Tales From The Borderlands Episode 2: Atlas Mugged

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Look, it's really difficult to write episode reviews without giving away too much of the story. I'll do my best to be vague here, but it's up to you all to play the game. Telltale has seldom let me down, and the second episode of Tales From the Borderlands really delivers. Everything that I thought might have been missing from the first episode has been filled out really well this time around.

My biggest issue with the first episode was the pacing of the story. It sagged here and there and generally felt uneven. Sure, the gags were great, and when the action was up things hummed along nicely. The way the dialogue and story progressed without an immediate threat fell flat or dragged in a few places. This is a tough balance to strike especially when you're making an adventure game out of one of the most chaotic and fast-paced shooters out there.

Right off the bat, 'Atlas Mugged' keeps a steady stream of great bits and clever dialogue. The framed narrative has always been a weakness of mine (it's one of the things that kept me playing Dragon Age II) and the back and forth between Rhys' and Fiona's story of the same events is played up hilariously.

There are more surprises and cameos this time around. If you haven't played the Pre-Sequel or are at least acquainted with some of its characters, you may lose the significance of a couple moments in the middle of the episode, but these are more tertiary plots; not really important to understanding the story in play.

Like I said at the outset; it is really hard to write these without giving the story away. Telltale's games are best experienced without knowing too much. Adventure games rely on surprising the player. I won't give spoilers in these reviews when possible, though I fear that may become more difficult. If you enjoyed any of the Borderlands games, this is a great addition to the franchise. If you've never heard of/played Borderlands but love witty adventure games, Tales is a perfect introduction to the Borderlands universe.  Episode 2 is available now for PC and Mac, and Wednesday, March 18th for consoles.