Tales From The Borderlands Episode 4
The fantastic momentum that Telltale has built throughout the first three acts of Tales from the Borderlands grinds to a halt in Escape Plan Bravo. While I still adore this world and its fantastic characters, Episode 4 doesn’t capture the same intriguing story progression and amazing character development of its predecessors.
Picking up right after the Empire Strikes Back-ey ending of Episode 3, Escape Plan Bravo has Rhys, Fiona, and company attempting to infiltrate Hyperion’s headquarters in a good old fashion heist. While all of this sounds fantastic on paper, the entire episode feels either painfully plodding, or noticeably rushed. At just under 90 minutes, it doesn’t spend its short length wisely. Most of the scenes don’t really add anything to the overarching story, and honestly feel unnecessary. I don’t feel like I know any more about the story’s mysteries than I did at the end of Episode 3.
Characters like Gortys and Athena who really shined in part 3 either take a back seat, or simply aren’t present at all. While Rhys and Fiona are still at the forefront of the action, they aren’t really paired up with anyone interesting, which keeps their character development to a minimum. In the past, I was able to learn a lot about Rhys and really help inform who his character is based on how I chose to interact with Sasha on their quasi-date back in Episode 3. Sadly, this level of agency and player decision is notably absent in Escape Plan Bravo. This chapter seems to have fewer meaningful decisions than any recent Telltale game, which is definitely a disappointment.
On top of all of this, even the most emotional moment of the episode feels like it comes out of nowhere– what should’ve been a heart-breaking farewell just came across as a cobbled together series of events with a sad ending. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely teared up a bit. But the moment came out of the blue, and the episode didn’t take the time to really let it sink in before shipping us off to the next scene. That said, it still hit hard with an event that legitimately changes the Borderlands universe as we know it.
Escape Plan Bravo certainly isn’t without its high points. Controlling Rhys during an imaginary shoot-out against an army of accountants is hilarious, and provides the most entertaining action scene the series has seen so far. There are also a handful of really great little moments between Rhys and Handsome Jack that actually humanize the usually-monstrous hologram. And of course, the script is still peppered with genuinely funny lines of dialogue read by the fantastic cast, so even when a scene lacked importance, it still left me laughing.
Minimum RequirementOperating System: Windows XP Service Pack 3 Processor: Core 2 Duo 2GHz or equivalent Memory: 3 GB RAM Graphics: ATI or NVIDIA card w/512 MB RAM DirectX: Version 9.0c Hard Drive: 3 GB available space Sound Card: Direct X 9.0c sound device Additional Notes:
Recommended RequirementOperating System: Windows 7 32 bit Processor: Core 2 Duo 2GHz or equivalent Memory: 4 GB RAM Graphics: ATI or NVIDIA card w/1 GB VRAM DirectX: Version 9.0c Hard Drive: 3 GB available space Sound Card: Direct X 9.0c sound device Additional Notes: