In a brief but exciting romp, ‘Atlas Mugged’, episode 2 of Tales from the Borderlands will delight gamers by tossing them in the middle of engaging action scenes. But the best moments are in the area where Telltale Games usually shines, in the dialogue. While I have never been a big fan of Borderlands, the writing in episode 2 has helped me to understand this universe better, including a very notable character from the previous games. In this episode, main characters Rhys and Fiona each have a story to tell; players will find hilarity in Rhys’ story while Fiona’s is a bit more heartfelt. Telltale Games is able to show us what is at the heart of these characters and do so in the middle of over the top antics and shenanigans.
A huge part of the plot in ‘Atlas Mugged’ is the aforementioned notable character from previous Telltale games. Episode 1 of the series established a small link between Rhys and this character who will not be named, but through storytelling and gameplay, players will have the opportunity to choose the nature of this relationship. Regardless of the way players decide to have this relationship play out, it will affect the relationships Rhys has with another character; perhaps more notably, this dialogue made me laugh out loud. In addition to the jokes, these sequences will tell you a lot more about Rhys and builds a connection to the Borderlands games that I did not see in episode 1.
Fiona’s story arc is based primarily on the ending of episode 1, and players have the opportunity to choose her emotional response. Whether the player chooses to be angry or calm about the situation, the result will affect Fiona’s relationship with her sister. It is how Telltale takes these two interesting characters and has them deal with the catalysts of a returning character, and an emotional betrayal, that demonstrates how great this developer is at putting the story at the forefront of a video game.
Unfortunately, not all is positive with Tales from the Borderlands episode 2, ‘Atlas Mugged’. The game still suffers the lag and bugs we have become accustomed to from Telltale games. In addition to those mainstays, episode 2 carries over the currency system from episode 1, and while it is interesting to be able to gain small amounts of money and even increase your inventory with weapons, the game has yet to give us an opportunity to use any of it in a meaningful way. Another small gripe is this episode felt shorter than any other Telltale episode in recent memory: there’s action, laughs, emotions, and some good storytelling, then an unexpected cliffhanger ending.
I enjoyed the short time I spent with episode 2, ‘Atlas Mugged’, and I’m excited for the rest of Tales from the Borderlands, but I wish this episode was a little longer.
- + Connection with previous Borderlands games
- + Laugh out loud funny
- + Great storytelling
- – Inventory and Currency system doesn’t make sense
- – Disappointingly short (even for Telltale)