Since their respective debuts, Telltale appears to have prioritised Game of Thrones over Tales from the Borderlands. Indeed, the latter's release "schedule" could, at best, be described as inconsistent. The first episode released in November of last year, and now, ten months later, we've just made it to the fourth instalment. This has been made all the more confusing by the fact that Borderlands is quite a lot better than Game of Thrones. And that remains true with Episode 4 – Escape Plan Bravo.
Tales from the Borderlands' ensemble cast of familiar and new faces have been getting up to all sorts of hijinks in the four episodes since we've been introduced to them. For the past couple now, the goal of the crew has been to attempt to completely unify and begin using the mysterious Gortys Project, a creation of one of Handsome Jack's rivals, the Atlas Corporation.
Interestingly, this episode takes players back to the Space Station that they started the game on: Helios. It offers a great change of scenery, as the deserts of Pandora can feel monotonous after a while; there's nothing like the cold, soulless metal of a space station to refresh the environments. However, this episode is interesting even among the other releases of the season, as it has a very unique blend of themes.
For starters, this may be the goofiest episode to date, including a skin pizza party – we'll let you find out for yourself – and what just might be one of the most creative and utterly zany action sequences that we've ever seen. In anything. Ever. This silliness permeates much of the outing, and is actually played pretty straight, which sets it apart from previous instalments.
Not everything is happy and funny, though. This episode also happens to wear its heart on its sleeve, successfully offering some truly touching instances and even some more sad bits, which, for the sake of spoilers, we're going to refrain from talking about here.
The voice work from the stellar cast remains top notch, which greatly helps with the transitions between tones that we see this time out as well; a lesser qualified cast could have botched the switches between wacky, touching, and sombre that we see here. A great accompaniment to this is the audio work and, as ever, Jared Emerson-Johnson's soundtrack. All of these things elevate the experience above and beyond expectations, which, while par for the course with Telltale, is appreciated nonetheless.
Outside of the irritatingly expected technical hiccups, Tales from the Borderlands: Episode 4 – Escape Plan Bravo is brilliant. Creative, heartfelt, and fittingly ludicrous, it's represents Telltale at its best, in what is quickly becoming the most consistent series in its portfolio. When this was announced, we never thought that we'd ever write that sentence.