Tales from the Borderlands preview: Telltale Games treatment for Borderlands
Telltale Games does things a little differently to most games makers. Its dialogue-driven titles are presented in a graphic novel style and feel more like an interactive drama series than just a game. The company's latest effort, Tales from the Borderlands, embeds itself in the often absurd world of Borderlands but drops the first person shooter perspective of the franchise to focus on the characters and, indeed, the comedy.
At this year's E3 gaming expo in Los Angeles we got to see the first 40-minutes of gameplay to get a taste of what to expect. If you're a fan of either Telltale's The Wolf Among Us or The Walking Dead then anticipate mechanics much the same here: multiple choice questions that shape your route through the game; prompts to quickly tap controller buttons or directional sticks; and point-and-click adventure style scenes.
What makes Tales distinct is that it's a Borderlands game and you play both Rhys and Fiona to add to the diversity of the story. You don't need to have played other games in the franchise to jump on board, but if you know about those characters then you'll already be on board with the style and the comedy.
The voice acting is great, and even if Patrick Warburton seems (that's Joe from Family Guy) a strange choice to play Vasquez, the newly appointed head of Hyperion. There are laugh-out-loud moments in the dialogue though, with some of the best one-liners coming from not a human, but Motorbot, your mechanical defence droid.
We won't spoil the storyline, but the "story within a story" is how both characters' tales are told in their quest to seek out a vault key.
The addition to loot bodies also adds an additional angle that other Telltale Games have lacked and, interestingly, the company confirmed that it will be possible to use this loot in other Borderlands games - but that's as much (vague) detail as they would provide for now.
Stylised, funny, dramatic - Tales from the Borderlands has got lots of appeal and if you're after something to break the mould of your normal gaming choices then here's a potential gem to look into when it releases later this year.