Episode 3: Catch a Ride takes all of the major players from the first couple episodes as they collide together within the first few minutes. The regular bad guys Hyperion suits and regular criminals all join the party, with a few new players. A few vault hunters appear too while they all engage in a Mexican standoff and question you about your mission. Humor is always in play, and in my opinion this episode had some of the funniest one-liners I have ever heard in a game. That’s a bold statement, and I stand by it. Throughout the humor, the choices you have to make are huge, and should not be taken lightly. They are absolute story changers, but always have hilarious results. Also, “Touchgoal” is now a phrase I say in my everyday life.
For a good portion of the episode there is a separation into two main groups, which allows Rhys and Fiona to grow closer and find their humanity in this messed up situation they landed themselves in. I play Rhys as a down to earth, easily influenced character, while Fiona is a hard-ass who doesn’t take “no” for an answer. It was interesting for the story to grab a hold of my character concepts and see them develop as people. Whatever algorithm Telltale has going for them within their story development is brilliant. It was even more interesting to watch Fiona realize that she can be more of a manipulative criminal. You can literally see how she sees certain situations play out, when most would run away to cry in a corner. I am interested to see how this story plays out to present-day, because this group has been through hell and back. I know there is definitely more behind it.
A good part of Episode 3 takes place inside a beautiful dome filled with scenery I can only describe as “Avatar” like. It really looks like it was taken right from the movie. You can walk around, look, and even touch some of the scenery. The environment is surrounded and filled with neon-lit plants, alien-like creatures, and Pandora’s naturally beautiful floral decorations. The setting is definitely different from the typical desert-like environments with rusted and broken down buildings that we have seen thus far.
The unexpected highlight of Episode 3 was Gortys. Within the limited time I spent with her made me easily like her the most out of all of Telltale’s series, and maybe ever. Think of her as an adorable combination of Wall-E, Eve, and Claptrap. Her sweet, caring nature is a complete flip from the typical harsh environment we are used to on Pandora. It was also amazing to see her interactions with Loader Bot, and her hilariously naive nature as she has her first brush with violence and death. Gortys is exactly the kind of character Tales from the Borderlands needed to calm the story down and give us a reason to want everybody to turn out okay.
It is also worth noting that this is definitely the episode to start a second storyline, if you want. Replaying this episode isn’t worth it, in my eyes, but as a bulk it is definitely worth it!