Funnier, faster, and… funnier. Episode Three is the best installment yet.
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Format: iOS, PC (reviewed), PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Released: June 23, 2015
Copy supplied by publisher
Tales From The Borderlands Episode Three is easily the best installment so far in Telltale’s trip to Pandora, and it’s cemented the entire series as my favorite Telltale production to date. Moving the story along in unexpected and exciting ways, as well as providing plenty of genuinely funny scenes, Catch A Ride is a frankly brilliant episode.
The last chapter wound things down a little, providing necessary characterization and plot development at the cost of anything particularly thrilling happening. Having gotten all the important foundation work done, Episode Three goes to town, introducing a new antagonist, as well as more familiar Borderlands characters to make series fans wet themselves.
By far the star of the show is Gortys, a robotic companion introduced soon after the gang leaves Atlas’ secret base in a particularly explosive (and highly amusing) manner. Imagine Claptrap, but genuinely charming and endearingly optimistic – that’s Gortys. Adorable and comical, the sentient heart of the Gortys Project is a joyous addition to the cast, and her interactions with Loader Bot are simply enchanting. I expect plenty more development between the story’s two robots in future, and I predict my heart will melt.
Everybody else is on top form. Handsome Jack isn’t quite so prominent this time around, but his appearances are welcome and the interactions between he and Rhys are fascinating to watch. Rhys also gets some dorky screen time with Sasha, in moments I found quite touching – even though the game’s script loves to puncture the mood for comedic effect.
Fiona pairs off with Athena for most of the episode, and I’m really enjoying the direction Telltale is taking their story – Fiona’s development into something more than a typical con artist is becoming a driving part of the plot, and I’m excited to see where it leads.
One cool new addition to this episode is the appearance of a New-U station, allowing players to customize the look of Rhys, Fiona, Loader Bot, Sasha, and Vaughn. Each character can acquire fresh clothing options, but unfortunately they require cash to unlock. Chances are pretty good that you’ve not secured many dollars throughout the episodes thus far, so your options are going to be limited. I was only really able to change Fiona’s outfit, and stood no chance of getting the ridiculously fun decals for the robot.
I hope the New-U station turns up more in future, but Tales has been pretty stingy with cash thus far, so it could stand to hand out a bit more.
Perhaps the best aspect of Tales From The Borderlands so far is that I have no idea where it’s going. I’ve got no way of predicting how the “present day” sections will end, who it is that’s dragging Fiona and Rhys out into the middle of nowhere. There’s currently zero clue as to how they got captured in the first place. The true nature of the Gortys project, Handsome Jack’s fate, or the motives of new villain Vallory are all completely up in the air. It could still go anywhere at this point, and I’m excited about that.
Hell, I still can’t believe they [REDACTED] so unceremoniously in Episode Three. Did not see that coming!
As I already stated, Tales From The Borderlands has become my favorite offering from Telltale’s growing stable of adventure games. As absorbing as The Walking Dead, as unpredictable as Game of Thrones, but replacing all the misery with genuinely effective laughs, Tales is absolutely killing it so far, and Catch A Ride is the best one to date.
Just a shame they’re taking so long to come out. Roll on Episode Four!