Tales from the Borderlands (Episode 4) – In space, no one can hear you groan

Now nearing the closing stretch of Tales from the Borderlands, the second last episode “Escape Plan Bravo” goes all Ocean’s Eleven when the team comes up with an oddball plan to secure the last piece of the Gortys Project.

A familiar position for Rhys and Vaughan

A familiar position for Rhys and Vaughan

This early part really reminded me that the best aspects of the series has always been its humour and it really comes to the forefront here using many of the tricks that had worked so well in previous episodes. It helps get things moving quickly and in an offbeat and enjoyable manner.

The only criticism I have of it though is how jarring it may be for players jumping in right after the previous episode ending on a dark note. But then it seems that the tone turning on a dime is becoming another feature of the series and this one has it in spades.

The gang's all here.

The gang’s all here.

It’s somewhat of shame though that the episode can feel like a bit of a hit and miss affair. The opening starts so well in setting things up with the idea of Rhys and Fiona helping to plan out a heist which is then followed up with a credits sequence that takes the piss out of Armageddon.

Unfortunately the middle section feels out of place with a little too much character reflection that afterwards feels more like a bridge between two parts and nothing else. It’s only saving grace is that it has some of the best visuals of the series.

The conclusion though is one of the biggest payoffs yet starting with one of the silliest timed sequences you’re ever going to see followed by an ending that really hits home hard and leaves the characters in a very difficult situation. It also makes it fairly clear that no state of deadness is ever going to make Handsome Jack any less of a prick.

That these happened within minutes of each other really show how the writers are willing to commit to making the story twist and turn to its own needs.

Some impressive scenery on show this episode.

Some impressive scenery on show this episode.

The visuals in this episode deserve extra credit for how well they set the tone as the team head up into space. It certainly creates some great screenshot friendly imagery, as you’ve seen here, and adds some much needed life to a section of the game that needed some spicing up.

I liked this episode a lot… I just wished it were a little more consistent. That said there were two sets of highlights sandwiched around a less interesting part and that’s bound to be noticed. And with the final episode leading to both a confrontation and a definite conclusion, there’s going to be lot of questions answered in a couple of months time.

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