New Borderlands stories look and feel familiar in the expanded gameplay demo

Publisher 2K teased in April that it was bringing back Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands series but this time it would be developed in-house by Gearbox Software. Then, during Gamescom’s Opening Night Live event, Gearbox officially revealed the sequel, which is less a direct continuation of Telltale’s story than a spiritual successor to the series, as evidenced by its official name: New Tales from the Borderlands.

This new trailer gave us a look at the new protagonists – selfless scientist Anu, her wise brother Octavio, and local business owner Fran – as well as a look at how Tales from the Borderlands this new entry is. this time. Sure, it’s a new cast and a whole new story set in the world of Borderlands, but it’s sure to play and feel familiar. Speaking with the team, it’s clear this is Tales from the Borderlands with an added Gearbox perk.

“As someone who had worked on previous tales, I was acutely aware that this was a critical darling,” Gearbox Software production manager James Lopez tells me. “People who’ve played it love it. Rather than trying to follow those footsteps, we try to recognize the route those stages take, but then try to do something different. Use the formula, use what worked, but do it at the Gearbox.

That’s why this game is more like Borderlands 3 in visual style than the first Tales from the Borderlands, and that’s why it features better updated animation.

Lopez says Gearbox is partnering with the developers of the first game to ensure its spiritual successor stays true to the series’ roots. This authenticity and dedication to making New Tales from the Borderlands feel like home was evident in its first gameplay demo, which debuted at Pax West in September. In it, we see the unlikely trio of Anu, Octavio, and Fran attempt to escape dangers in an underground sewer system riddled with Tediore troops who want nothing more than to take them down. What immediately struck me was how great Tales from the Borderlands was this gameplay, from instant gameplay to writing.

The jokes are plentiful, some hitting harder than others, depending on your tolerance for Gearbox’s Borderlands humor. And the gameplay is nearly identical to Telltale’s first and only foray into this universe, which is to say your main mode of entry comes from selecting dialogue choices and how they affect characters. characters and the world around you as well as the overall narrative.

As you’d expect, when it’s time to choose a dialogue, you’ll see options appear onscreen and a red bar below to indicate how much time you have left to select one. Don’t expect to see a “Fran will remember this” notification after you make your decision, because unlike Telltale’s game, the team has removed on-screen markers like this. Instead, you’ll have to decipher how that choice affects those around you based on what they do and say afterward.

As for why the team chose to remove these notifications, it’s to reinforce the impact of each choice.

“There is an immediate impact; there’s an immediate joke tied to the choice you made,” Gearbox Studios Quebec producer Frédéric Scheubel says of the demo’s first dialogue choice. “What choice you make…will have its own streak that plays out differently. And some of those choices will have mid-term and even longer-term impact, affecting the ending you’ll see, so pay attention, see how the characters react. If you diss them, they will react. We think every choice matters, so we’ve moved away from the clues we had before in Tales from the Borderlands.

He continued, “Instead of making it like ‘this choice is the important choice’, all of the choices can be important and may have led you to those circumstances later on.” Beyond reactions and diegetic moments, there are two other ways to capture how your choices affect the game. In classic Telltale fashion, at the end of each episode there will be a recap of what you’ve done. There will also be an NPC assassin bot that will follow the trio, acting as a Greek Chorus character for the party.

“If you say something particularly harsh to someone, they’ll call you,” Lopez says. “He won’t criticize you. He’ll just go, ‘That was hard enough.’ There is also a mechanic, where he will measure the binding level of the group. When you have those moments where he calls you that stuff, it’s an opportunity to go, ‘do I like that? Do I want to go back and make my link higher? »

Lopez says the dialogue choices featured in the Pax West demo are just a few of the hundreds in the final game, and all will help determine which of the five endings you can get when the credits roll. About dialogue, Lopez says that Anu, Octavio, and Fran have clear archetypes, but players don’t have to follow them. It’s your story, after all, and when you deviate from each character’s archetypal path, Lopez says you’ll see and hear the characters react to it.

An exciting aspect of New Tales from the Borderlands featured during its first gameplay demo was Vaultlanders, one of the game’s many mini-games. collection found and earned throughout the story, from a very combative character selection screen. The game then immerses you in comical action figure combat that unfolds with button clicks and quick events. In this case, winning the battle earned Octavio the Zane Flynt minifigure, who fans might recognize as one of the playable characters in Borderlands 3, a game set a year before the events of this one.

The rest of the demo plays out as you’d expect – jokes, quick events, tough dialogue choices, and plenty of Borderlands perils – and it’s worth watching if you’re excited for what awaits you in New Tales from the Borderlands. ahead of its October 21 release.

Did this gameplay demo get you excited about playing New Tales from the Borderlands next month? Let me know in the comments below!

About Georgia Duvall

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