Tales from the Borderlands “Catch a Ride” review for PC, Xbox One, PS4

Platform: PC
Also On: PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Despite clocking in at roughly the same running time as previous episodes, the third episode in Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands series feels remarkably epic. There’s all sorts of angles being worked in “Catch a Ride”, and some surprising callbacks to both the original Borderlands and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. We get to see some more familiar faces, along with new ones, as we continue down the somewhat bumpy path laid out before Rhys and Fiona.

This episode picks up with the cliffhanger of episode 2, with Rhys, Fiona, Vaughn, Sasha, and Loader Bot at the mercy of Vasquez and his hired goons. Your decision at the end of the last episode directly affects the beginning of this one, and things start out with a bang as the group attempts to make a daring escape, and runs smack dab into who I assume is meant to be this story’s “big bad”. The introduction of this new villain gives some promise of a legitimate threat to the group, more so than the overconfident actions of Hyperion goon Vasquez.

rhys-sasha-on-loaderbotEvents at the beginning of this episode also lead to a new teammate of sorts for the group, who might be one of the most purely positive, and likely the nicest character I’ve ever seen in a Borderlands branded game. At one point Rhys makes the comment that this character is refreshing, and I couldn’t agree more. Also, some of the best laugh out loud moments come courtesy of this character’s interaction with the group, so I certainly believe this individual to be a welcome addition here.

But along with new faces, we get a couple familiar ones as well. The aforementioned Borderlands and Pre-Sequel ties come into play during the final sequences of this episode, and for long-time fans I think the showdown featured here is pretty cool. I won’t go into great detail on this, so hopefully you don’t mind some general vagueness in regards to the last moments of “Catch a Ride”.

standoffA couple other things to note. This episode seems pretty action-heavy to me, there’s still a number of quiet moments and dialogue options to wade through, but there’s also a whole lot of QTE segments. Thankfully, those segments aren’t frustrating or difficult to complete, I just noticed throughout that I couldn’t really put the controller down for long without some sort of prompt appearing on screen. Also, playing this via PC, this is one of the most technically sound episodes of a Telltale game I’ve played in quite some time. No weird stuttering, no missing models, no issues with previous choices carrying over, everything ran really smooth and without a hitch.

So yeah, “Catch a Ride” is definitely worth checking out. You get a decent amount of forward progression on the story side, the introduction of two new characters on opposite ends of the good/evil fence, and some familiar faces for old-school Borderlands fans. So if you’ve been on board with Tales from the Borderlands thus far, episode 3 will give you no reason to stop playing now.

Grade: A