Telltale Games set itself as a critical darling with its episodic adventure game based on the comic and TV series The Walking Dead in 2012. They’ve taken on various franchises with their style of design, including Game of Thrones, Borderlands, and are currently developing a Batman adventure game. However, it was becoming unclear if they would ever return to the series that put them on the map. Telltale announced a third season for their take on the Walking Dead series at Comic Con 2014 and stated that it would release in 2015, only to go silent on the project afterward.
At E3 2016, Telltale finally laid all concerns to rest and officially revealed The Walking Dead: Season 3. Like previous games in the series, it is set in the same world as the original comic, but follows its own unique storyline and characters. Season 3 will once again focus on the young Clementine as she continues her unending fight to stay alive in the zombie apocalypse. Going against what some suspected, it looks like Season 3 will be picking up a few years after the events of Season 2. Players will also be taking control of a new character named Javier who will be traveling alongside Clementine.
The Walking Dead: Season 3 is set to release its first episode this fall. You can check out the first official teaser trailer for it here. What are your hopes for the third season? Where can you see the story going in this new installment? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. Just be sure to be mindful of spoilers.
Games orientated around a post-apocalyptic story are becoming a superior genre of game. With next-generation capabilities, we see these games brought to life in development that makes the game feel so realistic that it almost makes the player feel as if they themselves are being bombarded by infected, or scavenging for goods in what remains of civilization. The demand for such games has become increasingly potent since the release of The Last Of Us especially, the post-apocalyptic wonder that snapped up at least 200 Game Of The Year Awards. With a mass of games slotting into this genre it is hard to determine what exactly are the key elements in making them so enjoyable and memorable. Well let’s look into that.
Obvious, I agree but it is a fact that the success of a post apocalyptic game is partially derived from an array of terrifying enemies to war with. It wouldn’t be as thrilling or exciting being thrown up against a score of infected bunny rabbits. Over the years we’ve seen the opposition come in all shapes and sizes, whether it be a mutated mole rat or an infected human splattered in blood. Alarming enemies generate an initial and fundamental line of fear within post-apocalyptic games and a good enemy will make your blood-curdle and your spine tingle as you consider confronting them.
Dying Light (Techland) is plentiful in a span of such enemies. Although, sluggish zombies linger in the streets throughout the day, after sunset, players are left to deal with the agile terrors of the night, Hostiles.
These terrifying goons are brilliant for upping the fear factor within the game. As you flee before them you can hear them huffing and puffing behind you as they close in. It’s really effective for generating the intensity that makes a great foe.
Furthermore, enemies can possess the scare-factor for an array of reasons. Taking the Fallout series as an accurate example, the games are set after the occurrence of a nuclear apocalypse, causing various creatures and humans to become mutated due to being consumed by high levels of radiation. Subsequently, enemies are larger and more frightening in terms of their alarming and unusual appearance. I mean, I’m not particularly fond of being harassed by a mob of Giant Scorpions or the misfortune of bumping into a Deathclaw. The enemies are out of character and creatures who’d usually not bat an eyelid at your presence become enemies. This unpredictability generates fear as a result.
Nothing says ‘post-apocalypse’ like a lack of resources. Having to search every nook and cranny in the remains of what once a thriving civilisation, really provokes a sense of desperation, amplifying the whole ”survival” feel to a post-apocalyptic game. In resources being scarce players must use their noggin to tackle specific situations within such games as wisely as possible in order to conserve resources and to keep pushing forward. An admirable example of such a game is none other than Naughty Dogs own, The Last Of Us. The vast majority of situations throughout the duration of this absolutely fantastic game, can be tackled with stealth and a little patience, allowing the player to save resources for more hands on encounters. As the difficultly levels of the game increases ammo and food become increasingly rare to come by, having the player then assess each situation so thoroughly as not to draw attention, or a gun. Although a subtle aspect of the game, this style of gameplay is effective for deriving a sense of realism from The Last Of Us and it’s level of effectiveness is all to evident in it’s overall, mind-blowing success.
Urgency And Desperation
Post-apocalyptic related games are commonly orientated around survival of the fittest, the desperation of fending for yourself in order to stay alive above all others. Post-apocalyptic wonders to date would not be nearly as successful had we been handed the key to survival on a silver platter, relieving us of all means of urgency and panic. Instead, these games are successful as we have to fight for the gift of life.
