With odes to classic films, plenty of laughs and a few sentimental moments as well, the fourth episode of the “Tales From the Borderlands” series, “Escape Plan Bravo,” is another awesome addition to the series, even if its ending lacks the same punch as many of the smaller moments within it.
Although we’ve seen death in this series before, the loss of one of the series’ coolest side-characters changes the tone forever. Things are definitely serious now. While the antics of Gortys and Handsome Jack provide some humor at times and there’s still plenty of banter (The return of Patrick Warburton and the whole “Skin Pizza” segment without a doubt help in this effort.) you get the feeling that the group is nearing the end of its road.
With plenty of ends to be tied up in the end and several characters’ fate still up in the air, “Escape Plan Bravo” succeeds in giving the gamer plenty to think about moving forward. Although there isn’t much combat and almost no places where the gamer could get killed, there’s more plot development and drama to justify a lack of action.
Taking off into space ultimately is one of the most memorable moments in this episode, mainly because of the series of montages throughout. From “Armageddon” to “Dr. Strangelove” and even “Ocean’s 11,” hardcore film geeks will love how much time and effort the team at Telltale went through to make this episode polished and fun from a storyline point-of-view.
The major problem is that it all ends so abruptly. While Rhys has to make a decision that’ll change the series forever and his own destiny, the feeling that this “matters,” isn’t brought home as well as it could have been. As a result, you have a wild ride that essentially shorts out at the end. It doesn’t necessarily hamper the entire experience, it’s just a bit of a letdown.
Regardless of its shortcomings, “Escape Plan Bravo” is one of the funniest additions to the series, but ends up as one that you’ll remember for a few more serious reasons. If not for the lackluster ending, it could have been the most engaging addition to the series yet.
Hilarious: The montage scenes and the continued adorable nature of Gortys made for another remarkable adventure through the “Borderlands” universe.
Bonds Tighten: The group has been through a heck of a lot up until this point and through it all, they continue to work together and grow. So close to finding the lost vault, it’s great to see them creating new opportunities and hatching new schemes, even in the face of imminent danger.
Death and Loss: Although the tone is mainly light in this episode, the death of an awesome character is one that you won’t forget.
Abrupt Ending: The way this episode ends is weak. While there’s plenty of flashbacks and wonder as to what’s going to happen next, the climax doesn’t come nearly as close to winning you over as some of the other moments in this episode.
Forcing the gamer to go through a bevy of emotions, “Escape Plan Bravo” more than makes up for its short length and mediocre finish by providing several cool moments that’ll keep you invested throughout.