“HELL OF A LOT OF MONITORS IN THIS PLACE”
WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW FOR ALL BORDERLANDS TITLES (WITH MINIMAL SPOILERS FOR EPISODE FIVE).
The glorious journey that is Telltale Games’s Tales from the Borderlands has finally come to its conclusion. The journey is one well worth travelling, and the end result is one truly worth experiencing.
Episode Five opens at the pivotal moment of the series. The heroes’ luck is both present and fleeting, but Telltale reminds the player of their love of twist. Chaos pursues and the story shows its characters at their strongest and weakest moments. While some portions of the episode lacked the emotional value of previous episodes, Vault of the Traveler managed to cut deeper, as a whole, than any other episode in the series. Had the episode been a bit more drawn out, it would have likely had a greater impact throughout playing. The true impact of the finale, and ultimately the series, comes after completing it. Once every development, new and old, comes to a conclusion, it becomes apparent how truly wonderful the series is.
The episode is split into two distinct halves. Each half concludes the story in its own way. Without spoiling the numerous twist throughout this episode, it can safely be said that each half of the episode could have been stretched out into a full episode and been its own conclusion to the series. Taking both of these story arcs and putting them together created a complete conclusion with the allure of a sequel, but a content feeling of closure. Even with this divided feeling, the episode manages to flow from moment to moment with enough downtime to allow the previous moments to sink in.
Every detail in the episode has been carefully crafted, and previous choices become important again. The greatest asset of the Tales from the Borderlands series has always been its diverse characters and interplay amongst one another. The finale makes great use of the two protagonist to really bring together two separate views into one. It is clear that Telltale took every detail into consideration in creating such dynamic characters and the world around them. The episode reminds players of the emotions they have felt throughout the series and brings them snowballing into a nearly perfect conclusion. Any aspects of the finale that could be viewed as negative are easily overshadowed by the series’ overall grandiose nature and the amount of love and effort that was clearly put into the end of this memorable story.
The Verdict: 9.7 out of 10
The finale of Tales from the Borderlands has its rushed moments, but the episode manages to deliver everlasting moments that wrap up the series as well as it was developed across its five episodes. The second half of the episode provides a completely unforeseen twist to the story yet feels neatly wrapped up. The ending is likely to be a massive hit or minor miss depending on how quickly you can understand what is occurring. The vast number of developments in the last hour of the series felt as though they could be their own season, but another season would feel too drawn out or leave this season’s conclusion rather bland. Introducing the new, but short, story arc allowed for a vast amount of new developments to be wrapped up quickly while still keeping the flow of story. The only point that could be viewed as a negative is the lack of consequences in the episode. While the characters have been thoroughly developed throughout the series, the ending of Tales from the Borderlands seemed to have multiple cases of rising and falling action that detached the characters from their conflicts. Despite this roller coaster of character development, nicely wrapping up the series made it feel like the ending of a grand adventure; an adventure that everyone had an important role in.
Read Tales from the Borderlands Episode One: Zer0 Sum Review here.
Read Tales from the Borderlands Episode Two: Atlas Mugged Review here.
Read Tales from the Borderlands Episode Three: Catch A Ride Review here.
Read Tales from the Borderlands Episode Four: Escape Plan Bravo here.
For more information about what the score means, check out our official review scale.