Tales From The Borderlands Episode 4 Review


Developer: Telltale Games

Publisher: 2K Games

Platforms: PC (reviewed version), PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, iOS, Android

Release Date: June 23

Tales from the Borderlands Episode Four, titled “Escape Plan Beta,” picks up the story right from where Episode 3 left off. After that all that has happened, the story returns back to the place where it all began.

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The most recent section of their story set in the Borderlands universe follows the same team of mostly incompetent would-be vault hunters. Now prisoners, they are forced to continue on their quest as puppets with someone new pulling the strings.

Episode four was a bit of a departure from the formula used in the first three. The action sequences that have dominated the series took a back seat. This allowed Telltale to do what they do best: storytelling.

The motley crew of incompetent crooks worked to plan and execute an Oceans-11-esque heist. Their attempt to infiltrate Hyperion and steal the final part of Gortus was prime comedic material.

This is clearly the funniest episode since the first one, but it is funny in a completely different way than previous episodes. The physical humor of shined in Episode 1. Episode 3 was all about the awesome one-liners from Loader-Bot.

The humor here was better integrated into the characters and the world. It was as if not having to fit in so many action sequences allowed the writers to be more creative.

The “skin pizza” sequence required multiple instances where I had to pause the game until I was able to stop laughing. It might have been the funniest scene in the series thus far.

Even the montage where the credits role early in the episode was full of gags. I found myself backing up and re-watching that section just to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

Perhaps the most memorable scene though came the episode’s only extended action sequence. Rhys pretending he’s a commando while “shooting” hordes of accountants in a finger gun battle was completely unexpected and amazingly hilarious.

The writing and voice work remain phenomenal. Telltale has enlisted some of the best voice actors in the industry for this series. It really shows up in the final product. The characters are both completely absurd at time and completely believable.

After greatly expanding the cast of characters in episode three, everything was scaled back significantly here. Valerie and Vaughn are only present in the first few minutes of the episode. Gortus and Loader-Bot mostly fade into the background. Even Sasha disappears for a long stretch.

The return to Hyperion brings Yvette back into the story, but Telltale worked to keep her screen time to minimum. She seemed to always be one step away actually interacting with the main characters.

Telltale appears to be trying to remind us that this game is about Rhys, Fiona and Hansom Jack. Everyone else is just trying to “catch a ride” with those three on the way to the vault.

This most noticeable when Telltale decided to take a break from the comedy and action. There’s a scene in the middle of the episode that pulls on the heartstrings as a major player from the Borderlands games is killed off.

Fiona then notes to the masked captor that she and Rhys are recanting their story to that this death was “the first one.” This indicates that episode 5, which is the finale, is going to see more characters become victims to Fiona and Rhys’ failures.

When the death of characters, especially the one that died here in episode four, is combined with the way this episode ends (sorry, no spoilers!), it is clear that this is no longer just some side story.

Gearbox has given Telltale the authority to alter their universe in a meaningful way. It is even possible that this story will be the connector between Borderlands 2 and any future Borderlands releases.

Overall the episode was a tremendous success. It pushes the story forward toward was is certainly going to be an tremendous conclusion, and does so without giving away us any spoilers on what will actually happen.

My only request for episode five is that we don’t have to wait too long for it to arrive. I’m already excited to play the final episode of this story.


While shorter and less action-packed that the previous episodes, Escape Plan Beta was vintage Telltale greatness. The writing and humor were excellent, and the voice action was superb. The events managed to transfer Tales from the Borderlands from being just an amusing side-story into full-on Borderlands canon.

A copy of this game was provided to GameSided for the purpose of this review. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.

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