Tales from the Borderlands Episode 1: Zer0 Sum Xbox One Review
Telltale Games has brought us such incredible games with the storytelling, character development and decision making bringing new life and perspective to such franchises as The Walking Dead, Fables (A Wolf Among Us), Game of Thrones and now with Tales from the Borderlands (Borderlands).
Introduction into the episodic adventure speaks to the lesser known characters of the Borderlands games. As we are brought to the vivid world of Pandora, we get put into the story of Rhys, our protagonist who was recently demoted from the Hyperion Corp and his accountant friend Vaughn. Both are upset with their boss and decide to steal millions of dollars from the company and use it to buy a Vault Key, which is a means of discovering alien technology on Pandora. Our story also continues with a pair of sisters, Sasha and Fiona, who do anything to live on Pandora and as our stories progress, the player will take turns controlling Rhys and Fiona.
A large cast of supporting characters pack Pandora, including rival executive Vasquez who is played by former Seinfeld supporting star Patrick Warburton, along with many more faces that will be familiar to the franchise fans. The characters and their development is established through the first episode of the episodic adventure as well as the mood setting with the story progression of your own choices. With each choice, you develop your character and domino effect future outcomes, as Rhys can be played as a standup guy or a confident crook. Fiona comes across as either warm or cold with her family and it all comes down to how your choices are made. Both have important decisions that determine the fates of various supporting characters.
The two hour episode kept me entertained and intrigued the entire time with the interactive storytelling, but where Tales from the Borderlands falters a bit is in the delivery of action. There is more action in Tales from the Borderlands than other Telltale Games titles but I was expecting a little more from a Borderlands title. As you would expect, the violence does trend toward the dark comic presentation which is great to see but a little more of it would have been ideal.
Visuals remain a stable for any Telltale title and of course the Borderlands series and this one delivers the comic style cell shading we all grew to love from Borderlands 1 and 2.
Tales from the Borderlands delivered a great start to its series with the plot, character introduction and development and leaves us wanting more and wanted it fast!
Tales from the Borderlands is available now on Xbox One as well as other platforms. Look out for the review of Episode 2 due out soon.