New Tales From The Borderlands __LINK__
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new tales from the borderlands
LOU13 was my favorite, though. His deadpan humor and his journey to break free from the parameters of his assassination programming kept me smiling the entire way through. Each character shined in their own ways when isolated, but together, my favorite conversations in the whole game took place, letting each riff on the others in unique ways.
The narrator in New Tales from the Borderlands introduces the three main characters as idiots and doofuses and he's not wrong. Our trio of 'heroes' might be some of the most annoying protagonists I've ever played as, which is a credit to the writing team because that's exactly how they're supposed to be. You play as each character in rotation and will control various conversations in a group setting. An assassination bot, Lou13, is also present for the majority of the story but you don't get to play him, which is rather disappointing.
New Tales from the Borderlands shares a similar theme to the rest of the series: one mega corp is trying to take over the other, while searching for Vaults and the treasures that lay within. Eridium, easily the most sought-after commodity in Borderlands, can move over in New Tales: it's healing shard time. Only, there's an angry entity that lives in the shard who's been separated from their death-dealing cosmic twin. And did I mention that Tediore has managed to get their hands on it and that the seemingly sentient shard has possessed Anu and nobody knows what to do about it? Yikes.
At the end of each episode, you get a rating of how well each character is bonding with the other, and Lou13 will rate your team's morale on a scale of zero to skateboards. Why skateboards, you ask? No idea, it is never properly explained other than Lou13 tries quite hard to be rad but unfortunately got all of his cool guy chat from Octavio.
The Vaultlanders action figure minigame is excellent, however. Vaultlanders are action figures of characters from previous games, like Maya, Fl4k and Brick. Each has unique attack and defensive stats and an ultimate of sorts you can use mid-fight. Basically, it's Mortal Kombat but with plastic figures. You whack your action figure off your opponents, dodging attacks and then hitting them with crit attacks until you get a K.O. It's as stupid as it sounds and I love that you can get access matches at any time from the main menu.
New Tales from the Borderlands is a solid narrative adventure game, but it fails to live up to the standards set by the original. Even though it has great gameplay systems and presentation, the story's disjointed structure, lack of adequate character development, and spotty comedic writing left me feeling disappointed.
Even now, nearly a full decade later, 2014's Tales from the Borderlands stands tall as one of the best choice-based narrative adventure games released. Created by Telltale Games in collaboration with Gearbox Software, the title's immaculate character writing, hilarious comedy, and enthralling plot quickly made it a fan-favorite experience from its debut. Today, the spinoff is widely considered to be a beloved classic, with Gearbox including some of its characters across mainline Borderlands games.
But does Gearbox truly have what it takes to create a worthy successor to Tales from the Borderlands, which ended up becoming one of the best Xbox games of all time? Unfortunately, after playing it through for review, I'm left feeling dissatisfied. While the developer made a valiant effort to replicate the magic of the original, complete with a great story foundation, solid gameplay, and top-notch production value, numerous significant issues with the game's writing ultimately hold it back from greatness.
Disclaimer: This review does not contain direct plot spoilers for the story of New Tales from the Borderlands beyond what's referenced in official marketing materials. Characters and character themes are briefly discussed, however.
The rest of the game's humor is better, though it's still hit-or-miss overall. While I'd rank it well above the abysmal comedy of Borderlands 3, it's not on the same level as Borderlands 2, the recent Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, or the original Tales from the Borderlands. Those games had me chuckling every five minutes with how creative and clever their jokes were, and while New Tales from the Borderlands has some of that magic, there's also a fair amount of awkward gags and eye roll-inducing "lol so random" comedy, too.
Writing and character development is crucial for games like these, but that's exactly where New Tales from the Borderlands falls short. There was amazing potential for a fantastic story here, but because of all the aforementioned issues with the script, the narrative is frustratingly average. It's not bad, but compared to the original Tales from the Borderlands, it leaves a lot to be desired.
New Tales from the Borderlands plays extremely similar to the first game, with most of the gameplay revolving around making dialogue choices that often have a significant impact on the story. Sprinkled between these choices are various puzzles and minigames that players have to finish in order to progress, typically walking around and examining an environment, scanning objects for helpful information, and hacking electronics. In action scenes, players will also be tasked with completing input-based quick-time events to perform actions, evade danger, and more.
Audio-wise, the game has great voice acting across the board that enhances the best parts of the narrative and makes its worst moments more tolerable. The score is quite good, too, though it's not quite as memorable as the soundtrack from the 2014 original.
In terms of performance, New Tales from the Borderlands ran perfectly fine on my PC with no frame drops, stutters, or screen tearing to speak of. As always, your mileage may very depending on your specs and platform (my PC is equipped with a i5-12600K, an RTX 3070, and 32GB of RAM), but in my experience there were no performance issues.
