I know this might be more of a Kotaku thing but I don't hang out over there and honestly those people scare me at times and I've stared down and threatened to slap (and did!) a guy who pulled a gun on me in a back alley late at night once.
So Friday I got paid and there'd been a few games I'd been eyeing for a few days which I finally picked up before I blew my paycheck over the weekend. One of those games was Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath ($5.99). The other was Tales from the Borderlands ($4.99), made by Telltale Games.
This is technically my third Telltale Games purchase but only the second one I've actually sat down and played through. My first experience with one of their games was The Wolf Among Us, which umataro42 has previously written about, and I found it to be an amazing game. I actually traded time spent sleeping to play the game and as an insomniac that should say it all. I sleep very little as it is, so you know a game is good if I'm willing to give up what little sleep I get to play it.
My second purchase by the studio was the relatively new Game of Thrones game released almost two weeks ago. I picked it up on my PlayStation 4, since I had some PlayStore credit from Sony thanks to buying a bundle on Black Friday. I've yet to play the game though, although I'll likely do so today because I need another Telltale Games fix.
Continuing on though, I know next to nothing about the Borderlands series of games. I know they've been out for awhile now but I've personally never played one or know anyone who has any of the games.
That said, based on my experience late Saturday night playing, you don't need to know anything about the series or have played any of the previous games to enjoy Tales from the Borderlands.
The gameplay itself is classic Telltale Games and contrary to what a lot of people say that isn't "point and click". The basic mechanics are point and click-like/based you could say, but that isn't at all what the actual game play entails.
For this game you are set in the role of both Rhys, a Hyperion company employee whose two best friends, Vaughn and Yvette, help him in the tale set on Pandora.
As Rhys you set out on your tale after having your scheme to work your way up the corporate ladder shot down in flames by one Hugo P. Vasquez, who threw an exec out an airlock (and who appears rather dramatically at exactly the right moment in a pause in his menacing and very dick speech outside his new office's window), who is voiced by none other than Brock Samson himself!
From there it's off to the races to steal a deal for a Vault key out from under him and that's when the game gets both exciting and hilarious, within pretty much minutes of landing on the planet along with Vaughn.
I won't spoil things for you, but it gets pretty interesting pretty quickly and just wait til you get to the incredibly wacky place where the meet is set to take place. Shenanigans!
On the flip side of the same tale you also play in the role of Fiona, a grifter whose character I absolutely fell in love with from the get go.
Her tale is simple, her and her two closest compatriots, her sister, Sally, and their teacher, Felix, are working the same deal from another angle entirely. They are selling a fake Vault key and using a middle man, August, who isn't in on the scam to sell it to "Assquez" (and I'm using that in quotes because Vaughn says it in game and I laughed out loud when he did).
Rather quickly in the story do your two characters run into each other and from there you both present your respective tales, which do cross hilariously, to the person who has bound them and asked to be told everything that's happened so far, at which point you fill their respective roles and the story unfolds.
Screenshot from the moment and choice I made that had me laughing hysterically as I watched it unfold. Note: That is not at all what happened if you go with that option when asked about that event while playing as Fiona.
Like all Telltale games, your actions and choices set how the story unravels and decisions made now can affect options later in the story and down the line as the rest of the episodes (in this case four more) are released.
The mechanics of the game are simple. You swipe (up, down, left and right) in event scenes as required (or you will end up dead! and it happened to me far more than I'd like to admit). You also move your character around by sliding your finger around the screen when they're required to walk or investigate their surrounds. And lastly you just tap on choices when required to say something (although silence is a valid option and usually the fourth choice at such times and represented by "...").
Note: That "scene" itself isn't in the game, at least not that I saw. Found the pic using Google and needed it to show what you're getting yourself into.
Overall I found the game very entertaining, just like I did The Wolf Among Us, and I found myself cracking up rather often with some of the things that happened or were said. I also found that time flew as I played, I started the game shortly after midnight and when sobriety was bordering on the horizon of my mind and played until a little after 2:30 AM. So you get some pretty serious game play out of Episode 1. This is seriously a fun game and there are moments where you're going to be laughing your ass off and other moments where you'll be thinking "that was so fucking cool!" and a ton of other things.
Which gives me the opportunity to share the following...
That had to be one of my favorite moments in the game. Even if I did say "get the fuck outta here" when it happened. The running jump, twist and gun pull all in seconds. I mean it's nonsense but it was still awesome to see it happen when it did and was just another memorable moment from the game itself and playing as Fiona. Did I mention that I think she's awesome?
I can honestly say do not hesitate to buy this game, either for your phone/tablet, computer or game console of your choice. Just get it. Also, each additional episode (for smartphones/tablets at least) will retail for $4.99 each but at the moment on the Android version of the game you can pick up all four additional episodes for the price of three ($15.99). How long that deal is going to last I haven't the foggiest, but I'd scoop it up ASAP because it's worth it. Otherwise, on PC at least, you have to pay the $20 outright for the game but it gets you the whole season's worth of episodes as they're released.
And that's all I've got to say about, to quote a man named Gump.
Now I leave you with a twangin' cover of a disco glory days song by one of the most interesting side gigs of a very strange front man from a band you likely know. Les Claypool's Duo De Twang's cover of Stayin' Alive, which I discovered yesterday and which would certainly fit in during a rousing game of Tales from the Borderlands.