Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – Tales from the Borderlands

The Telltale narrative adventure is brilliantly grafted into the zany Borderlands world, excelling with witty writing and fun action.

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I have finished another backlogged game via Rogue’s Adventures. You can read my latest Final Thoughts below and also on my gaming blog on Game Informer.

Developer: Telltale Games

Publisher: Telltale Games

Release Date: Episode 1: November 25, 2014, Episode 2: March 17, 2015, Episode 3: June 23, 2015, Episode 4: August 18, 2015, Episode 5: October 20, 2015

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There’s a now-infamous puzzle in the first episode of Telltale Games’ 2012 The Walking Dead adventure game where you have to find and put batteries in a radio. It’s ridiculously simply to the point of insulting, but I remember thinking “Hey, at least we got a classic inventory puzzle in this otherwise very narrative-heavy game.”

Since then, Telltale has doubled-down in their unique subgenere of adventure game that tells an incredibly solid story filled with choice-driven dialogue and action-packed quick-time events – and almost no actual puzzles. Their latest adventure, Tales from the Borderlands, exemplifies this philosophy to the point where I feel like I’m watching a series of cutscenes at least half the time.

And yet, the story is good. Really, really good. It begins as a classic thieves tale and zany con-artist scheme and expertly weaves together a fantastic mix of cultures and players within the Borderlands world to create a truly memorable and fun experience. I ranked it #8 on My Top Ten Games of 2015.

For the first time in a Telltale adventure, we get to play as dual protagonists, Fiona and Rhys. Fiona is a native Pandoran, an orphaned thief with a good heart and a sassy sister. Rhys is a corporate stooge working for Hyperion in the orbiting space station Helios. Thanks to an elaborate con being pulled by Fiona involving a valuable vault key, Rhys tries to take advantage and the two become embroiled in a much bigger plot. Continue reading “Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – Tales from the Borderlands”

My Top Ten Games of 2015: #8

My #8 Game of the Year is Tales from the Borderlands, a brilliantly written episodic adventure in one of my favorite gaming worlds.

My Top Ten Games of 2015

#10 MASSIVE CHALICE

#9 Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void

#8 Tales from the Borderlands

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I, along with everyone else in the gaming world got utterly sucked into 2012’s The Walking Dead video game by Telltale Games. This narrative-focused adventure game centered more on making important choices and leveraging relationships rather than traditional inventory puzzles. It was also harrowing and dramatic. It came in at #6 on My Top Ten Games of 2012 list.

Since then Telltale has exploded in popularity, snatching up several licenses to create more episodic adventure games along the same vein as The Walking Dead.

I’ve mostly stayed away. I watched a friend play the first two episodes of The Walking Dead Season 2, and I tried the first episode of The Wolf Among Us, but neither really grabbed me. I’ve also heard worryingly bad things about their Game of Thrones adventure, which also just recently wrapped up.

With Tales from the Borderlands, however, it was nothing but excitement and praise, even from folks who didn’t care about Gearbox’s quirky, goofy shooter world. I happen to be a big fan of the Borderlands games: Borderlands 2 was #2 on that 2012 list, while I gave Best Cooperative Game to the Pre-Sequel last year.

Tales from the Borderlands expertly weaves an action-packed tale among thieves and con artists on the zany world of Pandora. Dual protagonists Fiona and Rhys let the story split up and rejoin at key moments, while an expanding cast of excellent, well-written characters makes even the slowest dialogue moments a joy to play out. Continue reading “My Top Ten Games of 2015: #8”