Tales From the Borderlands Ep 5: The Vault of the Traveler Review
Tales From the Borderlands Ep 5: The Vault of the Traveler Review
As far as finales go, Vault of the Traveler is easily one of Telltale’s strongest.
Posted: 01/25/16 | Category: Review | Developer: Telltale Games | Publisher: Telltale Games | Platform: Ios, Android, Xbox 360, Xbox one, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Windows, Mac

Genre: Point-and-Click Adventure
Release date: October 20, 2015

Telltale Games’ rollicking comedy Tales from the Borderlands comes to a close in what is easily one of the studio's best works. Episode 5: The Vault of the Traveler ties up every loose thread in the series without missing a beat. The humor stands among the series' best with many moments causing me to crack up while I played, and every character has a moment in the spotlight. As far as finales go, Vault of the Traveler is easily one of Telltale’s strongest.

Vault Hunters

Coming off a great cliffhanger, Vault of the Traveler starts with a bang -- literally -- as Handsome Jack begins to wreak havoc on Hyperion Station. What follows is an action-packed, breathless escape as Rhys and Fiona try to get off the station and save their friends. Spoiling any more of the story would be wrong, as Vault of the Traveler is so dense with plot twists and character growth that it deserves to be played.

What I can mention is the amount of excellent character development that exists in this episode. Every character is given time in the spotlight to grow and develop as a person, including Handsome Jack. One particular conversation with Jack made me question how well I knew the character, and made me feel empathetic towards a man I knew deserved no sympathy.

However, it is Rhys' and Fiona’s story, and their journey comes to an end in an incredibly satisfying way. Rhys learns the humility that comes with watching everything crash down around him, and Fiona realizes that trusting others won’t always hurt her. In fact, it just might save her life. Telltale has managed to breathe an extra layer of depth into already fully fleshed-out characters. In Vault of the Traveler, Telltale Games has managed to create a finale that deftly juggles moments of intense emotion and laugh-out-loud humor. By the time the credits rolled, I felt happy and satisfied. The ending leaves room for a second season, and I hope Tales from the Borderlands gets another chance to build on the wonderful characters they’ve made me fall in love with.


One of the most surprising things about Vault of the Traveler is how much player choice affects how events play out. And that isn’t simply referring to choices made in this episode, but choices made in the entire series. Even the amount of money in your wallet plays a role before the climax of the episode. It’s refreshing to see the full consequences of how your choices play out, and the resulting climax feels earned because of it.

Without spoiling anything, every choice made in Tales from the Borderlands leads into one final climactic battle, with everything on the line. Knowing who had my back based on how much they trusted me made the finale that much more impactful. I had fought with some of the most dangerous people in the galaxy, but my choices had led some of these people to trust me, and that felt incredibly gratifying.

Rock ‘em, Sock ‘em Robots

Without going into too much detail, the action scenes in Vault of the Traveler are easily my favorite in the series, and probably my favorite in any Telltale game ever. The sheer scale and fluidity of the action blows everything else they’ve done out of the water, and it's immensely satisfying to pull off these crazy action scenes flawlessly. As with the rest of the action in this series, the climactic battle manages to combine action and humor in a way that kept my adrenaline pumping, but left me laughing as I played. While there were some framerate dips here and there, the action remained relatively smooth throughout.

The only hitch in the action scenes is the load times. It hadn’t been much of a problem before, but there are a couple moments when the action comes to a halt as another scene begins to load in. They aren’t long loads, but they interrupt the flow of the action on occasion, making it worth mentioning.


Telltale Games has hit it out of the park with Tales from the Borderlands. Apart from a small misstep in Episode 4, the entire series has been an incredibly enjoyable romp through the Borderlands universe. With Vault of the Traveler, Telltale Games has given weight to every choice made throughout the series, and filled the story with emotional and hilarious moments. And while the episode ends on a satisfying note, it opens up the world for a potential sequel. With Vault of the Traveler, Tales from the Borderlands has found the explosive and satisfying ending it deserves.


Grade: A
Emotional and Hilarious
Excellent Character Development
Every Choice Matters
Best Action Scenes in any Telltale Series
Telltale's trademark bugginess
System Requirements
Microsoft® Windows® XP Service Pack 3
Processor: Core 2 Duo 2 GHz or equivalent
Memory: 3 GB RAM
Graphics: ATI or NVIDIA card w/512 MB RAM
Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c sound device
Additional Notes: Not recommended for Intel integrated graphics
OS: Snow Leopard 10.6.X 
Processor: 2.3 GHz Intel
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: 512 NVIDIA or ATI graphics card
Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
Additional Notes: Not recommended for Intel integrated graphics or Mac Minis or early-generation MacBook
Specials from Digital Download
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