Tales from the Borderland


Genre:       Adventure           

Developer & Publisher:     Telltale Games           

Released:    November 2014 to October 2015            

Requirements (minimum):

    • OS: Windows XP Service Pack 3
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo 2GHz or equivalent
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI or NVIDIA card w/512 MB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Direct X 9.0c sound device
    • Additional Notes: Not Recommended for Intel integrated graphics




By flotsam


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 finish.

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 ways.

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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November 2015

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