Title: Tales from the Borderlands Episode Two – Atlas Mugged
Platform: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 (reviewed on Xbox One)
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Price: $4.99/4.99 Euro
Release Date: Out Now
Tagline: Decisions, Humor and Skags – Just another day in Pandora
Family Friendly: Click here to read more
Verdict: Buy It Already
Telltale Games really put together a solid first showing with the first episode for Tales of the Borderlands, so I was very interested to see how the second episode would fare when it was released. With the last few releases, Telltale has had a poor track record for a second episode as of late, so could Telltale break the second episode jinx or would the second episode of Tales of the Borderlands fall flat under the weight of anticipation? Thankfully, it is far more of the first and only a small amount of the second.
Atlas Mugged picks up right where the crew left off with the first episode and the great thing here is that episode two keeps up the action and intensity very quickly with a fair amount of action and humor mixed together in a way that the Borderlands universe is known for so well. Think Rakk Hive, a car chase and humorous Chris Hardwick quips all mixed together in a perfect mix like a perfectly cooked breakfast plate. The story beats keep you engaged with the concepts presented in the first episode and the dialog is well written. Did we mention that it is still quite funny? Well, it is and that seems to be the main theme for Tales of the Borderlands series and episode two keeps it going nicely.
Core to the Telltale formula, and still here, are the decisions that you make to create your own telling of the Tales from the Borderlands experience. Picking from choices allows you to make to create your own telling of the Tales from the Borderlands experience. Rhys and Fiona still have their own general look at how the story should take place, but with each of those narratives, you do have your option of choice. Most of the choices seem to make logical sense, and none ever seem like they are out of bounds choices for you character. Rhys is still your arrogant prick that tries to do the right thing as long as it helps him move up the ladder while Fiona seems to be the one that acts as a moral compass and the voice of reason.
In between all the dialog choices and story beats, Telltale has found a way to bring back something that has been missing from their adventure games and that would be the addition of puzzles. Okay, so one or two very minor puzzles, but it made for a nice change of pace from making another decision simulator where you feel like you are more passenger rather than active participant. Action sequences are also here and change up the moment to moment gameplay and give a good sense of the frantic gameplay that normally comes in a Borderlands proper title.
Tales from the Borderlands Episode Two – Atlas Mugged is not a perfect experience, with some of the weird glitchiness and stuttering that has plagued all of the recent Telltale games built in this current engine. Platform does not seem to matter either as it seems to affect all different consoles and PC devices as well. Telltale has been given a lot of slack due to the well-developed stories and decisions in their games, but at some point, they need to fix their engine before the performance issues really do start to overshadow the story.
Even with those technical issues in hand, Tales from the Borderlands Episode Two is a fun and enjoyable experience that keeps the story going and leaves you once again on a nice cliffhanger that whets your appetite just enough for Episode Three. It is not perfect, but it hits pretty close with great humor, choices and actions that fit the Borderlands motif.
- Filled with lots of humor
- The decisions work well and flow with the design of the story
- Action sequences mix in a bit of the core Borderlands experience
- Weird graphical glitches
- Same technical issues with the game engine that happens with all Telltale games
While the game does give the appearance to seem like a light-hearted animated comedy, it shortly moves past this with a fair amount of violence, language and more violence. Keep this one in the hands of those 16 and up just to be on the safe side.
This review was done using code purchased by the reviewer.