Lots of games are great without having story as their main prerogative and can simply rely on great gamplay; Borderlands is one such game series. Thus making last years announcement from Telltale that they would be making a five part series in the universe all that much stranger.
I played platinumed the original Borderlands. I loved that and was ready for the sequel but when it arrived it sat unwrapped on my shelf and still is. Not for loss of interest but I was pre-occupied with other games, mainly Tomb Raider at the time I think. So as someone who has read how much more stronger the story and characters were in Borderlands 2 and the connections of that games villain to Tales From The Borderlands, is it understandable? Can you play it if your in similar situation to me? You sure can, because I did and although I undeniably must have missed some in-jokes or references I still had a blast.
If you've played any of the Borderlands you know it's all about shooting, looting, oh and shooting. But forget that. Telltale sticks to what they do best and don't try to integrate to much new into their formula. However the two leads- Rhys and Fiona- are fantastic and could end up being up there with Clementine as some of Telltales best characters.
Episode One: Zer0 opens with one of the leads Rhys in a bit of a predicament and he begins retelling the events of what could be a 24 hour period to a week or more. Rhys works at Hyperion which is a big bad company of some sort, apparently. Well according to anyone actually on the planet Pandora it is anyway. If I had played Borderlands 2 I'm sure this all would have made more sense but as it is, the concept of an evil corporation that the little guys despise isn't that had of a concept to get your head around.
The best thing with Rhys and eventually Fiona is that you really get to mold them in a way you feel fit. Straight up a-hole, sure. More of a clumsy idiot, sure that could be your Rhys. You can be either or somewhere in the middle if you like.
Once Tales From The Borderlands gets into gear it really doesn't stop. It's the fast paced crazy Pandora you all know and remember with crazy and colourful characters. I know I wouldn't want to meet some of these guys in a dark alley and Rhys arrival on Pandora is met with you needing to find directions, to which I was willing to try anything but talking to anyone (unfortunately you kinda have to.)
Later in the episode you get control of Fiona but I won't say under what circumstances for fear of ruining a cool story ploy.
Where Rhys has the ability to scan objects in the environment which can lead to some hilarity, Fiona has money. She can collect money in some places and spend it at certain opportunity's. None of it made much sense to me however. There was a chance to bribe someone shortly after gaining control of Fiona but I didn't have anywhere near the cash needed to pull it off. I'm not sure how/if I could have missed money and later in the game you also get to purchase one of three masks, it's not much of an incentive to search out for any money. None of this matter much though because I also had my cash glitch out and I lost a few dollars moving from one scene to another.
I legitimately laughed out loud at least a few times in this 2-3 hour non-stop spectacular start to this new series from Telltale. Grab your season pass folks this is kicking of to be one hell of a ride.
+ Great Characters
+ 100% Crazy/Stupid Borderlands Moments
+ Legitimately Funny
- Cash Control