I’ll get this out of the way, first: I’ve never played a game by Telltale Games before, so I didn’t really know what to expect from this. I was under the impression that their games were supposed to be close to point-and-click adventures, but I found this title to be more akin to an interactive movie. Yes, there were plenty of QTEs injected into this one to simulate gameplay, but a lot of them had no weight behind them and had no effect on the story. I hope I’m not coming across as a purist – I love games of all kinds and want to try them all – but what I expected and what I experienced were not the same.
With that being said, I also was not expecting that, during my quest to play all of the Borderlands games this year, I would find a game in this series that tug at my heartstrings like this one did. Of course, it’s loaded with humor and ridiculousness like any good Borderlands title should be. And of course, “Borderlands 2” made it clear that this series has the capacity to deliver emotional blows when it wants to. But “Tales from the Borderlands” pulls out all the stops and crashes through emotional barriers like a drunken psycho in an Out Runner.
Since starting this series, I’ve been intrigued by the story – but the first two games fell short of being fulfilling. While there were gold nuggets in “Borderlands” and “Borderlands 2” had a wealth of great moments when it came to its story, I was hungry for more. I’m happy to say that this game is a whole hoard of strong story moments and was immensely satisfying.
In fact, my biggest complaint about the story of “Borderlands 2” was that I didn’t get to learn as much about Handsome Jack as I would have liked to. Since Jack is a major character in this one, I got to see just how much of a monster he really is. I got to learn more about Hyperion, Atlas, and Dahl… stuff I didn’t know I wanted to learn about but I’m happy that I got to. On top of all of that, I didn’t expect a Borderlands game to have loveable main characters, but this one has those, too.
This game blew my expectations into smithereens and I’d 100% recommend buying it… but that will be difficult since it was pulled from the online stores. (I’m sure you could find it for a console or whatever if you really want to do that.) However, if it’s been collecting dust in your backlog, I recommend giving it a playthrough.