Game Review | Tales From The Borderlands | Season 1, Episode 3 | "Catch A Ride"
Episode Summary: Regardless if the player chooses to trust Fiona or chooses to trust Jack, the group successfully escapes August and Vasquez. However, they are cornered by Vallory outside the facility. (Wikipedia)
This is the first episode of Tales from the Borderlands that I felt was actually disappointing and not living up to the standard set by the first two parts of the story. This might be because it’s a little more action-oriented than usual, but could also be because we’re at the midway point and the plot needs to start building towards the finale.
Regardless of the reason why this episode is structured as it is, it’s a shame that it feels so insubstantial compared to the excellent “Atlas Mugged” last time out. The story still has its moments, but these moments aren’t enough to sustain a lack of depth to proceedings
Even Handsome Jack, so reliably unreliable last time out seemed a little more serious than usual, which may, of course, be due to how I chose to interact with him rather than him being underwritten so your experience may differ.
That point also can be considered for all other events – reading up on how other people viewed the game, things can unfold quite differently with some substantial changes in dialogue, so it might be an idea to keep that in mind: my choices could have led to a worse experience and players who chose differently to me may have had a much more enjoyable time.
The majority of the story this time out deals with the gang being forced to deal with Vallory, a criminal ‘queenpin’, who sent Kroger and Finch after Fiona and Sasha last time out. She seems to be set up to become the main villain, especially after killing Vasquez – who was the ‘big bad’ up to now.
We also meet a new character who joins the gang, a little robot called Gortys. She sounds like little girl and also seems to be fairly naïve about some things, but everyone wants her as she can apparently pinpoint the much sought after location of a Vault and the treasures it contains.
Also joining the team is Athena, a Vault Hunter who appeared as if she also wanted to kill Fiona and Sasha in the last episode, but it actually turns out that their father figure, Felix, hired Athena to protect them after he was gone.
Athena and Fiona develop a mentor-student relationship, with the former pointing out that the latter has all the potential required to become a Vault Hunter herself if that’s what she really wants. The two make an interesting and amusing pair, although it looks like the training won’t be completed after the events of the episode’s final scenes.
Loader Bot is also a more prominent character this time out, forming a very close and protective relationship with Gortys. They make a fun pair as their incidental dialogue tends to point out the ridiculousness of what’s going and the choices Rhys and Fiona make as they go.
Speaking of Rhys, he is part of why this episode feels so lacklustre to me, although this could be due to my choices again. He has one conversation with Jack and is later paired up with Sasha in an Atlas terra-forming facility where there are hints of a potential romance, but he is otherwise very much a supporting character this time out as Fiona takes centre stage.
The gameplay remains the Telltale usual standard, with only one point where what the game was asking seemed a little confusing, but it was the story that let things down this time. “Catch a Ride” is a textbook example of a game being good, but not great.