A Few Things That Bug, Tho
At this point, it might seem like Tales From the Borderlands is a flawless gem of a game and that everyone who loves the Borderlands franchise is going to love this, too. Well, yeah, that’s probably pretty accurate. Still, for those who are tired of Handsome Jack and his apparent omnipresence, well, he’s back at it again. And it’s not like the story-line isn’t full of new characters to love and loathe. The story is rich enough with colorful villains and sideways anti-heroes that major personalities from earlier releases don’t need to be reprized.
Another aspect of the game that some might find distracting is the interactive style. With its sideswipes and button mashing, one is reminded of the old arcade classic (and clunky at best mechanics) Dragon’s Lair, where dexterity and timing are the difference between success and failure. But the action in this game is fluid and it allows for a different sort of gaming experience from the straight up shooter that the other Borderlands products comprise.
It’s worth mentioning that this game is episodic; since it came out in 2014, all five episodes are available for one purchase price. For those players who enjoy the serial nature of a good story-line, the episodic style probably isn’t a problem. For players looking for a more unified narrative, or straight up action, this isn’t the game for them.
The Borderlands Elephant In the Room
The ultimate tease throughout the entire Borderlands story-line is the adventurer’s pursuit of the magical, mystical vault. The mystery surrounding the vault, and the promise of hoards of weapons, wealth, fame, and bizarre technology, has driven the story along for nearly a decade – but one has to ask, will they ever reveal the vault?
As Tales From the Borderlands proves, players want more of Pandora. The promise of finding a vault has become a side-story to the tributaries of intrigue that the deeply complex and wildly fascinating Borderlands universe creates. Actually adding the vault experience would seemingly deepen the satisfaction of this well-designed concept. With the question of the vault answered, the world can continue to develop and the franchise would still thrive. If not, the pursuit of yet one more unattainable vault becomes gamer click-bait, and the hope and excitement will fade with the realization that no one is ever going to see inside one of Pandora’s vaults.
Tales From the Borderlands is a hit for all the right reasons. The storytelling is brilliant and original. The characters are fresh, yet still familiar according to the style of the franchise. The mix of the interactive game-play with uninterrupted cinema is a new twist for the franchise that only adds to gamer satisfaction. There’s a lot to like about this game and virtually nothing to criticize. The fact that it’s available across a variety of platforms and so easily accessible means that everyone who can play it, should. Maybe soon, with all of the love fans of Borderlands have for the game, we’ll get a peek inside that vault after all.