So, it was a long old wait for a new chapter in the Tales From The Borderlands episodic adventure, was it worth holding out for? This third episode, “Catch a Ride”, has a large weight on its shoulders to carry on delivering excellence like the previous episodes have done. Could this halfway point episode force your hand into buying that Season Pass for all five?
I’ll be frank here, if you had any inkling to buy this Borderlands series from Telltale Games and you’ve read our other reviews for episodes gone by, yet still aren’t sure, then I have no idea what more I could say to convince you to take the plunge. Hopefully this could be the one to sway you one way or the other.
Rhys, Fiona and their band of man, woman and robot are back right where we left off in “Atlas Mugged”. Remember that decision which needed to be made at the end? Whether to trust a con artist or a psychopathic killer to get you and your crew out of a sticky situation, brought about by the discovery of the Gortys Project. Out of curiosity, and a bit of scepticism, I wanted to see if it really mattered whom I chose. Well, depending on your choice it could lead to two support characters either having more of a role in proceedings or in the other case, one was never even introduced. I don’t often say this but when you’re done with the series, go back through to try alternative decisions and conversational topics; there are some cool segments that shouldn’t be missed.
Anyway, did I ever mention how good Telltale has been at the episode openers so far? I should have, because once again there was no let up from the minute the story begun, with an action sequence that had a couple of mood lifting moments amongst the slaughtering. If there was a way to immediately get the adrenaline pumping, creating excitement for the tale that follows, this was it. And this wasn’t the only time that I ended up doing a spot of fighting, in fact I’d go as far as saying this is the most action packed episode I’ve seen.
As for the characters, it’s fair to point out that compared to those found in Telltale’s other games, they are pretty jovial. You are guaranteed a laugh or two during every confrontation or in the midst of a conversation, mainly due to the immaturity and awkwardness of Rhys. There was something more in “Catch a Ride” though; the relationships between the team members are beginning to blossom and at times things even felt a little more serious as to the peril that they are in. Maybe even a bit of romance… really cringey romance.
Fans of the actual Borderlands games by 2K will be pleased to see more familiar faces throughout this episode. Surprisingly, out of the newcomers to this series there was only one that stood out and it wasn’t anyone I’d seen before. I won’t even slightly spoil who it is, but this bundle of joy proves to be the happiest thing ever and makes you smile at its naivety.
Although you are still on Pandora, the journey across it takes us to an incredible, manufactured, environment that looks beautiful and colourful. Just when I thought I’d discovered everything the planet has to offer, this place just blew my mind. Who knows, there may even be a time where a new destination is needed to be visited, off Pandora, but for now it’s throwing up some great places to see.
I laughed, I cried (from laughter mostly) and even found Catch a Ride to have its cute moments. On the flipside there are some clever QTE action sequences that upped the tempo and there was actually a puzzle of sorts to solve. The characters, old and new, were great at conveying varied emotion and I’m desperate to find out the identity of the man in the mask who wants to know the ins and outs of Rhys and Fiona’s story.
Tales From The Borderlands Episode 3: Catch a Ride appears to top the previous two episodes and is only marred by the classic Telltale Games stuttering during the QTEs which, sadly, we’ve come to expect now. This is such an awesome series that I’m not sure you should wait until all five are released because that’ll be around six months from now, you deserve to experience this… now!