Alright, alright, alright. So between a portion of one day on the weekend, my lunch break yesterday and shortly before bed as well I managed to get in a rousing play through of the latest episode from Telltale Games' Tales from the Borderlands game.
This episode is called "Atlas Mugged" and there's just so much that's hilarious about that episode name, more so after thinking about the name after having completed the episode last night.
Before we get onto things I must point out that this isn't a standalone game/episode. You must have purchased and played the first one in order to do this one. (I've previously covered the first episode.) That's how Telltale Games work, they build on the previous installments and the choices you make in-game affect the way the story unfolds. (So what you see below in my write-up may not necessarily apply to your play through. The story has been tailored to me by my choices so far, your choices may not have been entirely the same.)
As for the cost, the first episode will set you back $4.99. Each episode after that will cost you the same unless you buy the Season Pass which will set you back $14.99 (and save you $5).
Let's get this show on the road, shall we?
This time around things very quickly pick up where we last left off. You've discovered an Atlas lab, you being the royal "you" (since you play as both Rhys and Fiona), and holy shit have you discovered something in it that likely relates to Vaults and Vault Keys.
Of course this wouldn't be such a fun game if it weren't for the ridiculous things that happen to the characters as you play and this setup is just too perfect to not deliver on some insanity.
Fiona, Sally, and Vaughn discover a corpse. They also discover a retinal scanner, which they promptly attempt to make us of only to naturally not succeed, which sets off alarms and alerts "the General". When you make the connection of who the General is you come away less than impressed. Also, never let anyone tell you sporks do not make useful tools! Assuming people aren't distracting you by screaming like little girls that is. [glares at Rhys]
Meanwhile, Rhys has made a new friend (and the distracting screaming was totally justified and you'll see why). And by new friend I mean digital ghost. Not just any digital ghost though, oh no that would be too inane to the situation at hand. Rhy has met the digital ghost of Handome Jack himself! (If you've played the first episode then you know who this is and why it's significant to the series overall, even if you'd never played the other games beforehand. Such was the case with my original play through. Familiar with the property's name, but not the story that went with it or anything.)
Things quickly spiral to ludicrous speed levels of insanity from there. Which lead directly to those title display screenshots you see above and you get to see some of the local wildlife live and in color and small and large and WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!?!
Once that moment happens, the one in the screenshots, and holy shit was that quite literally a wild ride in every possible meaning of the phrase, things quickly get weirder and wackier.
Vaughn loses his shirt. Literally. Sorta. And by gosh if it doesn't make everyone just slightly uncomfortable.
And just when you think Yvette, your friend, has come through and helped you out big time you realize just how much everything about this adventure sucks.
How much does it suck? Let me put it this way. Douchebag personified himself shows up. You're lost in the middle of a goddamn desert on an alien planet teeming with all kinds of monstrous and hideous alien life and flat out psychopaths and none other than Brock fucking Samson, you're sworn enemy, himself drops down to appear at your feet.
Vasquez himself has put in a hilarious appearance to deal with you himself. Making the somewhat hilarious remark along the way that "manuals are for amateurs", before his "he must be overcompensating" gun quite literally fizzles out on him.
It is around this moment that you learn a few things. Besides the whole Vaughn being ridiculous cut thing. [insert "yeah, he must work out" Dumb and Dumber joke here]
First off, Handsome Jack is kind of annoying in a way but he's also got his uses. Namely he can do things to Rhys's tech enhancements to make them even more enhanced.
You also learn that Vasquez had an inside man from the get go. [does hand waving in a "you see where this is going" motion]
That's right, folks. Vaughn has sold you out! (Not really. But kinda. Yeah, no, well he did. But altruistically. I think. I'll explain eventually, I swear. Probably.)
Suffice it to say the story would be very much over rather quickly though if Brock had his way with you.
Please note that Vasquez aka Assquez is actually the character's name. I just like calling him Brock because it's the same voice over actor. I mean I could call him Puddy too, if you'd like. Or I could just stop saying his name entirely and quote one of my favorite lines of his in one of the things he's been in.
Not so long story made shorter, you escape. Well, I did. But I did ask Loader Bot, who is so fucking awesome and seemingly always there to save the day, to save himself in the first episode. So I got that going for me, which is nice.
Once you've left Rhys and Vaughn though, or at the end of that version of events as told by Rhys with a lovely and hilarious interruption as to how it truly went down by Fiona (there are so many "bro" "bro" brooooo"s thrown in there by her that I couldn't help but laugh out loud in the break room), you then take off from there for what happened with Fiona and Sally.
Also, did she have that scar in the first episode? Because I totally don't remember it. It adds character though.
What was I saying?
Ah yes, Fiona and Sally. They get to the previously mentioned meeting point and from there have some things to do on their own. Namely, get their stuff from a safehouse and of course things go wrong. Why? A sandwich. A fucking sandwich. Even the bad guys who swoop in to catch them make note of that. "You're on the run, everyone is looking for you and you stick around to make a sandwich?!" There is one bright side to this, your single shot gun (which I showed in my previous write-up in that "oh get the fuck out of here" moment I screenshotted) received a substantial upgrade thanks to the traitor/scoundrel Felix. It's not a three shot gun (but you've only got two bullets) and of course that's still single shot action but there's a new twist. Elements! How do they work? Hell if I know, but I tried the one that I figured would have "shocking" consequences and oh boy did it!
