Telltale's Tales From The Borderlands is a unique mixture of Borderlands, Guardians of the Galaxy, and a dash of Sam & Max. It shouldn't work, but it does. After reading this new oral history of Tales compiled by Duncan Fyfe, I realize that it really shouldn't have worked at all. Two years in development with lots of last-minute changes and a destinationless journey ahead of the team led to a critically acclaimed but poorly selling series that is unlikely will see a continuation anytime soon. Consider how the team nearly killed off the beloved Loader Bot in the first episode:
[What] I remember being a huge problem was [on] Episode One, like literally three days before we weren’t allowed to touch the project anymore, Pierre comes to me — I think Guardians of the Galaxy had just come out. There’s a moment in the first episode where your friend Loader Bot can explode, and it’s based on a player choice. Pierre comes to me and says, “I don’t think we should let Loader Bot die.” I’m just like, “Well, okay. We’re 36, 48 hours away from this thing going live, what are you talking about? That choice is there.” And he said, “I think we might be blowing up our Groot.”
Tales From The Borderlands will always be special to me because my girlfriend and I basically built the ground floor of our relationship upon it. Not long after we met we realized we both were fond of Gearbox's looter shooter, and I offhandedly mentioned that I had this new Borderlands game sitting on my Sony PlayStation 4 that wasn't a shooter, but something different. She was intrigued and it wasn't long before we were sitting up evenings working our way through each episode one after the next together, passing the controller back and forth and choosing paths as a team. Telltale may consider it a failure, but my girlfriend and I think it's their greatest success yet.