We are back on the lovely planet of Pandora for the second episode of Tales From The Borderlands with “Atlas Mugged”. After a highly successful launch for this Telltale Games series that left a smile on most faces of those whom played it, myself included, how can they continue this momentum forward into the latest episode? Whatever happens, the excitement is strong for this one and it’s been a long wait, so let’s get down to business.
As always I’ll remind you that nothing from episode one will be considered as needing spoiler alert so read at your own peril if you haven’t yet played that.
The player was left with a few unanswered questions, the main one being something along the lines of “What the hell?! Isn’t Handsome Jack dead??” and so this episode aims to further that story arc a bit, amongst others. Once again we experience the goings on as memory recollections from Rhys and Fiona, who are being held captive by a mysterious fellow that wants to know more about their journey, just like we do! Even during these parts, it’s great how these two characters bounce off each other as they argue and contradict the stories they tell.
Anyway, this time around I felt there were slightly less action packed moments that got the player involved. What we did get though definitely delivered, especially when one part incorporates a larger than life monster to ramp things up a notch. They may have been shorter sequences than previously seen but certainly covered all manner of quick time reaction testing in order to avoid attacks, change paths and even ploughing bullets into living creatures. It would’ve been difficult to outdo the death race with Bossanova and Zer0 from episode one and indeed for now that is still the best QTE orientated chapter so far.
There are new characters to meet including some whom anyone that has played the Borderlands main series will recognise. I don’t want to spoil any of them but I have to give a nod to good ol’ Scooter, the mechanic, because he brings a certain naivety to proceedings that lights up the scenes he’s in, especially with that darn southern accent that I can still hear in my head now. Some of the characters you won’t know but may figure again in future episodes, just like we get more of Episode One’s Hugo Vasquez this time.
As for the dialogue, well apart from a couple of pretty bland choices for Rhys and Fiona for what to say to others, it hit its mark once more. During the parts where there’s more conversation going on than anything else I was suitably entertained and having Handsome Jack interjecting with comedic timing made it a real hoot. It made me think that if they ever made an animated series revolving around the wacky goings on I’d watch it in a heartbeat as long as the scripts were as good as they are here.
Although it doesn’t live up to the opener in some of the more epic scenes it really does well at bringing every kind of action possible into the fray, even Rhys’ ECHO eye is utilised properly during exploration and tricky situations. Story-wise it asks more questions but also gives a few answers in regards to what has already happened. I’m becoming attached to the main characters and their sidekicks so it’s a job well done. The only thing that irritated my picky side was lack of continuity, really small things like Fiona’s hat goes missing in a way that it can’t possibly be retrieved and all of a sudden it’s back next time we see her.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder and that was surely the case this time around with “Atlas Mugged”, it wasn’t better but easily reinforced my need for more. If you could only play one Telltale series it HAS to be this one.