Hot on the heels of the greatest episode so far, Tales From The Borderlands returns to bring us the penultimate episode of the series. Telltale Games have a lot to do for ‘Escape Plan Bravo’ to keep up the high standards set in previous episodes but if they can do so, well, this series could surpass the likes of The Walking Dead which garnered global acclaim, albeit by using a completely different tone for the setting of course.
I feel like a broken record here but please remember I will assume you’ve played the episodes gone by so I won’t be afraid to hark back to what’s happened already.
We left Rhys and Fiona’s tale at a very tricky moment where the odds were stacked heavily in the favour of the villainous Vallory (whom I despise, so that’s a job well done) and her goons. Now she’s in control and it’s time for a mission to retrieve the next upgrade for Gortys. The only slight problem is it being located on the Hyperion base, Helios, where our heroes won’t exactly be welcome given all that has transpired. Oh and they’ll need to travel through space to get there!
The madness that ensues across ‘Escape Plan Bravo’ after the rag tag bunch is assembled to succeed, comprising of our guys and gals plus a couple of goons along for the ride, is better than anything we’ve already experienced. Borderlands may have claimed the rights to be a wacky old affair but this time it got me all emotional. Proving there is plenty of emotive storytelling up the writers’ sleeves, they just had to give us one of the most difficult decisions of the series so far; although I’m not sure whether anything could’ve actually been done to change the rather sad outcome.
It didn’t let you fester in the doom and gloom for long though, in fact the next scene it was business as usual in providing a good amount of humour. That’s one thing you can always guarantee in this crazy world, you are going to laugh a fair bit. There were plenty of funny moments present but only one segment of the story stood out to claim the major highlight and it was all in mime. It was an epic moment that deserved the price tag on its own with QTE’s included to bring the player into the action.
When it comes down to character development, by now you’d expect to know all there is to know about Rhys, Fiona and the gang. It’s pretty subtle but there are still layers to be seen, even Handsome Jack shows a small ounce of decency at times; this ruthless, bloodthirsty dictator in hologram form, does indeed have a soft side. A special mention has to be given to the cutest little robot, Gortys, whom pops up at all the right times with its innocent charm. They could easily do a spin-off episode with just Gortys and the Loader Bot exploring the world… in fact, it’d be a crime not to!
There aren’t any puzzles to solve in episode four but interactivity using QTE’s and engaging Rhys’ eye scanner to decipher which Psycho bandit has something you need ensures that this isn’t just an animated episode of a TV show. I’ll be honest, it doesn’t detract from the enjoyment whatsoever having nothing tricky to solve and in a way I’m glad I can chill out without worrying about overworking my brain at any point.
The script, voice acting and pacing of the ‘Escape Plan Bravo’ episode is totally on point; I’d be hard pushed to think of an episode in any other series similar that can top it. Tales From The Borderlands goes outside the box and beyond with its zany characters, intriguing objects and really well designed locations. You really mustn’t miss out on this one of a kind series and a fantastic tale that brings laughter galore.
I’m now overly excited for an interesting finale whilst also feeling gutted that it’s all nearly over.
As for Episode 4 – ‘Escape Plan Bravo’ – Best. Episode. Ever.