- + Learning more about Fiona and Sasha’s relationship with Felix
- + Scooter returns!
- - Sometimes I felt a disconnect whilst controlling action on-screen
Want to look beyond the score? Read the full written review…
*Spoilers for Episode 2 are discussed throughout this review
The last time we saw Rhys, he and his fellow companions had stumbled across a hidden Atlas storage room. Showcasing a variety of old time-pieces, the gang were also lucky enough to discover the location of a Vault Key, and as well as something called ‘the Gortys project’. But old artefacts weren’t the only things to raise an eyebrow, Handsome Jack made an unexpected return.
With the re-appearance of Hyperion’s former president, I expected it to get people asking questions. Though only a hologram, he does seem to garner enough of a conscience to exhibit startling signs of life. Of course, Jack died at the hands of a Vault hunter, but it’s nice to hear his voice again. Talking of which, only Rhys can hear and see Jack. It’s not clear how or why he’s returned, but it has something to do with the Hyperion ID chip Rhys used from the corpse of a Professor named Nakayama.
Throughout Episode 2: Atlas Mugged, Telltale continue to flesh out its ever-growing roster of characters, whilst also focusing on the parallel differences of Rhys and Fiona. With Rhys arriving from a technologically advanced environment, Fiona and Sasha have led a very different life. Having been brought up as con artists amidst the wastelands of Pandora, both Rhys and Fiona have very different experiences to lend to their journey.
Aside from exploring the lives of newcomers within Borderland’s world, Telltale haven’t forgotten the regulars that make it what it is. With the return of ‘Catch a Riiiiide’ Scooter, I was happy to see one of my favourite characters alive and well. I guess that’s what I find so enjoyable about Tales from the Borderlands, the fact that I’m getting to experience Pandora’s world beyond the ending arc of Borderlands 2.
There’s a consistent level humour anywhere in Telltale’s adventures, and Atlas Mugged comes thick n’ fast with the laughs. Whether it was Vaughan taking off his shirt to reveal a worryingly good looking body, or Handsome Jack commenting on everyone unaware of his presence, Telltale’s bone-dry humour shines. I mean, how the heck did Rhys nerdy sidekick get such a ripped body? It wasn’t relevant in the slightest, but it was funny. There’s no doubt that Tales from the Borderlands entertains with its writing, but the gameplay is hit and miss.
Using a combination of quick-time button presses and guiding my cursor around to highlight objects, I often felt the need to be a little more involved with what was going on. Most of the time I seemed to be watching more than anything else, leaving me to press the odd button and gaze upon the screen for results. My lack of actual involvement made me feel a slight disconnect between what I was told to do and what happened on-screen. I may hack an item as Rhys, but as far as selecting and choosing an item to hack, there’s no more to it. No mini game to test my skills, just a simple press. As long as the story keeps being entertaining, I don’t see this being much of a problem.
As Fiona, I was still a little perplexed as to why there’s a focus on her collecting money. Other than using it a handful of times to purchase items that offer only a visual upgrade, there doesn’t seem much need for it at all. There’s no denying that money and loot play a big part in Borderlands, but there isn’t enough reason for it in this environment. Choice is integral to any Telltale game, but so far there haven’t been any options for money to severely alter my journey, so what’s the point?
Overall it was nice to learn more about Fiona and Sasha’s relationship with their former father figure, Felix, especially after his apparent betrayal at the end of episode one. Regardless, I constantly questioned who I should trust. There’s so much happening in the background, alongside Handsome Jack hanging over my shoulder. Do I want to become a nonsensical jackass like Jack, making decisions that are potentially risky? Or should I put my faith into those around me, despite me knowing little about them? Concluding on a huge cliff hangar, and after putting my faith in Fiona instead of Jack to exit a troublesome situation, was I right to do so? Hopefully it won’t be too long until I find out.
Altas Mugged concludes a lot quicker than the first, but the story continues to pick up pace. As before, the comedy takes centre stage and I’m excited to see where the story goes next. Think carefully about who you trust, and always be on your guard.
Episode 2 of ‘Tales from the Borderlands’ is available as part of the season pass for £11.99.
*Atlas Mugged was provided to Start Replay on PS4 by Telltale