Telltale Games continues their foray into the Borderlands universe with the long awaited second episode of Tales from the Borderlands, and while it doesn’t feel like it is necessarily worth the over 3 month wait, it seems to be setting up major plot points to come, including the introduction of several key players.
Telltale wisely opens the episode with a “Previously on…” segment. After 3 months of having played two episodes of their Game of Thrones game, not to mention a ton of other games, my recollection of what had occurred in the prior episode was foggy at best. The opening segment does a decent job of reminding players of the broad strokes, but unfortunately skimps on certain smaller details that come up later.
Atlus Mugged begins with our characters fleeing the death race from the end of the previous episode. They’re in their caravan, which unsurprisingly attracts the attention of some of the local – and dangerous – wildlife. The four central characters are in search of a coveted Vault Key. I’ll stop there in order to keep much of the plot’s twists a secret.
The four central characters, 2 of which are controlled by the player, continue to become more interesting. Rhys and Fiona’s roles in the grander scheme of things becomes somewhat clearer, though there are still mysteries in that regard by the end of the episode. Sasha, Fiona’s sister, begins to take more of a backseat as the story largely grows to focus on the interactions between Rhys and Fiona. Meanwhile, Vaughn fares the worst. He’s quickly become the least interesting character, though there are a few good laughs at his expense.
Several new characters show up, including a couple from the core Borderlands games. Both of these characters – Scooter and a special guest, whom shall remain nameless – get a relatively significant amount of screen time, and garner more than a few laughs, which ultimately is Atlus Mugged’s greatest asset.
Tales from the Borderlands is proving to be Telltale’s funniest series post-The Walking Dead, maybe ever. And while it may never quite reach the emotional heights of The Walking Dead, it manages to maintain it’s own identity through it’s humor. It’s not without it’s moments of great character building, but until the end of this episode, I never really felt like my decisions would impact the characters that much. That’s fine, of course. Tales from the Borderlands is far more interested in allowing you to experience the story instead of affecting it than, say, The Walking Dead or The Wolf Among Us, and so far that story is turning out to be one of the studio’s finest.
The episode ultimately ends far too soon. As things really feel like they’re beginning to ramp up, Telltale pulls the plug on the episode. Hopefully we’re not left waiting another 3 months for the next episode (I doubt we will be) because the ending was quite suspenseful and hinted at a huge decision that might be pretty emotional.