Tales from the Borderlands

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Tales from the Borderlands Game Poster Image
Dialogue-based adventure has strong language, bloody combat.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Suggests that crime pays if you can get away with it and that it's good to seek revenge on those who've wronged you.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most characters are thieves and hustlers who double-cross friends and strangers.

Ease of Play

Play is simple: You choose dialogue options and follow occasional on-screen button cues. It’s pretty hard to fail action sequences with this system, but if you do, the scene simply restarts.   

Violence

A robot uses missiles and machine guns to kill humans. An electrified stun baton kills people and sends bodies soaring. Blood sprays from wounds. Dead, mutilated people are displayed in a museum of curiosities. A dog-like creature is hit by a car and shown injured and in pain. Some gore in cut scenes.

Sex

A few scantily clad female characters.

Language

Frequent strong language, including "f--k" and "s--t."

Consumerism

Based on the popular series of first-person shooters that have spawned various books, toys, and branded paraphernalia.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tales from the Borderlands is a downloadable, story-driven adventure game. The bulk of play involves listening to dialogue and choosing responses. Most characters are criminals, and conversations frequently focus on illegal activities like stealing. Expect frequent strong language, including "s--t" and "f--k." Occasional combat includes a brief sequence in which players take control of a robot that uses machine guns and missiles to kill more than a dozen humans, blood spraying from their wounds. Another chapter involves a brief tour of a museum of curiosities in which dead and mutilated people are posed and displayed. A few female characters are provocatively dressed. While Tales from the Borderlands is episodic in nature, it's based on a series of very popular (and even more violent) first-person shooters.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byConcerned2015 October 6, 2015

reat game

i think every mature 11 year old should be able to play this game as the gore is always followed by comedy and the art style is unique!
Adult Written byUsername101 April 24, 2017

Great storyline, characters and humour.

The language isn't even that bad, i only heard one f-word throughout the whole game. The violence however is pretty bloody and shocking, some notable parts... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bykewlbeans January 16, 2015

Telltale's Done it Again

Tales from the Borderlands is an adventure game based on dialogue, rather than hands-on action. There are a few sequences where you have direct control, but the... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byKardasha206 December 25, 2014

One of my top 5 games!

Great storyline, amazing characters, smooth gameplay, humorous jokes and Troy Baker's voice! It could not possibly be any better! I love it! I played this... Continue reading

What's it about?

Based on Gearbox Software's popular Borderlands sci-fi RPG first-person shooters, TALES FROM THE BORDERLANDS follows Rhys, an embittered Hyperion Corp. executive, and Fiona, a hustler raised on the Wild West-like planet of Pandora. Their worlds collide when Rhys, assisted by his nerdy accountant friend Vaughn, steals $10 million in corporate funds to purchase a valuable alien artifact owned by Fiona and her sister, Sasha. Told in flashbacks from both characters' perspectives, the tale is full of bungled deals, half-baked schemes, and a heap of side characters with big personalities, including some whom series fans will recognize. Most of the game takes place in the form of conversations. The protagonist's responses are chosen in branching dialogue trees, which means the story plays out differently for each player. Action sequences exist but are less frequent than conversations. Combat requires players to tap buttons to dodge attacks, pick up items, and strike enemies according to on-screen cues.

Is it any good?

Tales from the Borderlands follows the proven formula Telltale Games applied in The Wolf Among Us and the first two seasons of The Walking Dead. Driven by a twisty crime-caper-gone-wrong plot and a big cast of funny, memorable characters, the story is the heart of the experience. The flashback-style delivery makes for some unexpected surprises, and the jokey protagonists -- especially Rhys -- deliver darkly comic one-liners sharp enough to leave the audience giggling aloud. Players' decisions have a marked impact on how things unfold, determining the specifics of key events and deciding who lives and dies. This interactivity is merely the gravy on this delectable interactive yarn.

Sadly, the action sequences aren't as compelling as the story. Combat is often nicely choreographed and can be just as funny as the conversations, but interactions are mainly composed of players following cues to tap buttons or nudge their joysticks. These are neither challenging nor particularly interesting. Such quick-time events can work well when used sparingly, but they're so frequent here that they become tedious. The good news is that the bulk of players' time is spent engaged in the much more compelling conversations, which means Tales from the Borderlands is still a big win for older gamers looking for an engaging interactive story.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in games like Tales from the Borderlands. Is the violence OK because of the game's art style and tongue-in-cheek nature, or is it hard to justify a violent game like this?

  • Discuss why some games, movies, and books feature antiheroes, people who do bad things but also are sympathetic. Why do you think these stories interest audiences? What qualities do these characters have that make us like them despite their poor behavior?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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