Platforms PlayStation 4/Xbox One/PC/Xbox 360/Playstation 3
Developer TellTale Games Publisher TellTale Games
Genre Point and Click Adventure Platform Played Xbox One
Escape Plan Bravo picks up with Rhys and Fiona held captive by Vallory and her hired hands. As the climax from this scene has already been experienced during the finale of the previous episode, what follows is the paced set-up for the adventure through the Helios moon base. Given no choice but to brainstorm methods of not only getting themselves into outer space but also into a highly guarded section of Helios, the team of protagonists concocts an absolutely ludicrous idea with an equally absurd execution of said plan. Recruiting a few familiar faces in addition to a new one, some of the minor story arcs which may have been forgotten in favour of more significant or recent decisions are brought back into the spotlight. Events such as Scooter’s sponsorship of Fiona and Vasquez’s ultimate fate are prime examples of the plot points resurrected in the fourth episode of Tales From the Borderlands. They are not an unwelcome addition by any means as they help reinforce the fact that even older episodes are still part of the same story, even if there is now a significantly different focus. The returning plots are given new life in the sense that they still further the main objective of completing Gortys, although some may feel that not enough progress is made in the bigger picture.
There are a few more options to customize the appearance of key characters in Escape Plan Bravo, offering players a reward of sorts for continuing to accumulate money up to this point. None of the options are groundbreaking by any means, but at the very least, it offers a fresh appearance to characters seen in a majority of the scenes. The time spent wandering through open areas is relatively limited in this episode, using much more dialogue instead to push things forward. The increased focus on dialogue allows players to carve out a more precise representation of who they view Rhys and Fiona to be. As usual, there are key points which cannot be avoided, such as the death of a well-known character, but due to how invested players have become in the story, the choices offered in both action and dialogue will seem like far more distant extremes than they may be in reality, and making the choices will likely not require much thought. This effect is a testament to the fantastic work the series has done building rapport between characters and players, and has never been reflected so well in this series as in Escape Plan Bravo.
One segment stands far above the rest, both in regards to enjoyment and memorability. Once on Helios, Rhys blends in with his coworkers and engages in a shootout with finger guns and several other pieces of imaginary weaponry. Using a combination of quick time events and targeting enemies, the sequence goes on for several minutes, carrying on long beyond what could possibly be expected, and provides not only a style of gameplay which is completely new for the series, but also leads to uncontrollable laughter as you come to realize just how extensive these workplace shenanigans are. A cameo from Butt Stallion, Handsome Jack’s diamond pony who was first introduced in Borderlands 2, is another worthy highlight from Escape Plan Bravo, but the amusement from actually viewing the previously unseen steed pales in comparison to the aforementioned shootout.
As the episode draws to a close, a series of significant events take place, but as per tradition they are left dangling in front of the player, acting as a carrot to play the next episode when it is released. Handsome Jack’s true nature is revealed, both protagonists find themselves in peril, and there is still very little known about the mysterious individual holding Rhys and Fiona captive in the present. With so many questions left to be answered in what will be the final episode, some may wish there were more answers provided in this episode, but conversely, the lack of concrete answers on many issues guarantees more aspects being drawn to a close next time.
If Escape Plan Bravo were a standalone episode, it would not fare so well, but fortunately there are three previous episodes which allow character-driven dialogue to carry additional weight, and one episode yet to come which will inevitably answer many of the remaining questions. The humour players love to see from TellTale Games is still present, being brought to the forefront by scenes such as the imaginary shootout or the Handsome Jack VIP tour, ensuring players will never be bored with the events unfolding in front of them. Lasting roughly an hour and a half, the fourth episode in Tales From the Borderlands allows players to fine-tune their visions of the protagonists through dialogue and actions while setting the stage for what will assuredly be a frantic finale.
- Shootout in Helios is a refreshing gameplay segment
- Previous plot elements are reintroduced in new ways
- Appearance of Butt Stallion
- Not many areas to explore
- Raises more questions than it answers
The Score: 8.8
Eric is an Xbox editor for Analog Addiction where you can find all the latest gaming news, previews, reviews, and everything else that rhymes with those words. ‘Like’ Analog Addiction on Facebook to receive all of the updates as they’re posted.