The villain I dubbed mohwak (not to be confused with Mustache, whom you see in the background there) quickly came to regret giving me a "free shot".
At which point the situation quickly went from "we're screwed" to "WE'RE SCREWED!" because you and Sally do make an escape, albeit practically into the arms of someone else who's after you. These two ladies just can't catch a break!
Of course that leads to another "oh get the fuck out of here" moment on the part of Fiona, a running dive off a platform as a serious assassin Captain America throws a shield and landing on the back of a Psycho's motorcyle driven by Sally. I did mention it's a "get the fuck out of here" moment, right? (Let the record show that I roll my eyes so hard when these happen to Fiona that I'm surprised they don't just get detached from their sockets. Still, I live for those moments because I think Fiona is awesome!)
Just when you think you're free though, well, let's just say Fiona and Sally just seem to never catch a break.
The day is not lost though!
The being for whom Rhys's firstborn shall be named after arrives and saves the day!
From there the plan finally gets back on track with both groups being reunited (and it feels so gooooood). Which is the perfect opportunity to share a clip from a show that at long last finally made it onto Netflix, Grounded for Life!
(On the off chance that didn't load at the correct moment, just skip to 23 seconds in.)
Now all we need is The War at Home and two of the greatest comedy shows to ever hit (and be cancelled) Fox will be available to the masses. Also the dad in Grounded for Life is Donal Logue, some of you might recognize him as Harvey Bullock in Gotham.
After a wee bit of searching and screwing around you discover Atlas's secret base, which is just amazing to see revealed. Think Stargate Atlantis for just how huge this city is when it rises from the depths. (Because that's exactly what it reminded me of.)
Of course a weird, hidden base absolutely demands that you investigate it promptly. Do not be disturbed by the shockingly high number of corpses which appear to have been murdered immediately after entering the, uh, entrance. Because that's totally not ominous or foreboding in the least. /sarcasm
You'll quickly reach a "goddamnit!" moment when an unexpected (but you totally should have expected them) group of party crashers show up led by none other than Kuzco's Poison himself. (You are justified in selecting "How the hell do you keep finding us?!?!" as your go to reaction at that point. I know I did.) Except this time around he's brought company, a jilted lover/mark by the name of August.
You might remember him from last time. Jerk who pulled a gun on me/Fiona and whose lucky I didn't bust my only shot in his face while turning mid-air in mid-escape to aim at him! (And I don't just hate the guy cause his name is the same as the month of my birth. His hair and facial hair though really don't help with the hate I feel for this man.)
Of course Kuzco's Poison and Totally-Not-Ruining-My-Bday-Month quickly realize they can't just kill us all. The shiny items we found at the end of Episode 1 have imprinted themselves on Rhys and Fiona. Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah.
Oh wait, they've got their friends with them who make the perfect hostages. Son of a bitch. Rhys and Fiona should definitely never go outside in a thunderstorm. Hell, they probably wouldn't even be safe indoors.
So forced, at gunpoint mind you and while their friends are held hostage, our lovable duo take separate paths to end up at the same place. Because of course they do. And what they find where they end up is truly a sight to behold.
A. SIGHT. TO. BEHOLD.
Let the record also show that I absolutely love a woman who is clearly insane.
Why yes? That is indeed Fiona holding a grenade in her left hand while holding a ball device that does who knows what. In her defense, because naturally I would defend a woman who pulled a grenade on what are clearly security bot things of one sort or another (who totally reminded me of Daleks), there weren't many viable options for how to deal with the situation. (Badass of the Week shows us this an entirely acceptable way of getting out of dangerous situations. Just read what you find at the link. Goddamn Russians are insane!)
And that's mostly where the episode ends. Depending on your final choice things play out pretty crazily. I won't even hint at the choice I made or how it played out, but damn.
Seriously, by this point, if you haven't played the first episode and you aren't sold on the second based on all that then I don't know what to tell you. Clearly you don't know a fun game when you see it.
The game play this time around felt like it was a little shorter, but last time I played the episode in one sitting late at night while I was sobering up. So it might have just seemed like it was longer than it was. Then again, one lunch break almost in full of game play (so about forty-five minutes of playing) and then at least twenty or so minutes from a few days before and then at minimum another half hour late last night. So at worst it was a little over an hour and a half of game time. I mean for $5 that's not bad and considering that I get more out of these games from a game play and entertainment perspective that's just downright amazing and awesome.
And now the wait for Episode 3 begins. Although I am absolutely tempted to play the second episode again and make some different choices this time around.
That's it for now, today's usually scheduled Wednesday Android Update is delayed until next week. This post and one other that'll go up later today having effectively taken the place of any news (since nothing really has gone on this week, yet again) related post for the day.
Thoughts, questions, comments? You know what to do. Anyone else play the game yet? I'm genuinely curious. These damn Telltale Games just have me so hooked. It's been ages since a game developer and a series of games had me eager to play them as soon as they were released, but these do and for good reason it seems.