Tales From the Borderlands: Episode 1, Zer0 Sum – Recap

With Episode 2: Atlas Mugged right around the corner, now would be the opportune time to reflect on the beginnings on Telltale Games’ promising series.

The series began with the focus on the Hyperion Corporation, and the aftermath in the organisation of Handsome Jack’s demise. For this reason it was important that players had previously played Borderlands 2 on the last generation of consoles, as the game spent virtually no time in establishing a back story to the events unfolding in the first minute of the game, as Hyperion corporate worker Rhys was pining for a promotion, only to have it stolen from him by his personal nemesis.

We were then thrust straight into a heist operation, as Rhys and his partner Vaughn tried to scam Hyperion out of a vault key, which means absolutely zero to people who are unfamiliar with the mythology of Pandora. It was here that the episode hit its real comical stride, as we were introduced to the con artist sisters Fiona and Sasha, the ones who were attempting to sell the faked vault key to Rhys and Vaughn.

This group were unwillingly thrust together in a chase to recover the money stolen from Rhys and Vaughn by bandit warlord Bossanova, which is where the episode really heated up, both in terms of pace and combat with the highlights being a classic Pandora vehicle death race, in which the money was ultimately destroyed. The episode ends with the group discovering a map leading them to the location of another vault, and a hologram of the deceased Handsome Jack appearing at the very end, much to the alarm of Rhys.

The opening episode of the series marked a shift away from the traditional story first-combat later approach previously adopted by Telltale Games, much to my surprise and enjoyment. I’d definitely recommend picking up on the series at some point in the near future, if only for the comical chemistry between the ragtag group as they embark on their treasure hunt across Pandora.

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