The Telltale Curse returns.
Telltale has a serious problem with the five episode structure, and that’s a known fact after The Wolf Among Us, The Walking Dead, The Walking Dead: Season Two, etc. I’m sorry to say that Escape Plan Bravo — the penultimate episode in Telltale’s confusingly-named Tales from the Borderlands’ first season.
Episode Three was very much the “Hey, look at this bad stuff going on! Isn’t it just the worst?” Well, that’d be great…except Telltale completely forgets about the immense pressure on Rhys & Fiona to get a MacGuffin (basically a thing driving the plot forward). Yes, there’s a heist underneath this, but it’s not all that well thought out. The entire episode just has you doing things that seem to be solely to be filler. This episode clocks in at about 1 hour and a half and 80% of it could’ve been cut entirely and it would’ve made no difference to me.
Gortys and Athena are here, sure, but in passing mention or for a joke or two. While Rhys and Fiona are the people we should care about the most, the thing I found most interesting with the franchise were its’ side characters. Sure, every bit of character dialogue regarding character development can come off a bit cringy, but at least it was there in previous episodes. The episode also falls into the very easy trap of not letting the player wander these beatiful landscapes the environment artists created for that sole puporse and it’s really disappointing.
On top of that, your decisions don’t really make a difference here, which is really weird considering that Telltale is really the king of these kinds of things. People die and I honestly could not care less about it. Sure, they were fun, but the writers didn’t give me the background or even the breathing space for these moments to actually shine.
Escape Plan Bravo has some high points, though. There is a scenario where you control Rhys in a fake shoot-out amongst an army of accountants that just made me bust a gut, and provided me the most entertainment I had in an adventure game to date. There’s also some moments with just Rhys and Handsome Jack that make you truly understand the man underneath the face mask.
Unfortuanely, these small scenes are set in between events that don’t do anything for the story or the characters in this big universe. We don’t know the kidnapper, which at least The Wolf Among Us and Game of Thrones got right. The ending also just kind of happens, but I guess that’s a cliffhanger for you.
Despite the funny moments, Escape Plan Bravo is a new low for Telltale as a whole, as well as Tales from the Borderlands. The events lack any sort of weight, many of the characters are sidelined, and the ending was just awfully handled. Tales from the Borderlands is great as a whole, but Telltale will need to hit Episode Five out of the park.
So, if you haven’t played the series yet, I’d wait. If you have, you literally have no reason to wait. It’s out now. Go play it.