Tales from the Borderlands Episode 5 “The Vault of the Traveler” Review

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 5 “The Vault of the Traveler” has a really good start as in Episode 4 “Escape Plan Bravo” the player had to decide whether or not to take control of Helios or not and from there it added intrigue and a bit of a cliffhanger to want to know what happens next.

What happens next becomes very interesting because what seemed to be a united team towards the end of Episode 4 except for Rhys’s decision to become CEO of Hyperion the story splits between the two main characters.  Through decisions and the way in which the two groups were physically split away from each other, it meant they were on their own path.  Fiona was feeling like Rhys had betrayed her by taking on the new status and as things develop Rhys thinks Fiona has betrayed him, by the way, they escape from Helios leaving him stranded.

Fiona and Sasha trying to escape Helios with Handsome Jack keeping eye

The action scenes were very balanced and kept the gamer intrigued as the story developed it put Rhys and Fiona in more and more combat and this just added to the game.  The way in which the story changed minute by minute with characters coming back into the story whether or not the impression was given they were dead.  The biggest thing though well playing this episode was it brought back nearly every decision the player had made in the game no matter how small and showed that it made a difference to the way the story had unfolded.

The Verdict

The Vault of the Traveler has been thrown around the internet as being the best episode that Telltale has put together to date and this isn’t far wrong.  It was a fitting ending to the series and brought together everything that had happened in the story so far and left the player still with some very important decisions to make.  The balance between how dark the storyline actually is and comedy between the characters was second to none, they could not have balanced it any better.  The major thing though is that feeling that the decisions were all worth it and that it impacted the outcome with a very cool ending meaning that the story is concluded without being annoying but could have a spin off if they really wanted.  This series is a must play.

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 4 Review

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 4 for me kept the same pace as the others before it with you getting more and more engrossed in the story but other than the huge development at the end, nothing sticks out in my mind.

It could of been because I was playing this episode in some sort of a rush because work or it could, on the other hand, be down to the writing and how well these games are put together, that although I really enjoyed the episode in the series there weren’t really many standout moments for me.

I found it quite funny though the way in which they did the scene leading up to the big trip back to Helos from Pandora, it was done in such away it could of been a reference to most space movies however for me rightly or wrongly it brought to mind Armageddon.  Although there was some action in the episode it took a break from the majority of it and concentrated on the story and developing the characters relationships a little.  You really did have a wide variety of ways you could unfold the story to a certain degree and although these weren’t huge decisions and story-altering they were when it came to the character development.  You could forge greater bonds or destroy them I felt in this episode and for the most part I strengthened them but being in the rush that I was and not quite remember certain decisions in the previous episodes I may have negatively affected one relationship.

The decision that stuck out most for me and could be the one of the biggest factors in the game so far, is the one at the end of the episode and I was quite surprised at it to be honest.  It was well worked because it’s not a cliffhanger in the traditional sense because it’s a definitive answer.  The question now becomes what happens now that, that decision has been made, this character now holds all the keys by the looks of things but as your telling the story being held captive, you know that it didn’t all end well.

Overall I would give this episode a 7/10 it isn’t for me as good as the previous ones because of the lack of standout moments however I don’t believe that it worthy of anything less because the story is so well put together and the sheer amount of enjoyment I got out of following this story with very little background knowledge of the universe.

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 3 Review

Tales from Borderlands Episode 3 just keeps the series going and, to be honest, I am not being let down by Telltale at all.  After a slow start, each episode just engages me more and the need or want to play more gets greater and greater.  I think it’s more to do with the genre, but the story just holds you there.

Tales from Borderlands Episode 3 really did keep up the pace where the action was concerned and even had me failing multiple times where the controls and combat are concerned.  I think its to do with how slow the controls can be it lulls you into a false sense of security because you know that for the most part you just have to pick a decision on dialogue.  Then all of a sudden you have to be quicker in order to fire a weapon or defend yourself.

The story developing and know your building on relationships with each of the main characters, but what amazes me is the way in which the comedy remains in quite bleak circumstances.  This episode they continue to have their backs against the wall with more of Fiona’s past being the biggest of obstacle in this episode, that being said these new villains or forces against you are now becoming everyone’s problem.  The only downside to this episode for me is that the decisions you make don’t seem to have as much of impact as they did in episode 2 in my opinion.

The relationships that seemed to be budding is the Gortys and Loader Bot.  You are also left wondering whether there is something button Rhys and Sasha, as the connection between Rhys and Fiona seems to have simmered down a little.

Overall I would give this episode of Tales from the Borderlands an 8/10 because although the decisions don’t seem to have as big of an impact of the story in this episode as episode 2, the comedy and action scenes were second to none I really enjoyed this episode and I am really looking forward to the next episode.

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2 Review

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2 continues on from Episode 1 as you’d expect, but I have to say it seemed to fix some of the issues that I had with the series right out of the gate.  One of the biggest problems I had with Episode 1 was the fact that the main character I just didn’t connect with.  The story at that point was showing the main characters Rhys and Vaughn to actually be on the evil side of the game which I have no problem with but with a game like this you want to have empathy for the characters that you are playing and this was fixed in Episode 2 for me.

The main reason for this for me was the way in which they actually used the villains of the story for want of a better word.  The impact that Hugo Vasquez was huge because it gave you a villain and made Rhys more of a likeable character because you can now see the proper battle lines drawn.  On the other side, now you see Fiona’s past catching up with her and that adds another dynamic to the story because now both sides of the universe are actually having the same issues.  Rhys, for example, is from Hyperion the evil within the world as they have kept people in Pandora down and destroyed it from what I can understand.  Fiona is a from Pandora and a Con Artist, but she is just trying to survive.  You see Rhys in another way during this episode he might be part of the higher power, but realistically he is doing the same just trying to survive just in a different set of circumstances.

The action in this episode kept up the pace of the first episode but somehow managed to add the depth to character more than what the first episode did.  The character development was huge for me and I felt that the decisions that I made in this episode had a greater impact to the story and my characters lives.  Overall I would give this episode a strong 8/10.  It’s made huge strides to make me become more engulfed in the series.

 

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 1 Review

Tales from the Borderlands is a game from Telltale that is based on the games by 2k called Borderlands obviously but, to be honest, I don’t know much about the series but as many of you know if you follow the blog I am a huge fan of the Telltale series really enjoying The Walking Dead and Wolf Among Us.

Hyped by the fact that this is another Telltale game I had to pick it up even with my lack of knowledge of the universe and do a lets play.  The biggest problem I seem to have with the series I don’t feel quite as close to the characters as I have with other series.  Whether this will change as times goes on I really can’t tell you however because it’s not so much a survival or investigation story it doesn’t seem to instantly pull you in like the others did.  I think that it has more to do with the emotional connection and empathy with the characters more than anything and in this episode the main characters do seem to be on the side of evil.

That said though I did feel the story was quite well told as you come to expect from Telltale and that unlike other Telltale games you were thrown straight into the action to more extent.  The combat seems to be higher on the agenda in this game which is true to the original game and I think that is what Telltale does so well adjusting even the most action pack game or story into a story driven game.

Overall I really enjoyed the episode and I will be carrying on with series but I do have to say that it wasn’t the strongest opening episode that they have put together.  I would give this episode a 6/10 just because it has intrigued me to want to follow on the story, but it has completely hooked me in.