Tales from the Borderlands: Episode Three - Catch a Ride (PlayStation 4) Review

By Drew Hurley 01.07.2015

Review for Tales from the Borderlands: Episode Three - Catch a Ride on PlayStation 4

Thus far, Telltale has done a superb job with Tales from the Borderlands. Both Episode One - Zer0 Sum and Episode Two - Atlas Mugged incorporated Telltale's deep character development and top tier storytelling, paired with the Borderlands universe. Quickly establishing it on par with the very best of its other series, can the high standards previously produced continue here? Cubed3 finds out.

With five episodes in the series, this third marks the halfway point of the tale. The previous episode helped cement the hapless heroes together into a single group instead of two pairs, with a seemingly budding romantic relationship building between Rhys and Sasha, especially. The team has travelled across Pandora, running from killers, bounty hunters and Legendary Vault Hunter Athena from Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Finally, the hapless protagonists managed to assemble the Gortys project but were cornered just as they did so and their sidekicks, Vaughn and Sasha, were held to ransom by the villainous team up of Vasquez and August. The second episode ended with a fantastic cliffhanger, placing the player in Rhys' shoes as he chose who to trust - either Fiona, with a grenade, or to let his own little Ghost in the Machine, Handsome Jack, access to some of his bionic implants.

As in Episode Two, Episode Three starts with iconic Borderlands gun seller, Marcus Kincaid, giving a voiceover while a comic style recap plays on the screen, then Catch a Ride picks up immediately after this choice and shows the player the results of their choice of trust. Despite jumping straight into the action, this episode still provides the fantastic intro as seen in the previous two episodes, once again pairing fantastic music to a montage of action. Similarly throughout the episode, there is the trope of the story being retold by Fiona and Rhys in present day to their Desert Punk looking captor.

Catch a Ride brings with it the best action in the series thus far, with action sequences that are smooth and great to take part in, yet still imbued with the series' humour. It's hard not to laugh while watching from Loader Bot's perspective as he pushes over a statue by holding onto its… posterior.

Screenshot for Tales from the Borderlands: Episode Three - Catch a Ride on PlayStation 4

Telltale has continued to keep things fresh with each episode, with new locales and denizens. This episode expands the cast with a few fantastic and notable characters. The mastermind behind the original deal steps into the spotlight for the first time, the Legendary Bounty Hunter Athena returns and is developed, and the list of heavy hitting VAs is expanded with Ashley Johnson, most popularly known from her work as Ellie in The Last of Us. On top of these new characters, there are even more fan favourites from the regular Borderlands titles joining the fight.

At occasional points throughout the episodes there have been opportunities to gather some money, with the only real opportunity to spend it being customising the team's ride. Hopefully everyone saved some of the money, though, as this episode lets the player use the "New-U Station." These are iconic respawn points from the other Borderland titles where characters can be edited. In Tales from the Borderlands, the New-U station can be used to customise the party's outfits, and while it's a silly cosmetic addition, it is fun nonetheless and, hopefully, players haven't blown all of their cash to miss out on it.

With all Telltale games, it's worth more than one playthrough to experiment with the choices and to see what repercussions and differences can result from them. This is the first episode of this series to really emphasise that. The decision made in the cliffhanger of the previous episode, whether Rhys trusts either Handsome Jack or Fiona, gives for a considerably different experience here. Right from the start of the episode the differences are stark. Although each of the major plot points still occurs, the journey to each is very different, for instance by trusting Handsome Jack Rhys gains a little Robot companion, which is completely missing on the Fiona trust playthrough. There are significant enough differences to make a playthrough with each very much worth experiencing, and in fact it's worth a playthrough with Jack trusted just for the changes to Rhys' echo eye ability, altering the description of things when scanned with Jack's own unique point of view and foreshadowing how Jack is slowly exerting control on Rhys' other systems.

Dependant on the choices gamers made, this episode further develops the team in interesting ways. Fiona moves away from the loveable Rogue to a full blown Vault Hunter, a budding romance sparks up, Rhys seems to lose some of himself to Jack and, of course, Loader Bot continues to simply be awesome. Regardless of the choices made, Catch a Ride offers a fantastic experience, with numerous truly funny and laugh out loud moments, great action sequences, and some of the best writing to date, before finishing with a solid ending that sets up a great deal more possibility for the final two episodes.

Screenshot for Tales from the Borderlands: Episode Three - Catch a Ride on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Tales from the Borderlands: Episode Three - Catch a Ride on PlayStation 4 is easily the best episode to date in a series that is already full of fantastic chapters. Brimming with the trademark stellar storytelling and character development that made Telltale what it is today, Catch a Ride continues to develop the story in original and unpredictable ways, delivering an all round superb experience.

Developer

Telltale

Publisher

Telltale

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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