The Gist of Tales From The Borderlands
There’s these tales, right, from the Borderlands, you get me?
This week, I have brought you another game review in the form of a Gist comic!
Now, TFTB was bloody hard to review, because there was very little to nitpick. This is one of my all time favourite games and a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
What we have here is a perfect synergy; one game franchise meeting another and simply being made for each other. I’m a fan of Borderlands, but what always got me hooked (especially in the second, though I admittedly left it until very recently to play) was the story, more than the gameplay. Story is a strong term, perhaps, for a game where you splat things with silly guns, but let’s say ‘character’. By that, I mean I love the character of the world, the character of the setting, the character of the dialogue and the character of the… characters.
So, yeah. Borderlands is remarkably well written, as a comedy offering. It’s stuffed with in-jokes and fourth wall mauling references, which may not be always on the mark but are always pretty witty. The villain, Handsome Jack, is one of the best of recent years; you really love to hate him.
Blah, blah, gush, gush. The point is, Borderlands is a daft shooty cartoon game with a solid core of smart, amusing writing. Strip out much of the action (though this game has some of the best action of the Telltale games) and cram all that into a story-driven adventure game, and you’re golden!
Writers of comedy, game writers and general comedy fans should check this game out. You get unreliable narrators (wait! that’s not how it happened!) and bizarre points of view and some really shocking moments. Like all the best comedy, it packs a punch of tragedy when it needs to.
Your decisions often last a long time in this game. The mechanics have been smoothed out a great deal since the first episodes of The Walking Dead, too. I really enjoyed just sitting back on the sofa with this one; I could merrily have put down the controller and watched it like a movie, except of course that a lot of the humour is based on gameplay elements (some jokes even rely on you having subtitles enabled- Rhys vs Reece, for example). Graphically, it’s very nice, perfectly good enough for what it needs and artistically faithful to the Borderlands FPS, down to the fonts and menus.
The characters grow and learn, the plot twists and turns, events of staggering size occur and exceedingly personal moments happen. Enough now; go and play. And read the Gist above.