Tales From the Borderlands: The Borderlands franchise, created by Gearbox and 2K Games, first gained notoriety with its irreverent first-person shooter games but has since expanded into other genres.
2K Games has been branching out with new titles, such as the twisted take on tabletop gaming, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, and the recently released episodic adventure, New Tales from the Borderlands.
Despite departing from the series’ standard looter shooter formula, New Tales from the Borderlands still manages to retain a lot of what has made the series so memorable, most notably the IP’s capacity to leave the door open for future installments.
New Tales from the Borderlands takes many familiar ingredients from previous Borderlands games and gives them their own spin, from mechanical companions bursting with personality to a band of ragtag heroes somehow saving the day.
Despite having a (mostly) new cast of characters and an original story, New Tales from the Borderlands had the unmistakable humor of the franchise, which is something a sequel could definitely play with more, especially in terms of its title.
Naming Conventions in the Borderlands Series
There are a few mainline entries in the Borderlands franchise, as well as numerous spinoff titles, comics, books, and an upcoming film.
The main games have generally followed standard naming practices, with Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands 3 all using straightforward, sequential numbering without any sort of catchphrase.
In 2014, 2K Games added to the franchise with Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, a peculiarly titled game that was both a sequel to Borderlands 2 in terms of its release date and a prequel in terms of its narrative.
A friend of mine got me New Tales from the Borderlands for secret santa. It included the original tftb game which I just finished.
Honestly one of the best games I’ve played, can’t find anything bad to say about it. That story’s gonna stay with me for a good while pic.twitter.com/kwnoY4Q1Az
— Silver (@Mar10Silver) January 14, 2023
A mouthful, perhaps, but in light of the events of Borderlands: Because the Pre-Sequel occurs after the first Borderlands game but before the sequel, it makes sense.
It’s also consistent with the franchise’s signature brand of quirky humor, which is present across all of its games, and it may be a hint at a fun naming scheme for New Tales from the Borderlands.
New Tales broke away from the conventional numerical naming scheme established by Tales from the Borderlands, and a potential sequel might go even further by naming itself New New Tales from the Borderlands.
Prospective Futures for Stories of the Frontier
While Telltale’s New Tales from the Borderlands had a similar episodic structure and branching narrative to the original Tales from the Borderlands, it wasn’t quite as well received by players.
Despite introducing some instantly recognizable Borderlands characters like the dashing killbot LOU13, the story of New Tales from the Borderlands fell flat in the eyes of many fans.
Critics were mixed on the title, and some players complained that the gameplay felt dated. While the release of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands indicates that 2K Games is open to new directions for the Borderlands franchise as a whole, it doesn’t mean that the Tales from the Borderlands series is officially over.
— Coffee Snowstorm (@CoffeeSnowstorm) January 6, 2023
Fans of the Borderlands games would benefit from having more ways to immerse themselves in the universe, and a spinoff that prioritizes story and characters would complement the main series nicely.
New Tales from the Borderlands has the potential as a supplementary volume if it receives the necessary revisions.