The adventures of Rhys and Fiona continue in the second episode of Tales from the Borderlands. “Atlas Mugged” continues the framed narrative told by the game’s two protagonists. With this second episode, Telltale Games proves once again that they have a winning formula for creating fantastic, compelling adventure games.
The one thing I can’t seem to get over while playing Tales from the Borderlands is just how Borderlands-y the whole experience is. If you’re a fan of the Borderlands franchise, and I most certainly am, you will absolutely love the style of this game. In the long wait for episode two, the first thing I felt upon relaunching the game is just how good it feels. Unlike past Telltale titles, the “last time on” recap part is told through beautiful animation narrated by Marcus, similar to how many of Borderlands’ DLC packs were represented. Still it was clear that it was recapping my decisions, an impressive feat.
Once you drop into the game, it’s a classic Telltale adventure game. Naturally I won’t go over any of the story beats but overall “Atlas Mugged” feels stronger than “ZerO Sum.” The relationship between the two sets of characters (Rhys and Vaughn, Fiona and Sasha) is pitch perfect. A series favorite returns with amusing results and a new, shadowy antagonist is also introduced, which leads to a thrilling action scene. My favorite character ended up being Handsome Jack, who was revealed at the end of “Zer0 Sum.” Jack is a consistent source of comedy as well as plot development, and is a welcome addition to the cast.
Moreover, “Atlas Mugged” starts to deal with more traditional Telltale plot elements with betrayal, mourning and love. Naturally these emotions are dealt in a slightly lighter tone than The Wolf Among Us or Game of Thrones but it still is effective. It also includes a scene that could literally be pulled directly from The Walking Dead featuring a terrible situation involving a dead body. Naturally Tales from the Borderlands almost immediately turns it around, playing it for laughs, resulting it perhaps the best moment of the episode.
The first episode of Tales from the Borderlands felt strong but also like a series looking to find its footing. In “Atlas Mugged,” Telltale seems to have discovered that foothold with the comedy, intrigue and emotion in full effect in another fantastic episode.
SCORE: 9.5 out of 10
A code for Tales from the Borderlands: Episode Two – Atlas Mugged was provided to Pixel Related for review.