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Nintendo Switch Game Review

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Tales from the Borderlands


Format: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: 2K
Developers: Telltale Games and Virtuos
RRP: £19.99
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Age Restrictions: 18+
Release Date: 24 March 2021

Borderlands, from Gearbox Software, has been around for the last twelve years or so. The original series is a first-person, role-playing shooter, which has spawned a few sequels, including, Telltale Games's Tales from the Borderlands.

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Tales from the Borderlands is an episodic interactive title.

Tales from the Borderlands is different to the main series as it was created as an episodic interactive title, like their studio's The Walking Dead and Batman games. Tales from the Borderlands's setting follows on from Borderlands 2.

The games are notable for their distinctive graphical choices, choices that work well on the Switch. Before playing there are a few tweaks you can make to the volume, music, brightness and subtitle settings. You can also invert the Y-axis and change the display style. But to be honest, you do not need to change anything unless the music annoys you.

Gameplay consists of QuickTime events, conversation alternatives and exploration. While the gameplay may seem limited, anyone who has played any previous Telltale games will be in familiar territory. For the most part, you are watching the story unfold, only occasionally intervening, though your choices do influence the flow of the story. Some of your choices will come thick and fast, especially in the action sequences. These take not an inconsiderable amount of concentration to keep up with the various actions you need to undertake.

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Rhys is ill-equipped to become a vault hunter.

The game works well, considering it has removed all the loot hunting and gun collecting. You play Rhys, a middle-management type at Hyperion. Rather than playing a dynamic vault hunter, Rhys is so unimportant that he does not get the promotion he was promised. So, he cooks up a plan to get back at his new boss.

Unfortunately, Rhys is ill-equipped to become a vault hunter and quickly meets a couple of con artist sisters. The inclusion of Fiona lets the gameplay be viewed from both Rhys and Fiona’s perspective. Playing as multiple characters was a first for Telltale, which would normally restrict you to one character perspective. Most of the story happens on Pandora, a planet from the original game. All the visual elements of a Borderlands game are here, beautifully recreated by Telltale.

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It maintains the level of wackiness expected of a Borderlands game.

The greatest strength of the game is the script. Borderlands has always been full of pithy one-liners, but Tales from the Borderlands is probably funnier and more sarcastic than its bigger cousins, it maintains the level of wackiness expected of a Borderlands game. Add to that some great voice acting and you have an experience that is worth every penny. The world-building is impressive, and time has been taken to make, not only the major characters interesting but also many of the minor ones.

Although there are nods to the main series, which fans will pick up on, you do not have to have played them. The story stands up well on its own and as a single entity provides an entertaining and satisfying game experience.


Charles Packer

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£25 Nintendo eShop Card