Tales from the Borderlands: Episode Four - Escape Plan Bravo (PlayStation 4) Review

By Drew Hurley 19.08.2015

Review for Tales from the Borderlands: Episode Four - Escape Plan Bravo on PlayStation 4

For Telltale Games, there's little left upcoming in the immediate future. A Michonne-based Walking Dead series has been announced for possibly late 2015, but other than that, the team's big releases, such as the new seasons of Fables and The Walking Dead, are all slated for 2016, and the new Marvel title is far off in 2017. Therefore, fans need to make the most of the last two episodes of both Tales from the Borderlands and Game of Thrones. The former has been improving episode on episode, but it will be hard to top the superb third episode of Catch a Ride. Classically, though, the penultimate episodes have always been something special.

As with all episodic reviews here, there are spoilers for the previous episodes. Readers beware!

When the heroes were seen last, they were once again in quite the spot of bother. To summarise the previous episode: After expanding their entourage with the Vault Hunter Athena and the Gortys project itself, who turned out to be a somewhat crazy and naive robot voiced by the superb Ashley Johnson, the team travelled far across Pandora to try and find the other parts of Gortys. The additions added some new dynamics to the team; Gortys and Loader Bot became quite the comedy duo, while Athena took Fiona under her wing to train as a newbie Vault Hunter, and a budding romance began to blossom between Rhys and Sasha.

When the team reached their destination of an old Atlus base, they found the next Gortys part in a strangely beautiful veritable Garden of Eden. Sadly, not long after they had found it, the big bad found them, too. August's mom Vallory turned up with her gang and some serious backup in series favourites Brick and Mordecai. At this point, even Loader Bot couldn't hold back the tide of the player's bad decisions, and they were quickly overrun. The resulting fallout ended the episode with the party captured by Vallory and her crew, while Athena is taken by Brick and Mordecai (players of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will find this quite familiar, as it leads directly into it).

Episode Four doesn't immediately return to where the last ended. The usual recap of the previous episode's highlights is told by series mainstay Marcus, before whisking players away into the not-so-distant future. Rhys and Fiona are continuing their journey under the watchful eye of their disguised captor, still unsure of what he wants, who he is or where he is taking them. They just keep trecking along, while recanting their journey to him. This time, the story they tell him is something of a heist tale. After getting captured by Vallory's crew last episode, they were forced into working for her and recovering the last piece of Gortys, which just happens to be on Hyperion. This last piece will allow Gortys to locate the Vault of the Traveller. Previous Borderlands titles dealt with the Vault of the Destroyer, Vault of the Sentinel and the Vault of the Warrior, each containing something quite different to what people were expecting. With the final episode being titled "The Vault of the Traveller," it seems the truth of its contents will be revealed.

Screenshot for Tales from the Borderlands: Episode Four - Escape Plan Bravo on PlayStation 4

The focus of this episode is the planning and execution of the heist. The crew needs to get to Hyperion, get past security, get the piece and get out. Simple enough, but there's just a few small issues, such as the fact they don't have a spaceship, everyone on Hyperion wants to kill them, they're surrounded by Vallory's crew and they're not even sure if they can trust each other… The planning of the heist is fantastic, with nods to classic heist movies like the Ocean's series, where the team explains what they need to do and runs through each of the steps along the way. Of course, it plays out perfectly in their heads, but chances are slim that when it comes to executing the plan, everything will go as they expect.

The series has had some of the best openings in any game, and this episode continues the trend. The opening credits are played as a fantastic montage, in this case to the superb "To the Top" by Twin Shadow, invoking the style and theme of classic 80s and 90s action movies. Even going far enough to including the iconic slow-mo shot of the entire team walking towards the camera, some of the funniest moments of the episode are during this montage.

The series has been hit and miss with the signature Telltale QTE sequences, but this one - thankfully - is a hit. There are two long QTE event sequences, and plenty of moments that need paying attention to and having fingers at the ready. The episode also incorporates some multiple choice dialogue sections that, while not having much of an impact on the overall story, still are really worth experiencing, as each option has a bunch of genuinely funny moments that can easily be missed.

There are a ton of great moments, although it's hard to mention any without spoiling them. Telltale has completely captured the Borderlands humour; in few other games could there be a side-quest that involves identifying the correct flayed face from the group of psychos who are wearing them stuck to their masks. These moments aren't limited to the series' signature insane sense of humour, either; the writers really show their strength when they can take even this crazy world and write some legitimately moving moments.

Not only is there a reference to the legendary Cowboy Bebop, but there is an honest-to-god homage to one of the greatest TV shows of all time, SPACED, in this episode - an entire QTE section, in fact! That alone makes this not only the best episode thus far in the season, but possibly the best thing Telltale has ever done. Even those not familiar with the show will love the sequence and find themselves unable to play through it with a straight face.

Screenshot for Tales from the Borderlands: Episode Four - Escape Plan Bravo on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

It was quite a feat to top the last episode, but they've done it with Episode Four of Tales from the Borderlands. Quite honestly, this is possibly the best thing Telltale has done. It sets a very high bar for the final episode, and leaves Cubed3 desperately ravenous to get hands on the finale.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

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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