After a hiatus that felt like forever, Telltale returns with Tales from the Borderlands: Episode 3 – Catch a Ride. While we felt that the opening episode was fantastic – it really was a pleasant surprise – the follow-up took a step back. It wasn't that Episode 2 was bad, it just didn't feel terribly fulfilling – but now we're at the midway point of the season, things have got to start moving forwards.
The mixed cast of newcomers and old faces from all three previous games in the series return, picking up right after the admittedly well-done cliff hanger of the previous episode. Figuring out just what this Gortys Project that we've been hearing so much about is the focus of the fiction. As a result of this, a couple more characters join the group led by Rhys and Fiona.
The crew are pursued by all manner of enemies throughout the course of this short story: some new, some old – and some Vault Hunters. Unsurprisingly, the group's plot fails to go according to plan, but this is in the best interest of the episode; the friendships in the clan really begin to blossom, offering a deeper look at their emotions and the way that they think.
And as a consequence, the episode offers some of the most restrained but effective humour of the season. The instalment offers a lot more deadpan delivery alongside some of the more wacky 'shock' humour delivered courtesy of the ever amazing Handsome Jack. However, overall it spends a lot less time focusing on funnies, to the writing's credit – and it actually gains some serious forward momentum, which puts it ahead of the second episode by far.
Sadly, the downside is that it's not enough; with just two outings left to go in this inaugural season, it feels like there's an awful lot that needs to be addressed in a relatively short span. As such, we can't help but worry that the final two episodes may feel rushed unless the developer extends them beyond the two hour chunks that we've become accustomed to over the years.
Tales from the Borderlands: Episode 3 – Catch a Ride starts to get to the meat of the plot, but it still leaves a lot of questions. This is fine – we're only halfway, after all – but it does seem like the story's heading in more directions than it probably should be. Nevertheless, this instalment falls somewhere in between the first and second episodes in terms of quality – and when all is said and done, that's not a negative thing.