The lights are on
Today at E3, we were treated to Telltale's next storytelling
adventure, Tales from the Borderlands.
Tales of the Borderlands features two different characters
with completely different perspectives and personalities. Let's just say, they
hate each other and their conversations often end in arguments. You'll swap between
both characters during the adventure and role-play them via the dialogue
options. The game takes place after Borderlands 2. Our demo focused on Rhys, a Hyperion worker, looking to make his mark
now that Handsome Jack is no longer around. He was hoping to take over his
position, but an arrogant tool named Vasquez, who the game notes
obviously didn't get enough attention in high school, is now in charge. Vasquez, voiced marvelously by Patrick Warburton, tells Rhys how it
was destiny he got the job over him. "Bad things can happen when you swim
against fate," he warns Rhys.
Vasquez then receives a strange call that makes him cagey.
He immediately takes it off speaker phone, raising Rhys' suspicions. This is where Rhys' hacking skills come in
handy. While Vasquez is busy with the call, he uses his cybernetic eye to decrypt
information on Vasquez's computer. He finds out Vasquez is after a vault key and discovers its location. Rhys leaves the office feeling like he's got one over on
his jerk boss. He quickly runs into his friends and coworkers: a nerdy accountant Vaughn and the calculated
Yvette. They both agree to help him steal Vasquez's vault key, even if it means
tampering with company funds to finance it.
Rhys and Vaughn hit the road, while Yvette stays at Hyperion
to keep an eye on things. Dropping Rhys and Vaughn's car from the sky, gives us
our first look at Pandora. Telltale does a good job at recreating the wild,
desolate world. A dead bandit hangs from a signpost with his head in a noose and
everybody has a watchful eye, yearning for more loot and forcefully trying to
obtain it. Rhys and Vaughn hit a skag with their car and immediately freak out.
This is a throwback to the video games; as many fans know, running over everything
in sight with your vehicle is part of the fun... except we rarely think anything of it, so it
was nice to see Rhys and Vaughn react to killing something. The two definitely have a "we're not from around
here" vibe. They decide to stop at Prosperity Junction to ask for help. Here
Telltale shows off how you can survey the area and search for green lockers to collect loot. Cash will be useful in Tales from the Borderlands, but sometimes greed can get you into trouble. As Telltale notes, somebody may be
watching you, or it could be a trap, so it's up to you to decide what's worth
the risk. Money can also get you out of situations, so it's good to have some on hand.
It's not long before Rhys and Vaughn get into their first
altercation. They find a man that they call "Grease Face," and ask for
directions to The World of Curiosity. Grease Face spots Vaughn's briefcase and
immediately tries to get his hands on it. As Grease Face points out, Hyperion ruined his town, so why should he be nice
to them? He has plenty of backup to outnumber the pair, surrounding them completely. Rhys can equip various weapons like a machine gun, rocket launcher, and riot shield; he can even deploy a bot. The battle plays out with controls
Telltale fans should be familiar with — clicking the stick in the correct
direction to dodge attacks and pressing the correct button during a QTE to hit
enemies. Rhys commands his bot during the fight, which also has QTE sequences. To use the rocket launcher, it's up to you to select all the enemies you
want to fire at. Rhys can then decide if he wants the bot to self-destruct
or evacuate after it takes a lot of damage. For this match, Rhys decides to sacrifice
him. Telltale said it's striving to put more decisions in the action moments like this one.
When Rhys and Vaughn finally get out of the tough fight
alive, they head for the World of Curiosity. Here, they finally confront August, voiced by Nolan North, who owns the vault key. During the exchange, dialogue options
present themselves, like if you
want to see the vault key, or show him the money first. August's girlfriend
starts to sense something fishy though, and calls off the deal. This leads to
Rhys having to persuade August to give him the vault key. We see him perform this violent and badass
move... but then the story segment gets interrupted. Fiona, the other playable
character, says that's not what happened and there's more to the story. As she tells it, Borderlands 2's Zer0 comes on screen, but the demo ends before we can find out Fiona's side or Zer0's role in the story.
So far it looks like Telltale has the Borderlands world
down. We'd like to see a bit more of the trademark humor shine through, along
with more varied combat that doesn't revolve around just QTEs. The shifting
perspectives are something different for Telltale, so it'll be interesting to
see how each character measures up against the other. Right now, we're still
waiting to see if Fiona can top Rhys. I'll be honest - Rhys got a little too
big for his britches for my taste.
Email the author Kimberley Wallace, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
No one has commented on this article.