Weekly Gaming: Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2 (Xbox One) Review

“Yeah yeah we know, it’s been a while” episode 2 starts by saying. And it has really has been ages. I bought the season pass at Christmas, well after the first episode had already been released, so it really has been at least 5 months since the series started. What was supposed to take a few months between episodes has weirdly taken a lot longer in Tales from the Borderlands, Especially compared to the Game of Thrones series and Life is Strange, which have been pushing out new episodes every few months.

So was the wait worth it? Well, for the most part yes, with the vast majority of the episode being extremely enjoyable to progress through, with so much happening that it feels like its own game in its own right. There’s plenty of action, plenty of humour, and enough character progression that you really feel like you’re getting to know and like all the characters you come across. So much happened in fact that I’m struggling to remember everything I done in Episode 2. I’ll try and recall as much as possible, to see how much on an impact the game had on me.

So, to start off we’re back with the two main characters telling their accounts of what happened up until they’re captured in the present. In the last episode, Rhys used a security stick to change his personality/ID, making him see Handsome Jack. No one else can see him though, so Rhys goes upstairs to talk with him alone. During this segment you’re mostly playing as Fiona, your other controllable character through the campaign. She tags along with the other cast that fell down into the basement in trying to find a way out. After a little exploration, we find that the security will only work with one persons retina scan, and luck behold, that person is cryo-frozen next to you. Fiona then is tasked with using a spoon to scoop that persons eye out, which results in some funny quips and mistakes along the way. Once the scan is done, you’ll take control of Rhys, and see his conversation with Jack. It’s funny and cool to learn that Jack was so admired in the world of Borderlands, with many Hyperion employees loving his every action, so much so that Rhys apparently had posters of him around his room. some time later, Hyperion starts firing their massive cannon down to where Rhys and the group are located, prompting the Hyperion robot to help you out. It’s here that the group are then separated, as the car they use to outrun a massive beast and the Hyperion missiles splits in two, leaving the two men and two women far far apart.

Next up, Rhys gets a little visit from the chairman of Hyperion, who proceeds to get the two to dig their own graves before he then tries to kill them. it’s here that Jack actually comes in good use, allowing Rhys’ scanning method to overcharge the CEO’s weapon, allowing the two to escape. This whole scene was interesting, as it put the seed of doubt in your mind as to where Vaughn’s allegiance’s lay, after he begged for his life by saying he hadn’t completed his mission of deceiving Rhys yet. It was also funny as hell, with Vaughn weirdly having an extremely toned body, ruining the stereotype of a geeky man having a skinny body.

Once the pair escape, it’s time to make use of Fiona’s racing “experience” (ahem), with Scouter, a fan favourite from the Borderlands series, who will happily fix up Fiona’s car if she becomes a spokesperson for his catch a rideeeeee service. It’s all rather funny, and definitely helps to make the world of borderlands a lot more human, with ordinary people living out ordinary lives. You eventually get chased by an assassin, which you manage to escape from, and finally catch up with Rhys and Vaughn as you make your way to a place where the map at the start of the game pointed you to (an Atlas stronghold).

After solving a quick and easy puzzle, it’s time to meet the enemies again, who force the group to connect the two pieces of treasure they found at the start of the game. Upon doing this, the entire security system starts up purely because Rhys cocks up and drops the big crazy ball that was made. It’s in this hecticness that Jack appears again, asking Rhys to take over his body so he can override the system and use it to their advantage. This is when the episode finishes with everyone at a stalemate, the CEO man and the imposter man having Rhys’ and Vaughn’s friends held hostage, and Handsome Jack having control of the security system. For its annoyance that the episode is ending, it’s certainly a good cliffhanger.

Given my disappointment with the Game of Thrones Telltale series, I’m genuinely surprised how much I’m enjoyed Tales from the Borderlands. Everything about it is funny, and genius in the way it expands on the borderlands universe, something we didn’t know much about in the first place. It does a fantastic job of humanising the characters, with everyone having their perks and secrets. I seriously cannot wait for more, cause compared to GoT, this is my go to series from now on.

4/5

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