Tales From The
Borderlands: Episode 1 – Zer0 Sum
First released a year ago and
winding up just now, I get the pleasure of playing straight through
without having to wait for new episodes to release. Given the strong
narrative lines in most of these Telltale outings, it remains the best
way, so long as you can wait till the end!
I didn’t play the Borderlands
shoot-em-ups but on the strength of this I certainly intend to. If they
have anywhere near the appeal, they will be worth it.
I expect some familiarity with
the Borderlands world will help, but like The Wolf Among Us, I didn’t
feel hampered or confused by not having an understanding of what had
come before. The two main characters – Rhys and Fiona – do a fine job of
setting up, and drawing us into, the world of heists and double-crosses
and bandits run amok. It was a blast, literally at times, from start to
Humour can be hard – your loud
guffaw is my cringe in embarrassment – but Zer0 Sum does a good job of
walking the sassy fine line. Fine character acting helps, as does good
dialogue, and it’s here in spades. The Bot was a highpoint in so many
We have forsaken the big gun for
the Telltale choice tree (actually there are still guns), and as always,
it will affect how the game unfolds. It’s an emerging thing, so I will
see how it develops.
The storyline focuses on a
particular event from the different perspective of the two main
characters. The seemingly lawless planet of Pandora is where many a
nefarious deal goes down, and both Rhys and Fiona are separately
involved in one of significant magnitude. Each have their own reason for
being involved, but both end up in the same uncomfortable space. Seeing
the event from two different perspectives not only gets double your
money for the makers, but provides a whole different set of assumptions
and perceptions as the player.
I have to confess that alongside
the story telling, the action sequences and gaming aspects seemed almost
second rate. The latter felt it was there because it had to be (although
Rhys’ capacity to scan items with his implant provided a good deal of
interesting information) and the former felt a little perfunctory. I
didn’t feel invested in the fight, rather just a facilitator. Perhaps
that will change as we move on.
Nevertheless, I was rather enthralled by Episode 1. Good thing Episode 2
is ready and waiting.
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