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not so much sekiro star wars as much as arkham asylum with a lightsaber. unforgivable lack of fast travel when considering how these levels are built, nobody has ever wanted to redo an uncharted slide setpiece i promise. rare instance of a diagetic map being the wrong call, stars wars hologram blue hurts my eyes!
but hey it's nice to have one contemporary star wars property that doesn't have 300 glup shittos from a cartoon nobody watched be the centerpiece of its narrative.
one of the most promising starts to a game in a very long time. immediately builds a ton of intrigue, establishes a unique visual language and effortlessly delivers the exact amount of necessary exposition only to completely blow it all by having the protagonist simply refuse to Just Shut The Fuck Up For A Minute
the first tales from the borderlands was an intriguing experiment from the getgo. telltale had basically shot itself into the stratosphere, however briefly, and had announced collaborations with IP after IP. most of these were middling, such as the illfated game of thrones and guardians of the galaxy, but many others were quite good! especially interesting was in the post-walking dead world of telltale, was that the poorer the IP being adapted fit to their style, the better it worked. fables was a mostly mediocre comic carried by a solid-gold concept, but telltale managed to turn that into easily one of my favorite titles of the gen. borderlands, a series that had a good story in the sense that it had a really amazing bad guy and lore that made sequels incredibly easy- new evil corporation, new vault to find, bring protags from prior game back as NPCs, was the other biggest surprise of this era.
and now some eight years later, a sequel is announced and release in a three month span. as someone in the unfortunate position of a borderlands apologist, i was easily sold. and what i found here... is very confused. it occasionally hits the same notes as tales, spinning a decently funny tale about the nonpowered, everyday denizens of a world that is built around violence, crime and killing. but when it tries to do anything besides riffs on classic borderlands tentpoles, it seems dead in the water.
the three protagonists are all enjoyable, but they never gel together in the way the game kind of needs them to. anu, an anxiety riddled scientist, doesnt really seem to have a bad relationship with her estranged brother when they meet- but we're told they had a major split. same with fran, who's supposed to be a rageaholic with a tragic past that... is explained away in a joke? when the intrigue of the world takes a backseat to characters, new tales struggles to find footing, a shame compared to how incredible the character dynamics in the og are. this is all made worse by how badly the game tries to have recurring bits for every character in the game, it's insane. there are very few jokes, and a TON of recurring gags and bits- tell more than one kind of joke please! borderlands gore is very funny! do that and never use the word "himbo" again!
i can't say new tales isn't worth the time for a borderlands fan, nor can i say i didn't enjoy it in all honesty. it's a world i begrudgingly enjoy despite it's almost universal disdain on the internet writ large. chalk it up to all the late night skype (later discord) calls with my brother while we farmed loot and raced each other to finish questlines or find items before the other. new tales isn't going to convince you to change your mind on borderlands, nor do i think it cares to. i just wish this sequel gave a little more effort to follow up to its predecessor and a little less to making bits land. (a good half don't, the other quarter are tolerable, the last quarter actually made me chuckle)