Telltale Games took the opportunity this past weekend to offer some new details on their latest upcoming episodic adventure title, Tales from the Borderlands, at a gaming panel during SXSW 2014. The spinoff of Gearbox’s popular pair of traditional Borderlands games has been confirmed to take place chronologically after Borderlands 2, and will feature some unique narrative mechanics to help differentiate it from recent Telltale hits such as The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us.
To start, players will take control of two different characters, namely the con artist Fiona and Hyperion worker Rhys, who narrate the game from some point in the future, retelling the story’s events in their own ways that differ from each other’s recollections. It will be up to the player to determine which story is correct, or if neither character is telling the truth. Telltale co-founder Kevin Bruner drew comparisons to the Tim Burton film Big Fish when describing this mechanic.
Another feature to help distinguish Tales from Telltale’s recent grittier work will be the inclusion of a more lighthearted and humorous narrative style. Additionally, while Telltale’s now-trademark choice-based dialog and decision systems will be retained here, the decisions will generally be less about choosing between two undesirable options and more about picking the better of two more enticing options. As someone who loves recent Telltale titles to death, but still remembers the studio’s earlier days of games like Sam & Max and Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People, this seems like a nice compromise.
It was also confirmed that the game will have some sort of shooting mechanic, but “in a Telltale kind of way,” according to studio employee Harrison Pink. What this means is anyone’s guess at this point, but it could indicate a Quick Time Event-like system similar to the fight scenes in The Wolf Among Us, or a simplified real-time shooting mechanic more reliant on timing and cover than ammo and health, as seen in the first season of The Walking Dead.
Whatever the final product ends up being like, the details dropped sound promising, and it will be interesting to see what new directions Telltale takes the Borderlands franchise in.
We will keep you updated on Tales from the Borderlands and future Telltale projects as future announcements are made.