Tag Archives: Telltale Games

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series – Episode 1: Tangled Up in Blue

Yes, the first episode came out a while ago and yes, we know we are a little late to the show; but, we only just picked up the Season Pass disc and that wasn’t released until just a couple of days ago. So, Episode 1 of Telltale’s latest adventure delves into the lives of this group of misfits as they roam the galaxy as the famed Guardians of the Galaxy. The Nova Corps asks them to face Thanos as he is on a nearby Kree planet searching for some kind of relic. The Guardians kill Thanos, using a powerful gun created by Rocket Raccoon, and celebrate their victory, Star-Lord himself drinking out of the cup-shaped relic that Thanos had found. As opposed to the blockbuster film, this is where you’re able to delve more into the personalities and thoughts of each of the Guardians, (even though Groot doesn’t really have a whole lot to say).

Stepping away from the story for a moment, the physical look of the game is something that I believe needs to be talked about: this game would have definitely benefit physically with the outlined look of games like Tales From the Borderlands and The Walking Dead. Besides that, the game looks stunning in both the aspect of detail to the environments and on character design. Mechanically, it also plays very well considering you are essentially playing as the Guardians as a whole. When you’re playing the game itself, you control Star-Lord, but when you’re working on quick-time events, you essentially play as all of them. That being said, you make all the decisions and moves as Star-Lord, a charming and witty guy who fights within the means of his team and for the protection of the galaxy: a very specific kind of character.

Many of the choices in the game require you to behave as you would normally, making the choice you feel best fits the situation. Playing as Star-Lord, I found myself making decisions that I felt he would make instead of what I would do. Yes, there are plenty of people who are playing the game without already knowing about the characters beforehand, but some responses just happen to feel all too genuine while others feel as though they were put there just to give the illusion of decision making. There are some very important decisions you do have to make. Like, whether you should listen to Rocket or Gamora about who to sell Thanos’ body to or who you should take with you to explore the Kree warship. Those decisions do build up tension within the team and kind of leaves you feeling like you need to make sure you don’t piss everyone off; however, it would have been nice to feel like I’m more in control of my decisions as myself, not as Star-Lord.

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Clocking in at a little bit over an hour, the first episode of Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series really does open up the story in a very interesting and intriguing way. The ending leaves a lot of questions unanswered while forming a million new questions as well. Fortunately, the series has much to explore in the ways of exactly who our characters are and why they are the way that they are. It feels as though the game is going to take a very serious turn in the coming episodes and give these characters a story worth remembering. I mean, exactly how many moms are there who ask alien hunters to care for their kids should something happen to them?

CLOSER:

While the game might not look as physically appealing as other Telltale games, Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series really gives these Marvel characters the attention they deserve in a story about just one of their many misadventures. This episode really does leave me with high expectations for the upcoming episodes between the fluidity between members during quick-time events and more insight into this incredibly interesting story.

Released on April 18, 2017

Developed and Published by Telltale Games

Reviewed on PS4

(3.5/5)

3

A review copy was provided for the purpose of this review.

Review: The Walking Dead Season 3 – The Ties That Bind

The Walking Dead: Season 3 – The Ties that Bind

Developed and Published by Telltale Games

Reviewed on the PS4

Beginning with Season 1 of the Walking Dead back in 2012, developer TellTale Games proved themselves to be expertly capable of creating rich, carefully crafted stories using well established IPs. Since then TellTale has tackled everything from Minecraft to Game of Thrones and has quite obviously left their mark on the modern day adventure game, a veritable roller coaster with the illusion of choice peppered throughout. That has been their formula, and by golly it works, at least for me.

TellTale’s The Walking Dead has been, undoubtedly, my favorite contribution to their extensive catalogue of products (which seemingly grows larger every time I look away). The Walking Dead Season 3 has been the newest entry in the series and it is undeniable that TellTale has learned a new trick with every game they’ve released.

The most quintessential aspect of any TellTale game is the story. I’ve noticed with each subsequent TellTale release that The Walking Dead Season 1 was the pinnacle of that TellTale formula coupled alongside some of the most gripping writing I’ve ever seen in a Video Game, and while The Walking Dead Season 3 doesn’t hit the same marks I can say that it’s still deeply rewarding.

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The most striking difference coming into Season 3 was the fact that Clementine would not be the Player Character for the Season. Instead, we are thrust into the role of Javier Garcia, a former professional baseball player whose Father passes away on the day of the outbreak. The opening scene in the pre-apocalypse is an intriguing scene that establishes a lot of Javier’s prior behavior and his relationship with the individual family members. It’s a quiet, emotional scene driven by a collective grief instilled into each of the character as they wrestle with the father’s passing. Obviously, since this is a Walking Dead game the grief and mourning doesn’t last too long before Javier’s Father turns into one of those feisty zamboni’s that crave human flesh and chaos. It’s a hectic opener and a hell of way to introduce to the cast.

Javier is a great character and an excellent addition to The Walking Dead cast. He may not have the heart or silky smooth voice of Lee but he’s still compelling and interesting, with enough charisma to boot. Clementine also makes a return in a more limited role than the previous seasons. Times have been tough for her after the events of Season 2. Interlaced throughout the main story are some excellent flashback moments that serve as an epilogue to whatever events you choose in Season 2. These flashbacks were easily my favorite part of the episodes, for however limited they are, since they allow you to embody Clementine as horrific events from her past are revealed.

I’ll stay light on specific story spoilers as I feel it would be an absolute injustice to reveal the most important aspect of any TellTale game, but I will say that as the episodes progressed I felt myself caring less about the overall story and more about the interpersonal relationships between the cast. The Walking Dead fails for me when it devolves into an all-out war scenario between two groups. I care about personal drama and how people react to the crazy world they now live in, and how they cope with that, rather than the all-out, guns blazing war movie bonanza that the most recent season of the Walking Dead TV show has gone down. Season 3 of The Walking Dead is taking similar cues from the TV show and I can’t help but feel that it waters down what made the first two seasons so good. The threat is no longer the Walkers, it’s now The New Frontier, the outright evil group that has subtitled this newest season. There’s still a ton of great character moments but the overarching New Frontier storyline is just plain lame. Hopefully they can pick up the pace in the next three seasons.

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Something else that was immediately noticeable in the opening moments and persisted throughout the rest of the episodes was the significant upgrade that TellTale made to their engine. While it still maintains that traditional TellTale art style, everything looks crisper and cleaner. Characters are more detailed and environments are able to accommodate more objects in a scene. Another improvement is the camera work, it seems that TellTale actually spent the time to craft an actual scene with proper character blocking and excellent cinematography. There was a craft to the cinematography that I felt was absent in previous TellTale game. Deliberate attention was paid to what was previously an oversight and I couldn’t be happier. The experience drastically deviated from simply playing a TellTale game to feeling and experiencing the game.

CLOSING COMMENTS:

The Ties That Bind Us are two strong entries into The Walking Dead franchise and I’m intrigued to see where these characters’ path leads us. It may have its faults but overall I felt satisfied with what I played. All I can say is, I’m excited with where the story was left off and I can’t wait to see what happens next time on… The Walking Dead.

Was that lame? I feel like it was a bit lame.

(4.0/5.0)

4-rating