I think that we can all agree that it has been too long since we last played Tales from the Borderlands. Episode 1 launched back in December of 2014 and here we are halfway through March 2015 and we just get episode 2 – Atlas Mugged. While the wait for this episode is longer than I would have liked, it was more than justified considering the final product.
The folks at Telltale Games even acknowledge the delay in releasing this episode. Things start off with the character Marcus giving us a recap of the events of the last episode in typical Borderlands fashion, and he says “we know it’s been a while”. This little nod is nice to the gamer and helps reassure that they are always time conscious when it comes to their work. The game starts up with the now standard “catchy song and slow-motion” sequence that has become a staple of the Borderlands games. The story is building nicely and brings all of the characters together to continue on their journey. An unlikely character is introduced and the dynamic that it has on the story is very entertaining.
The writing again is fantastic and Atlas Mugged is probably one of the funniest games I’ve played in recent memory. Some of the jokes are very memorable, and at times were so close together that I never stopped laughing in between them. The way that they are showing the characters to us and developing them is great and I feel invested already with them and how things might turn out. Some of the choices that we get to make feel weighted, and seeing their outcome in the upcoming episodes will be hard to wait for.
This episode took me about 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete, so it was a little short, but was bustling with content almost the entire time. One boring puzzle scene near the end took me out of the moment briefly, but other than that I never really thought that I was playing a game, it was like I was watching a comedy that I directed. I’m all for the gameplay centric titles on the market and always try to challenge myself, but this style of interactive movie type of experience is one that I hope lasts. The ability to jump into a well written story and share some laughs without investing too much time in one sitting is all I want sometimes. After a long day at work, playing the bite sized Atlas Mugged episode was perfect.
I applaud the staff at Telltale at the way that they engage new talent and recycle existing. The inclusion of famous voice actors such as Nolan North, Patrick Warburton and Chris Hardwick adds some stellar quality to the acting. Some of Telltales more commonly used actors and actresses reprise new roles, and although I can just recognize them given my past experience, the reuse of voice actors is great to allow them to branch out and they are doing a very good job.
Tales from the Borderlands: Atlas Mugged is a wonderful edition to the season and while short, it is full of content and light on issues. A couple of continuity errors were annoying such as a character losing a hat and then having it back and a character losing a shoe, getting it back and then not having it again in another scene. These issues are only there to annoy the picky people, but none the less are worth noting. The game runs well on the PS4 and the audio is sharp but at times sounds as if it is clipping, so that is also a minor gripe. By this time you know if Telltale’s games are right for you, and if you like their format this game does not disappoint.
A review copy of Tales from the Borderlands: Atlas Mugged for PS4 was provided by the Telltale Games PR team, and is available now on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC and Mac.