New Tales From The Borderlands – Best Trio In The Wasteland
Another set of stories about characters that you won’t normally play as, set after a mainline game is the true way to follow up a series that goes beyond their usual shooter looter mechanics and makes people discover that maybe they like some adventure gaming in their favourite series. A weird, but workable concept.
Weird intro quip aside, New Tales From The Borderlands definitely hits the points that made its original counterpart fun and engaging to play, whilst making the game more unique in its different choices of people you play and interact with, and still keeping within the Borderlands series chaotic nature.
New Tales From The Borderlands recreates the artstyle of Borderlands 3 rather well, which includes better motion captures due to the dialogue-heavy nature of this sort of adventure game.
Set after the events of the previous game, we return to Promethea after the Maliwan failed invasion and follow three new characters, Anu (a scientist who’s working with Atlus and the previous game’s protagonist, Rhys), Octavius (brother to Anu and street hustler) and Fran (who owns the Frogurt shop that Maliwan blew up during the 3rd game). All of them trying to survive the next invasion of Promethea, now done by Tediore.
One neat thing that I love about the new engine is that now transitions between the three characters feel seamless, making the story flow better as you check on all three characters better than they used to back in the old game.
The dialogue also saw some work, making it more tonally in terms of the mainline game and highlighting the siblings’ bickering that feels real enough for the Borderlands universe (looking at you, Calypso twins).
And weirdly, the music choices for those epic moments are pretty good. An interesting pick during the first two episodes and I do approve of it.
On this side, it’s still like the original Telltale version with some pretty good additions to the flow of gameplay on both the action sequences and adventure side. It starts out quite tame before going onto the usual hijinks, with choices that will tailor your experience from the first episode to the last.
Most of the dialogue and action sequences are made via the usual button prompts and QTE segments, with the downtime sleuthing also making up the slower moments to search for more cash or their new collectibles, the Vaultlanders figures, which are cutesy figures of the cast and character that you can find within all the game’s episodes.
Though my only complaint about the QTEs is that on occasions, the game doesn’t detect the inputs that were highlighted by a QTE moment, it’s just a rare occurrence that doesn’t fail an interaction and keeps the game flowing very well.
And the fact that at the end of each episode, the game will show what you and many others have chosen (not a lot during this review period mind you), is a pretty neat bow in playing this not-really weekly episodic adventure game.
It is your usual affair of five episodes for each chapter of the game, just like its original, and think of it as a stopping-off point as some of these can take upwards of 2 hours per episode if you go look for the collectibles and talk to most of the folks you’ll meet, so I reckon it will be making around 10 – 12 hours if you complete it all.
The new characters or returning folks like Lor and Rhys, which might have changed after the events of the previous game, fit the overall tone of the game. And it’s nice to see them back alongside the new cast which has its own moments throughout the game.
Like besides the main three, we have, for example, an Assasinbot that hangs out with Octavius and learns his mannerism, all the while killing people on his contract list. A sort of humour that really fits the Borderlands style.
As a fan who loved the original game (played on the iPad before the game got pulled), it is nice to be pulled back into the universe without being a Vault Hunter once again.
These three main protagonists are really relatable due to the first episode essentially being their worst day ever and it only gets better (or worse, depending on your choices) from there. And it is fun to see their reaction to your dialogue choices that range from defusing an explosive situation or making it hella awkward by offering them frogurt, whatever it is, it always made me smile to see how the writing goes at some points of the game.
New Tales From The Borderlands is an amazing sequel to not only its former Telltale self but also the mainline games as well, and I highly recommend anyone to try out this one if you need some time back into Promethea and beyond. And it’s fair to say that episodic adventure games are coming back in style thanks to this one.
Played on PC, Review copy provided by 2K Asia.