Telltale Games cut its teeth on humorous games like Sam & Max, Monkey Island, and Back to the Future, but it wasn’t until the ultra-serious The Walking Dead premiered that the studio’s point-and-click adventure formula really found its footing. Since then, Telltale’s been on a roll. Not only is The Walking Dead heading into its third “season,” but The Wolf Among Us (a spin-off of Vertigo’s popular Fables comics) received rave reviews.
Telltale’s upcoming Game of Thrones series looks to continue the trend, with a cast full of compelling characters and a storyline that presents players with a series of weighty, significant decisions. Frankly, though, as good as those games are, they’re not very funny.
With Tales from the Borderlands, Telltale is finally returning to its comedic roots. Gearbox’s series of sci-fi shooters is just as famous for its outrageous, anything-goes atmosphere as it is for its dazzling array of loot. Judging from today’s first look at Tales from the Borderlands‘ gameplay, it seems that Telltale’s fully committed to keeping that tradition alive.
The new trailer introduces viewers to Rhys, a beleaguered Hyperion janitor — excuse me, assistant vice janitor — who’s out to make a name for himself. Rhys (voiced by Troy Baker) heads to Pandora with his best friend Vaughn (The Nerdist founder Chris Hardwick) to steal a vault key and make his fortune. Naturally, complications ensue.
The trailer doesn’t quite as much time with Fiona, the game’s other protagonist, but it’s only a matter of time before gamers get to know her better, too. The new footage also features Patrick Warburton as Rhys’ boss Vasquez and Dameon Clarke as Borderlands 2 big bad Handsome Jack.
The video should allay any concerns that Telltale’s not up to capturing Gearbox’s specific comedic voice. Not only does Tales from the Borderlands sport Borderlands’ signature cell-shading effect, but the trailer’s cut at a frenetic pace that fits nicely with the original shooters’ mad-cap style. Borderlands’ pseudo-western aesthetics and over-the-top violence? Those are here, too.
The trailer is all story; gamers won’t get to see more than a snippet of Tales from the Borderlands’ bot-based combat, which is disappointing. However, the trailer is funny. Really funny. A couple of gags based on long, uncomfortable silences are particularly encouraging; that’s the kind of thing that’s simply not possible in a more action-oriented title.
In addition the new trailer, Gearbox also unveiled Tales from the Borderlands’ platform and pricing information. Basically, it’s coming to everything. Individual episodes will set console gamers back $4.99 per installment, with a season pass coming in at around $20. Mac and PC season passes will cost $24.99, while iOS and Android pricing has yet to be announced.
Tales from the Borderlands will release its first episode for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Mac, PC, iOS, and Android platforms before the end of 2014.