Tales from the Borderlands, Episode 3: Catch A Ride
Okay, this is more like it.
I was a little down on the second chapter of Tales From the Borderlands, since it didn’t feel like you’d really done anything, but the third chapter hinges on the choice you made at the end of the second and a lot more actually happens.
The thing about Telltale, which I hadn’t really been considering before now, is that the games hinge on player choice, but not in the way you’d expect. The general thrust of events are almost always the same; you’ll always go to the same places, do the same things, and so on. What changes is the characters, and their reactions to what’s happening, which changes the tenor of the story.
“Catch A Ride” begins with the characters escaping from the abandoned Atlas facility from the end of Episode 2, meeting a new robot pal, and setting out for an upgrade that’ll point the way to another of the theoretically treasure-laden Vaults that are all over Pandora. It’s not much longer than the previous episodes, but it feels that way, because it gives itself a lot of room to breathe and to pursue subplots; Fiona has the opportunity to learn to be more than a penny-ante con artist, and Rhys has to decide whether or not he’s willing to be the natural successor to his lifestyle inspiration Handsome Jack.
There’s more actual gameplay here, which was my primary problem with Episode 2; you have more time to explore, and it wisely saves the best sequences for the end. (It’s a little strange that vehicle chase scenes are basically where this game hits its apex, though.) It also plays with some of your expectations for a Telltale title, which I appreciated.
I wasn’t really looking forward to this chapter after I was so cold on “Atlas Mugged,” but “Catch A Ride” turned me around a bit. I’d still like a bit more engagement in the game–more puzzles, more sequences that involve actual skill–but this is good.
Reviewed By: Thomas Wilde
Publisher: Telltale Games
This review is based on a digital copy of Tales from the Borderlands, Episode 3: Catch a Ride for the PC provided by Telltale Games.