A very underrated example of such attention to detail is indie game, Lone Survivor (Superflat Games/ Curve Studios). Although the 2D- retro styled graphics may not exactly cause you to jump or scare easy, this game compensates with every other post-apocalyptic aspect being no less than perfectly-executed, complete with and eerie original soundtrack and the most effect sense of urgency and desperation. Throughout the game players must consume food and drink regularly in order to avoid falling unconscious and then awaking in your bedroom situated in the first initial area of the game. This may not sound like any particular reason to worry but with save points or in this case mirrors being so far apart, it is vital to avoid starvation.
Another post-apocalyptic game that has a very effective way of making the player remain on their toes is The Walking Dead Game (Telltale Games), but this is however for a very different reason. The Walking Dead Game is an interactive drama featuring various button sequences and decisions the player should make. The beauty in this game is it generates the post-apocalyptic panic by limiting times in which players can make decisions. In a matter of seconds a player must decide who to save between two people on the basis of who will benefit them most, what way a team of survivors should tackle a specific situation, all the while bearing in mind every decision has a consequent effect on the rest of the game, meaning a bad decision could have a detrimental outcome.
Post-apocalyptic games thrive in success thanks to finely developed settings. Not only are these hypothetical post-apocalyptic settings great for allowing the mind of the player to indulge in how the aftermath of an apocalypse could look on some realistic level, but it is also ups gameplay standards by giving the player so much to explore and do. Well-developed settings can also be very effective in adding pressure on the story of the game itself, reeling in players emotions by making the characters within the game look extremely hard done by. Again, Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us is a very prominent example of this. Set in a post-apocalyptic USA, we see the only means of safety being the scattered quarantine zones. As soon as the protagonists leave the safety of these areas, then having to navigate unstable skyscrapers and office buildings, flooded underpasses and booby-trapped places of refuge, we see a lot of pressure piled onto the story. Ultimately all of this makes the story unpredictable and as vaguely mentioned prior, it draws in players emotions, all of which is obviously effective in reflection to the outstanding success of The Last Of Us.
A jaw-dropping story is such a key aspect to driving post-apocalyptic games to their success. Although it seems an obvious aspect it truly is vital. An enthralling story will give a hypothetical game a sense of realism, making it seem much less far fetched. Post-apocalyptic games are much more enjoyable when they are believable. The Walking Dead Game (Telltale Games) is driven by it’s story telling, giving the player total control, almost making it as though they are the one surviving. The game is realistic and ditches the traditional idea of taking refuge in a shopping center with the rest of the survivors in your town and city. The Last Of Us (Naughty Dog) is hands down one of the best post-apocalyptic tales to date, purely because it is realistic and everything that happens within the game could happen given an infectious outbreak. It is always a winner to give the player the chance to feel like they themselves are within the game, especially within post-apocalyptic based games.
Even A Bit Of Originality
Living happily, outbreak of zombies occurs, survive. This is a traditional timeline of the chain of events within post-apocalyptic games. This being the case, it is a breath of fresh-air when a game of the same genre is released that is a little different. In this case we are going to refer to Tokyo Jungle (Sony Computer Entertainment/ Japan Studio) a game based on survival of the fittest, but in regards to the animal kingdom as mankind has strangely disappeared. In a post-apocalyptic setting you play as animals, fighting to survive long enough for the player to discover the reasoning behind the disappearance to humans. Initially this game is just hilarious, playing as animals such as Pomeranians (cute fluffy dogs), Lions and even some prehistoric creatures. However, the games success as a downloadable game was due to it’s originality and the fact it was developed from a totally different perspective on a post-apocalyptic world.
Games based on the aftermath of an apocalypse are becoming a particularly popular genre of game. With some great games already taking the gaming market by storm and with player demand for more of the genre I think it is only fair to say we can expect even greater releases from developers in this genre in time to come, all of which harnessing these very vital ingredients to the perfect post-apocalyptic game.
