21st Oct2015

‘Tales From the Borderlands: Ep 5 – Vault of the Traveler’ Review (PC)

by Paul Metcalf


With the coming of the last episode of Tales From the Borderlands, I did wonder how they would end the story. Little did I know that Tales From the Borderlands: Episode 5 – The Vault of the Traveler would be one of the best, if not the best Telltale game to date. Game of Thrones has a lot of work to do if it wants to beat this one.

One of the best things Telltale has managed to do with Tales from the Borderlands is to keep it so close to the source material yet not to alienate people who have never played the games. With The Vault of the Traveler what they’ve managed to do is to build up to a true Borderlands finale, but also merge so many pop culture and game references as to create something truly special.

I won’t reveal much of what happens in this episode because it has to be experienced. Sufficed to say though we see Gortys’ true form, and we finally find out who the mysterious vault hunter is who captured Rhys and Fiona in the first episode. This character is so well thought out and has a big reveal that can only be fully understood in the final episode. It’s not one you’ll have guessed from the very beginning, because that is just impossible.

Tales From the Borderlands: Episode 5 – The Vault of the Traveler is a success because while we do get all the answers at a certain point in the story, and we do have a good way to end it, it would have been just another sad Telltale game. This is where they pull the masterstroke though, they reveal how the game will truly end. Suffice to say not only Borderlands fans but fans of gaming will love it, and fans of a certain television show (it’ll make sense when you experience the ending).

Sometimes I’ve heard people say that the Borderlands have a weak story (or even say it is non-existent). If you’ve played it enough though you’ll realise that is not the case. What Tales From the Borderlands does is show just how deep the Borderlands story goes. The fact that when help is needed for one final push to the end the characters can call on people such as Janey Springs and Athena again, and that we can even go deeper into Handsome Jack’s past shows just how intricate the Borderlands Universe is becoming.

With Tales From the Borderlands, not only with The Vault of the Traveler but the season as a whole, we also have to praise the voice talent who put the voices to the characters. With the work of Troy Baker and Laura Bailey as Rhys and Fiona, as well as other talent such as Nolan North, Ashley Johnson, Chris Hardwick, and the rest of the cast who really brought the characters alive and made the audience invest in their adventure to this level.

With Life is Strange ending strong, and now Tales from the Borderlands knocking it out of the park now we wait to see how Games of Thrones will deliver. Telltale have really set the bar high with this one, and I do doubt that Games of Thrones will be able to match it. With a different tone, it won’t have the ability to uplift the player as Tales From the Borderlands: Episode 5 – The Vault of the Traveler has, and that is its power. A love letter to Borderlands and a game that truly pushes the boundaries of the Telltale Games formula, Tales from the Borderlands is the best Telltale Games production to date.

***** 5/5

Tales From the Borderlands: Episode 5 – The Vault of the Traveler is available on the PC now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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