Gaming loves weird mash-ups, from Disney and Square Enix colliding in "Kingdom Hearts" to Sonic and Mario competing together at the Sochi Olympics. Combining frenetic first-person shooter "Borderlands" with the measured, thoughtful storytelling of Telltale Games is a bizarre idea, for sure, but "Tales from the Borderlands" is happening, and the developers have revealed some tantalizing secrets about it.
Developers Telltale Games ("The Walking Dead," "The Wolf Among Us") and Gearbox Software ("Borderlands," "Borderlands 2") hosted a panel at SxSW 2014 to shed some light on "Tales from the Borderlands." Although a few scant details and a teaser trailer emerged earlier this year, this panel was the first time gamers had a chance to learn anything substantive about the upcoming title.
"Tales from the Borderlands" will be a point-and-click adventure game in the style of "The Wolf Among Us," but set in the darkly humorous world of the "Borderlands" duology. Players will take control of two protagonists: Rhys, a straight-laced office boy, and Fiona, a conwoman in search of her latest scam.
Both Rhys and Fiona will tell their own versions of the same sequence of events, which the developers described as a competition to see who can tell the biggest fish story. The truth will lie somewhere in-between their two narratives, but players will have to decide for themselves what's true and what's pure bluster.
Although Telltale promises that "Tales from the Borderlands" will possess some of the over-the-top action sequences that define the series, Rhys and Fiona are a far cry from the hardy Vault Hunters who blasted their way through the first two games. These characters will need to rely on their wits and connections to survive the harsh planet of Pandora rather than just shooting their way through every problem.
In contrast to "The Walking Dead" and 'The Wolf Among Us," "Tales from the Borderlands" will be replete with humor. Whereas Telltale's latest two games often provide a player with two unconscionable choices, "Tales from the Borderlands" will aim to present two choices that are so much fun, the player regrets not being able to take both.
For those who question Telltale's humor chops, the developers reminded the audience that the company cut its teeth on lighthearted continuations of classic funny adventure series, like "Sam and Max" and "Monkey Island."
Details like platform availability and release date are still a mystery, although Telltale did confirm that the first episode would be out before the end of 2014, and that the game would release episodically, like most of the company's other games to date.
Although the story will take place after the events of "Borderlands 2" and all of its downloadable content, it will not act as a direct sequel, so those eagerly awaiting a potential "Borderlands 3" will have to keep waiting. Still, if you want to catch up on the story, now is the chance. There will be some recurring characters from previous games.
Telltale was hesitant to share other details that might spoil the game or the characters in it, so keep an ear out for additional information as the release date draws nearer.