I'll be upfront here, I love Telltale games. Admittedly I found them via the first season of their Walking Dead game so yes I found them once they became more “main stream” but who cares, they’re awesome! In total so far I have played six of their games including the first two seasons of The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, Tales from the Borderlands and Game of Thrones. I think I've experienced enough of their titles to make a worthy opinion on their trending style / genre of game. I may sound fanboyish here but honestly I don’t think I’ve been disappointed yet. They successfully maintain the suspense you would find in each franchises home medium (like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones shows.)
I’m not as familiar with the Fables franchise from which The Wolf Among Us was made but
, that game is just as suspenseful as the previously mentioned titles. I didn’t find the same level of life threatening intensity in the Borderlands game. However that’s to be expected given the nature of the games’ heroes, even if we aren’t playing as infamous Vault Hunters this time around. Regardless, you’re still looking out for the secondary characters who tag along with you so it’s not as if everyone will survive. I’ll say it again, I’ve yet to be disappointed by their games and here’s why.
Now, if I didn’t get my point across before there is always the looming threat of character(s) death in most of their titles. Even the main characters aren’t always safe, and a matter of fact there is a good chance in some of these games that the protagonists won’t make it. I place great value on that aspect which may seem a little grim but how many games have the main character make ridiculous decisions and never suffer consequences? I get the whole idea of upsetting the establishment “vibe”. As a humble hero overthrowing the corrupt empire or how our skilled war veteran manages to take down some corrupt superpower but realistically, how many risky decisions can you make before some level of reality kicks in and puts you in your place? How many zombie hordes would a single person be able to kill before eventually finding themselves bit if not worse? Obviously it is fun to take on the role of these powerful characters who manage to overcome the odds but, occasionally it’s more fun to play the part of the less invincible hero (someone whose major threat is what other protagonists would treat as some small fries.) This shouldn’t suggest that the main characters are inept or incapable with heroes like Bigby Wolf but, even when you fill his shoes you are humbled by the enemy from time to time.
Another great aspect is the familiarity we have with the franchises they work with and how
they manage to blend the themes of those franchises to their unique genre of video game. When I played Borderlands, it still felt right; it still felt like it belonged in the Borderlands universe. The same went for The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. Usually the players take on the part of a new character within the given franchise so that our story doesn’t have to follow the experiences we’ve encountered within the other games or shows but, it’s always fun when you run into existing characters like Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones or Glenn from The Walking Dead!
Finally, while your decisions won’t dramatically change the story, they do have some impact on your character and those you interact with. Ultimately you’ll find that most of the character’s fates are set in stone but there are a few instances where you can determine who lives and who dies and yes, this part may be morbid but, how soon someone will die. Do you stay behind and risk getting bitten by a zombie to help someone who’s stuck or do you
make a run for it as the horde is distracted with their new meal? Or, you have two recent crime scenes and limited time to inspect them for evidence before your hidden opposition manages to clear the scene? Where do you go and who will you find? These decisions can decide who you’ll get your hands on and what information our hero will have to work with to uncover the mystery. As I said before, some events simply can’t be avoided or altered in any way but I myself as well as many of you I’m sure, will linger over each and every decision you do make. Some choices will be easy to make but you will face plenty of split second decisions and even worse, having to choose the “lesser of two evils.”
Elements like these can be found in other games like those made by Bioware but of course delivery is key. So in addition to everything I just went over there is of course the fact that Telltale games can almost be described as interactive graphic novels. Some may feel that doesn’t do them justice but, I think it just goes to show what can be done in the video game medium. Telltale effectively took one media (graphic novels) and blended it with the video game media, resulting in something much more interactive and engaging, something unique in the gaming scene but familiar enough to understand and enjoy. In any case I’m not sure how you all have felt about their recent games but I’ve loved them. It’s nice to have a company I trust to put out a quality game each and every time when we’ve had some less than ideal releases as of late to say the least. Luckily we have only just begun Tales from the Borderlands and Game of Thrones. Additionally it is known that they’re also working on season three of The Walking Dead! So it looks like we have quite a bit to look forward to. Keep it up Telltale, from me and all of us here at Destructive World Gaming you guys are awesome!