If you haven’t already read the review of the first episode, you really should. It’s right here. And to be fair, if you haven’t played the first episode, I’m not entirely sure what you are doing here. Regardless I’ll be making this as spoiler-free as possible (with the assumption that you’ve played episode one).
As a quick reminder, in Tales From The Borderlands, you play as two different characters and their different perspectives. One is Fiona, the feisty con-artist and Rhys, the bumbling Hyperion employee looking to climb the corporate ladder.
Tales From The Borderlands: Episode 2 leaves off exactly where Episode 1 left off. That is with Fiona and Rhys still under the control of some giant cyborg-like individual with a gun. The narrative is being told as the two tell their story to the giant robot dude, often with hilarious additions which causes a spit-take from the other.
If there’s anything I will complain about this game in general is that you know that there is no way that Fiona and Rhys are going to die. They just can’t, because they are telling the story. It takes away a lot of the expense. What makes the Game of Thrones Telltale Games, the review of which you can read here, great is that a lot of the characters you control can die, and the game just goes on.
The other gripes are really non-gameplay related. Or barely have anything to do with the game at all. 3 months is far too long to wait for each episode and hopefully, they get working on it. With no tutorial, as there shouldn’t be, you need to regain your bearings, which is a tad bit difficult, when you have time limits.
And yes. Handsome Jack is back. He’s a great character, why wouldn’t they bring him back? He definitely brings in a new, crazier, dimension to the game as you kind of play as him, through Rhys. Because he’s stuck in Rhys’ head. Still, while his intentions are still intertwined with yours, you will need to balance helping him and remembering that this guy is a massive psychotic villain who would kill you the second he had the chance (as long as it wouldn’t mess him up in turn).
The voice acting is still superb. The visuals and graphics are good and still fit the whole Borderlands art-style with that tinge of Telltales comic book outlines-ness in it. This time, unlike the last, there were no visual glitches or bugs in Tales From The Borderlands that I could see.
In terms of slightly more spoiler-y things, there didn’t appear to be many new characters introduced that will play a large role in the future except for the super cool red assassin called Athena. Otherwise, it has just been playing with the same characters we know and love, Sasha, Fiona, Vaughn and Rhy, and their Arch-nemeses Vasquez and August. Of the characters we have, Sasha is the one with the most character development as we start to understand her motivations and feelings about Felix’s backstabbery in Episode 1.
There is plenty of action, but not as many explosions and super big set-pieces like the end of Episode 1 with the whole death race and all. Still, there were plenty of jokes and pop-culture references. The writing was also pretty good and even the lines that seemed out of place, were quickly brought back to reality by the narrative as it turns out the out-of-character outbursts were caused by an interjection from your other playable character. It’s all a bit confusing, I know, but it works and it’s one of those things you have to experience to understand.
Tales From The Borderlands hasn’t yet done enough to show that it deserves to belong in the Pantheon of Telltale Games greats along with The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones (it’s looking pretty great), but it has the characters, the plot points, the art-style and the hilarity. If it really starts to pick up in Episode 3, the sky is the limit.
As second episodes go, it’s a strong one. Plenty of things happen, but nothing too meaningful as it continues to lay a foundation for what will likely become a pretty zany finale. Still, the jokes were funny and there were a few good action sequences. It definitely leaves us at a great cliffhanger for episode three. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait too long for that one.
Tales from the Borderlands: Episode 2
- Available On: PC, Mac, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Mobile
- Published By: 2K Games
- Developed By: Telltale Games
- Genre: Point and Click Adventure
- US Release Date: March 17th, 2015
- Reviewed On: PC
- Quote: "As second episodes go, it’s a strong one. Plenty of things happen, but nothing too meaningful as it continues to lay a foundation for what will likely become a pretty zany finale. Still, the jokes were funny and there were a few good action sequences."
- Continues to look good visually
- Funny and pretty action-filled
- It’s the second episodes, so nothing really happens