Telltale Games is a publisher that has been on the rise since their huge success with their take on Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead in the form of a story driven point and click based video game series. Since then they’ve gone on to create the second season, the fantasy world of The Wolf Among Us (An adaptation to Bill Willingham’s ‘Fables’) and we all received the confirmation by Telltale Founder – Kevin Bruner of a third (yes third!) season of this dark and emotional tale back on July 26, 2014 during Skybound Entertainment’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014.
Very little is known about the game’s development or release, all we know is that it could land some time soon in 2015 and that it is going to feature a “new angle” from the story, quoted by Dennis Lenart who was the Cinematic Artist of Season One and also Director of episodes “All That Remains” and “Not Going Back” from Season Two. Telltale also seem to have a lot on their plate at the moment with their other series Game of Thrones, Tales From The Borderlands and also an upcoming story set in the world of the Minecraft universe. Since there is little we know about what is in store for Season Three, here are my thoughts and theories that the direction of Season Three could take.
We pick up where we left off.
Although this is a difficult and unlikely one, it is still a possibility. Because Season Two ended with up to seven different scenarios but ultimately three endings, it would be difficult to pinpoint a direction for the story to proceed if fans chose Jane over Kenny or vice-versa. There could be the possibility of a new threat that places us and our past decisions in a universal starting point that takes off no matter what ending we chose. The only issue with that is that it destroys the impact and weight of those difficult decisions we made at the end of Season Two. Could it be that we take control as either Jane or Kenny and go back to taking care of Clementine and little AJ? Highly unlikely, I doubt Telltale would decide to pull off two different stories during the same time based on our past decisions, not only that but taking care of Clementine has been explored before in Season One and since then Clementine has grown and proven than she is capable of thinking for herself. Going back to looking after her would result in backwards storytelling with little to no progression and would only devalue her as a character. And what about the ending where Clementine goes off on her own? How would that work? That brings me to my next theory..
An older and more mature Clementine
This is a popular theory amongst fans of the series and its certainly a big possibility that fits nicely to the “new angle” hint. If we were dropped back into Season Three with an immediate introduction to an older Clementine, we would already assume that the ending where Clem goes on her own is the canon ending. If not, it would be a major disappointment to go along with Kenny or Jane and not know what happened in regards to them but that could easily be fixed with an introductory scene or flashback sequence that explains what happened. It would be interesting to see how Clementine has changed over time and who knows? Maybe little AJ has grown too and she is now responsible for him just as Lee was responsible for her? It’s a nice idea that brings us full circle to the evolution and development of Clementine’s character.
A new set of characters altogether.
This is something that worked really well in the 400 Days DLC package between Season One and Two. We get to see a range of different characters in different stages of the apocalypse followed up by cameos of those characters in Season Two. If Season Three took a new lease on The Walking Dead universe then that could spark a whole new variety of events and characters that we could fall in love with all over again. The only issue with this one however is that the question would still remain, what happened to Clementine? It’s not really something that needs an explanation however after fans of the series have drawn very close with these characters, there is a high demand on having to know, it’s difficult to move on to something new when there was no real concluded closure to her journey. The only conclusion we can gain from the end of Season Two is in regard to the stability of a group and how certain circumstances strain and wear a group away. the ultimate struggle was that no matter how hard Clem tried, it was all out of her hands towards the end until the final moment where she had to make the choice.
What do you think Telltale Games are conjuring up for Season Three of The Walking Dead Video Game Series? Until further news is announced, we can only speculate and hold onto our high expectations for the future.
I’ve got no problem with Resident Evil Revelations 2 (or Revelations 2, for ease), apart from that girl who points at everything like she’s just seen E.T. for the first time… and the fact that Barry has slightly better voice acting (Jill sandwich for life), but Revelations 2 seems to me an opportunity sadly wasted.
Let’s face it; Resident Evil is HOT right now. With Resident Evil HD edition officially achieving the title of the fastest selling Capcom game ever to grace the PlayStation Network, now is a great time to celebrate all that original Biohazard horror and bring back old favorites like Barry Burton, right? Well, yes and no.
Strategically, the recent releases were a golden idea; first, you’re hit with Resident Evil HD, an admittedly terrifying experience regardless of its age that just the other day, had three grown men cowering to the plinky-plonky music of typewriter-laden safe rooms (I was among these ‘men’). Then there’s Revelations 2, which brings you back to modern day ease and a more comfortable (and less atmospheric) experience. Though, when I first heard that Revelations 2 was an episodic game experience, I was excited, nay ready, for something fresh and new.
