Earlier this week, at a SXSW panel (covered by the folks at Polygon) called “Two Sides to Every Story – Tales from the Borderlands Unveiled at SXSW,” some of the team behind the upcoming adventure game sat down to discuss more details about the project. Attending were a mix of Telltale and Gearbox developers, who shared more insight into the story of the game, and how it would relate to the Borderlands universe.
The panel revealed that the game is indeed set on Pandora like previous titles, but will not follow the adventurous Vault Hunters that were the stars in the past. Tales From the Borderlands will instead focus on the less adventurous inhabitants of the game world. Specifically, the game has two protagonists. Fiona, a stylish, fast-talking con artist; and Rhys, a Hyperion company man with cybernetic enhancements. Players will take on the role of both of these characters throughout the game, experiencing flashbacks through the perspective of each. However, the sticking point is that neither version of the events of the game is “what actually happened.”
Telltale’s Kevin Bruner explained at the panel that “You never really play what actually happened, you’re playing the Big Fish version of what happened.” Both narrators are completely untrustworthy, driven by greed to tell the story that best suits them. While the Walking Dead featured hard moral choices to find the lesser of two evils, Tales From the Borderlands will instead have players choose between things they do want.
The game is set to take place around the events of Borderlands 2, and will be a canonical entry in the series, despite the unreliable narration. Gearbox writer Anthony Burch compared it to the compilation of short Star Wars stories, Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, saying that it will essentially be expanded universe.
“Let’s tell a story that’s not specifically about the world savers, it’s not about the badasses doing badass things – it’s about schmos trying to get by.”
Burch went on to say that “Borderlands can be more than just shooting people in the face repeatedly. That it could be shooting people in the face repeatedly and then talking to them is a cool possibility for us.”