Tales from the Borderlands: Catch A Ride Review: Consequences of Allegiance
Greg Johnson / Jul 7th, 2015 No Comments
The third episode of Tales from the Borderlands is out, and Catch A Ride wraps up a staggering moral choice. The previous two episodes, Zer0 Sum and Atlas Mugged, showcased Borderlands‘ signature dark comedy and Telltales‘ engaging plot with difficult choices. Episode three is no different as players must deal with the ramifications of accepting either Fiona or Handsome Jack’s help in episode two all the while still searching for The Vault of the Traveler.
What Makes a Good Man?
The plot is still being told in flashbacks, as protagonists Fiona and Rhys recount how they found themselves at gunpoint while searching for the vault of the Traveler. In episode two, players were stuck in a tight situation and Rhys was forced to accept either Handsome Jack or Fiona’s help. This choice has major ramifications on the plot and offers two very different plotlines.
This critical junction was incredibly thrilling as the choice between following a friend or personal hero is difficult. Siding with Fiona will lead down a more heroic path, as Rhys and Fiona seem to lighten up in the present day cutscenes while siding with Jack takes Rhys down a more selfish path. Having two very different experiences within the same episode leaves players feeling fulfilled that their choices have major consequences.
The humor is particularly well done with various contrasting character types butting heads. Meta-jokes making fun of Telltale’s gameplay style are quick and fit in smoothly with the dialogue. A pseudo-romance scene unfolds at one point that quickly turns deadly, mocking the awkward nature of romance in games of this genre and gaming in general.
What Does Your Cyborg Eye See?
A lot more quick-time events are present as players will be on the run and feeling the heat compared to previous episodes. In an event toward the beginning of the episode, Fiona must guide Rhys past auto-targeting sentry guns, which requires precise timing. This section simply feels good to play, rewarding accurate aiming as opposed to just having players hit a button in the general right direction.
Rhys’ cyborg eye mechanic sadly doesn’t get a lot of play in this episode, but the few moments it does are a delight. His eye is used to highlight specific objects and pull up further details regarding the target. This allows players to sometimes gleam more information about the world or find clues as to where to go next. While most of this information is typically world-building fluff, the humor is welcome in these slower explore portions of the game that typically follow grueling quick-time events.
Listen Up Kiddo
With more running and gunning comes a better showcase of Tales from the Borderlands’ graphical capabilities. Seeing the Borderlands universe on a current-gen console is incredibly pleasing and impressive. Facial expressions stand out a lot more, allowing players to quickly deduce the consequences of their chosen verbal responses. The frame rate is exceptional, which is showcased during a car chase where players fight on top of a vehicle. The cel-shading has its artistic charm and is just as breathtaking as more realistic graphics, especially during wide background shots of the Pandoran landscape or close-ups on key evidence in the hunt for the vault.
Many of the franchise’s voice actors have come back to give their characters life, most notably Handsome Jack. A few more surprise returns drop in for this episode, and there are newcomers who fit in perfectly with the old crew. Selling Borderlands as a world relies so heavily on the voice acting and players will be happy to listen to every bit of dialogue. The music choices for this episode also deserve recognition. Alternative Rock tracks play in the intro and outro of the episode. The music doesn’t just build the world, it is also just good to listen to.
Three Down, Two to Go
Players already engaged in the series should continue forward. Episode three brings more of the same in terms of gameplay while advancing the story in unpredictable ways. While the moral choices aren’t as heavy as in previous episodes, episode three still keeps players guessing and engaged in the mystery of The Vault of the Traveler.
Tales from the Borderlands Episode 3: Catch A Ride is currently out for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and Android.
Tales from the Borderlands Episode 3: Catch A Ride was reviewed on PS4 using a code for the game provided by the publisher.
tags: Borderlands , Catch A Ride , review , Tales from the Borderlands , Tales from the Borderlands Catch A Ride Review , telltale games