usual, but that’s by no means a bad thing. The story is progressing very well indeed, with one particular revelation throwing a shocker in the works, and an ending that provides both excitement and a little slice of menacing chill. While not quite as punchy as Episode ThreeEscape Plan Bravo is just as entertaining, and one of the most narratively crucial installments.

Of particular note is the inclusion of perhaps the greatest quick-time-event in Telltale’s history. I’ve always quite liked the way Telltale games handle QTEs, but one particular “shootout” in the middle of a Hyperion plaza was just genius, making fun of everything these sequences have been up until now while still providing some highly satisfactory action. It’s pure cheese from start to finish, and it’s fantastic.

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We’re at that stage of an episodic game where it’s getting increasingly difficult to write reviews. By this point, we’ve discussed the basics of the experience, and I can’t chat too much about the story because lord knows that last thing anybody wants is a summary full of spoilers.

Needless to say, I loved this latest episode, and I’m adoring Tales From The Borderlands, easily the best thing Telltale’s done since season one of The Walking Dead. It continues to demonstrate how the light-adventure formula can be played for humor as much as tragedy, how good writing can shine in a videogame with the right presentation, and just how accomplished the studio behind it is.

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Yes, this review’s pretty damn brief, but hey, less work for me.

Wouldn’t that make Handsome Jack proud?

9/10
Superb

Tropxe
Guest
Tropxe

I really like this series too. I didn’t even like Borderlands before I started to play it. It’s got a far better story and cast than the actual BL games (though frankly that isn’t that hard).

Corvid
Guest
Corvid

I appreciated this episode more in that it wasn’t so determined to make Rhys do pratfalls every time he showed a moment of competence. Big improvement. I know he’s a Hyperion stooge, but if we’re going to embody him, character development demands he not always be the butt of the joke.

Enigma_2099
Guest
Enigma_2099

Tale of the Borderlands Spoilercast for Podquisition. Throwing it out there.

tricksterhuaun
Guest
tricksterhuaun

Jim, you should totally do like a Spoiler discussion of the series before or after the last episode. Perhaps discuss where the story is going, you know, just for fun.

Dave Dogge
Guest
Dave Dogge

This and Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture are getting variable scores across different reviewers; who can you believe ? who can you turn to ? who has similar tastes to me ? bah I’ll get them when they’re discounted.

Chris N
Guest
Chris N

You’re making me want to play this and I’ve never played any Borderlands game. I think that’s the mark of a good review. Well done, sir!

Drakeonian
Guest
Drakeonian

Well my night’s sorted. Thanks Jim, I can’t wait!

Dragonzeanse
Guest
Dragonzeanse

I might buy this when it’s finished, but it’s hard not to overlook the fact that the royalties for my purchase are probably going to buy Randy Pitchford a latte. Telltale deserves it, though.

BAH!
Guest
BAH!

I think I might drop the “quid” for this once I get my Xbone later this year. Assuming I do get it. I’ve been putting it of for a while, now.

I loved The Wolf Among us, and if Tales is better than that, how can I refuse?

goodbyejojo
Guest
goodbyejojo

seems like a winner to me.

JVF
Guest
JVF

I just might have to buy this at some point with the reviews it’s getting.

bimmyz
Guest
bimmyz

are you gonna squirtyzize a Zombi?

Ian Goldberg
Guest
Ian Goldberg

Succinct and to the point, I think I might want to pick this series up.