I'm happy to report that New Tales from the Borderlands is quite accessible and approachable overall, as many valuable and important settings are available to tweak and toggle. Players have the option to customize the language, size, and background of their subtitles extensively, and can fully remap their keyboard and mouse controls, too. Numerous assist options have been included as well, including settings that give you the ability to adjust the difficulty of quick time events, change the inputs needed to complete them, remove their timers, and disable them entirely. You can also remove timers from dialogue choices, make interaction menus open automatically, and give interactable objects and characters a high contrast outline.
While there's certainly a lot to like about New Tales from the Borderlands, I'm ultimately left feeling incredibly frustrated by its narrative shortcomings. Even though the story does have an excellent foundation and several great high points, its pacing issues, lack of focus, and sporadic character development all weigh it down. The potential here was huge, but only a fraction of it was reached.
The presentation is awesome and L0U13 is possibly my second favorite Borderlands character after Gaige, and I'm happy to see the introduction of several options for accessibility and approachability, too. At the end of the day, though, New Tales from the Borderlands awkwardly missteps where it needed to confidently stride. And because of that, it's difficult to recommend, especially for fans expecting something as exceptional as Telltale's original. Unless you're a diehard Borderlands fan, I'd wait for a sale.
New Tales from the Borderlands launches on October 21, 2022 on Xbox Series XS, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store. It costs $40 and is available to purchase now.
As Susan Coldwell gives her big victory speech to an audience of Borderlands CEOs, players see characters closely associated with various brands, with all but one being easily identifiable. While the aptly named Mr. Torgue is a good stand-in for his explosives-obsessed manufacturer, and Katagawa Sr. running Maliwan is a no-brainer, Athena is also one of the people on the video call. This has left New Tales from the Borderlands fans scratching their heads, as they had no idea Athena was an owner of a large company. Though Gearbox will likely reveal which company she has gotten her hands on down the road, it is fun to speculate right now about the brand she has picked up.
As before, you play multiple characters, switching control between them as they do different things in the story: anxious pacifist scientist Anu, her (heavy air-quotes) street-smart adoptive brother Octavio, and bloodthirsty fro-yo shop owner Fran. They are also accompanied by a robot called LOU13, pronounced Louis. For reasons I won't go into, the unlikely trio team up to steal a healing crystal from a vault, try to monetise their discovery, and eventually save the world from both the bloodthirsty head of the Tediore megacorp, and a strange entity living inside the crystal.
Things about New Tales From The Borderlands I did not likeRhys from the original Tales is in it, after he was brought back for Borderlands 3, and I know it's not the New Tales devs' fault, but the whole thing is very "Look how they massacred my boy!" for me
If there are multiple instances where characters say something like "oof, capitalism, am I right?", that is an indication that you have not created an effective or insightful critique of capitalism
Octavio's introduction has a run of jokes that made me instantly hate him, including telling a late middle-aged woman that her new cybernetic leg is "fire!" and then she lifts it up and it's also a flamethrower, omg, lol
There are multiple instances where a joke starts and then they sort of... loop back and do the joke again, in the middle of still doing the joke the first time? Like, it's hard to explain. There's a bit where Octavio is in jail and Brock the shouty gun is yelling at him to be less depressed because it's not as fun torturing him, and Brock and the guards keep stating that at different points during the bit, but Brock also gets mad when the guard gives Octavio a scented candle to cheer him up
IDK, just, sometimes it's like some of the people involved had no experience of jokes, yet had to write some after the concept of jokes was explained to them. Possibly by Randy Pitchford
Similarly, it is often clear that a joke was conceived without real reference to the people in the scene or their characterisation, meaning e.g. Anu will routinely become extremely stupid for about 30 seconds to facilitate a humourous and/or literal misunderstanding (the misunderstanding will not be humourous)
LOU13 is simultaneously a super advanced assassin bot who is capable of monitoring the player characters' relationships through details as small as facial expressions - to the extent he grades those relationships with a score - and, fucking, Drax from Guardians Of The Galaxy
This character is in the opening, is involved in a situation that you think is going to become a recurring mechanic but does not, and then basically disappearsMultiple characters do not get a resolution, including the recurring Vaultlanders fan that I actually liked
The most interesting things in this game happen off screen, in a way that whispers of not being allowed time or budget. Fran fights a bunch of sharks and you don't get to see it.
Even so, New Tales From The Borderlands can think of fuck all for you to do as a player. I had to do a QTE to bang helplessly on the bars of a cage. At least once I got bored enough and automatically tried to skip forward on a video progress bar that didn't exist.
The main MacGuffin is a crystal that instantly heals, rendering the bit where a fatally wounded character does the "go without me, there's no time" sacrifice almost insultingly stupid
A main character died at the end of mine, off screen, and I have no idea what I could have done differently or which factors played into that
Also a bunch of times if I failed a QTE it resulted in success anyway, or instant death and reload - rather than like, consequence to deal with, which I thought was the whole point of this kind of game?
At one point LOU13 asks another character "Are you playing one of those insipid interactive narrative video games?"
It doesn't even do the cool music video bits at the start of chapters properly! That's like the best bit of actual Borderlands! How do you mess that up?!