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Tales from the Borderlands and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel stick to what Borderlands is all about

Hayden Dingman | June 13, 2014
I'm walking around E3 looking for boxes with little green lights on them. This fever dream is what I get for daring to take on both of the new Borderlands games back-to-back during E3. Both 2K's Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and Telltale Game's story-centric Tales from the Borderlands are on display at the show, and both launch by the end of this year.

While Telltale's game cribs elements of Borderlands — you'll have loot, a wallet, and for some baffling reason still have to walk around opening green-lit boxes — it lives and dies on its story. What I saw was occasionally funny, but not what I've come to expect from the studio so known for its writing. Rhys is a bland and vain character, at least in this first act and in the dialogue options we were shown. He could've died at the end of the first section and I wouldn't have cared. I felt like I barely knew him. Like most Borderlands characters, he's more caricature than character.

Contrast that with the opening act of Wolf Among Us, when a simple conversation between Bigby and Toad gave you a full idea of who these characters were and got you invested in your Bigby. Five minutes into The Walking Dead we already knew Lee Everett was a complicated man with a murky background.

And so, again, Tales from the Borderlands just feels like more Borderlands. It's not a shooter, and not even made by the same studio, but it's plagued by the same base problems as the core series. Borderlands is a solid loot system tied to serviceably humorous writing to draw you through the content, but I'm still not convinced the universe has enough legs to support a story-based Telltale adventure game. Or any story-based game, for that matter.

 

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