Tales From The Borderlands Episode Three: ‘Catch a Ride’ Review
“I cannot hold back your tide of bad decisions”
Tales From The Borderlands shows no signs of slowing down, indeed Telltale have somehow managed to not only make this collaboration work, but to unequivocally thrive. Catch a Ride is possibly the finest Telltale piece of entertainment ever released, containing plenty of hysterical scenes, breathless action sequences and also introducing wonderful new additions to the cast. Catch a Ride is another fantastic entry to what has been a superb series.
It picks up after that almighty cliffhanger from episode 2, with Rhys and Fiona trapped within the room containing the Gortys Project. However, the choice you made at the end between trusting Fiona or Jack has a huge impact on the Catch a Ride as a whole, potentially a first for Telltale’s narrative structure. Indeed, the rippling effect of your decision actually produces two vastly different episodes, characters undergo huge changes and plot points get resolved in different ways. It’s all very impressive to experience, albeit a little difficult to truly describe since it’s very spoiler-heavy, but it’s well worth a second playthrough to see all that the episode offers.
Furthermore, the consequences of your choices impact upon Rhys’s relationship with Handsome Jack, depending on your actions, Jack is either very friendly to Rhys, all but convincing him of the validity of their partnership, or he’s shall we say a little pissed off that Rhys hasn’t heeded his ‘valuable’ advice. It’s another intriguing plot point that’s heavily influenced by your choices, not merely restricted to exchanges between the two, but with regards to critical sequences in the episode as well. Jack’s ghost is developing into a legitimate threat, thus it’s very satisfying to see how the anxiety surrounding him can be heightened or managed as dictated by your actions.
The star of Catch a Ride meanwhile is Gortys, yes the ‘Gortys Project’ is in fact an unbearably cute robot sphere. It’s a genius revelation to uncover; after all you’ve been led to believe Gortys is a top secret super-powerful military piece of hardware, the key to finding a vault. What you get is a sweet, naïve robot who is brilliantly juxtaposed with the harsh realities of Pandora. She wholly represents the sweet balance between humour and drama that Telltale has got so right with this series.
Tales From The Borderlands is such a confident production in all areas, shining in all the little things; menial exchanges between characters are often hilarious and the title credits are consistently awesome. Although the action sequences may not feel like traditional Borderlands (where’s the loot?), they crucially do feel right for Telltale’s lighter approach to the universe. Rhys and Fiona aren’t trained killers after all, so it’s honestly fitting that confrontations often descend into slapstick mayhem, and Telltale crafts the scenarios with such glee you can’t help but be absorbed into the riotous fun.
Catch A Ride is testament to a studio that knows exactly what it’s doing, and I don’t mean that in a flippant way, Telltale have harmonized genuine drama with absurd hilarity. Episode 3 is a hysterical, enthralling adventure that is undoubtedly the best chapter of the series so far, and it sets the stage for a thrilling final two episodes
+ Superb humour
+ Joyously fun
+ Gortys is an amazing addition to the cast
+ Choices do change the narrative