When reading first impressions and user reviews, I was a tad disappointed at the lack of tropes that I’ve tended to associate episodic gaming with. The traits of the excellent Telltale games appear to be absent in Revelations 2, and while these traits are not a necessity in episodic games, I feel that implementing some of them could have presented new opportunities. It got me thinking ‘if any game could benefit from moral choices that led to multiple endings, resident evil is it.’ Imagine if the bowel-stopping horror was combined with split-second choices that resulted in putting either yourself or your buddy character at serious risk?
Resident Evil one went a good way to inspiring this thought train. Between the gasps of uncontrollable horror, I was able to identify the kind of actions that led to the game’s multiple endings. Revelations 2 was a fantastic opportunity to bring multiple routes back to Resident Evil. That’s not to say that the thought of making hard decisions on top of the general horror game stress doesn’t terrify me, but that’s the point, right?
Just imagine seeing ‘this action will have consequences’ after every seemingly innocuous decision, or having the game tell you that Natalia (the buddy character that menacingly points at things) will ‘remember this’ whenever you do something morally suspect. Features like this would also allow you to influence the buddy characters in the game, like the way Corvo’s actions can change Emily’s view of the world in Dishonoured.
It seems like decades since we’ve heard anything on Telltale’s Game Of Thrones series. Luckily our collective luck has changed, as Telltale has graciously released the first teaser for Game of Thrones, and a nice bit of info to boot, so no more rumors and leaked screenshots – this is the real thing!
Sharpen your blades and steady your shields, for this teaser is quite a doozy. Sit back, relax, grab a cup of ale… or Mountain Dew, it doesn’t really matter and enjoy the first Game of Thrones video game teaser from Telltale below!
Here is the official press release in its entirety.
Today we can announce that some cast members of the series will reprise their roles in the game. While players will control five members of House Forrester in their story, the series will have them interacting with fan favorite characters throughout the season, including Tyrion Lannister performed by Peter Dinklage, Cersei Lannister performed by Lena Heady, Margaery Tyrell performed by Natalie Dormer, and Ramsay Snow performed by Iwan Rheon. Additional cast members will appear in later episodes.
The game series is based on the world, characters and events seen in HBO’s TV show, which in turn is based on George R. R. Martin’s books (A Song of Ice and Fire).The events in the game series begin towards the end of Season Three of the series, and end right before the beginning of Season Five. Players will visit familiar locations such as King’s Landing and The Wall, as well as unfamiliar locations such as Ironrath, the home of House Forrester.
House Forrester is a noble house from the Wolfswood in the north of Westeros. Bannermen to House Glover, they have always offered unswerving loyalty to the ruling great house of the North – the Starks. The Forresters are seated at Ironrath, an imposing stronghold surrounded by towering ironwood trees. Built over fifteen hundred years ago by Cedric Forrester and his triplet sons, Ironrath is a testament to the strength and endurance of Ironwood. The Forrester house words are ‘Iron from Ice’, which echoes their belief that – like the ironwood itself – the adverse conditions and unforgiving landscape of the North only makes them stronger.
The game will be played from five different points of view. Each is a member of House Forrester; either a direct family member, or a person in service to the House. Scattered across Westeros and Essos, each will play their part in seeking to save House Forrester from destruction.
Playing as five characters not only reflects the epic scope of Game of Thrones, but is also something that the player needs to be mindful of. This is because the actions of one character can ripple out to affect the rest of House Forrester. Multiply the actions of one character by five, and you’re truly playing the Game of Thrones… where you win, or you die.
Additional details on the series and its upcoming premiere episode, ‘Iron From Ice’ are forthcoming. Stay tuned to the Telltale Games Blog, twitter, and Facebook pages for more information as the premiere approaches, the first of six episodes, which will be arriving for download soon on PC/Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and iOS, with additional platforms to be announced.
Well, that sums it up nicely. Official cast members returning for their beloved voice – except you Ramsay, you’re despicable – is quite a nice touch. It’s also interesting to see an entirely new perspective on the incredibly well established land of Westeros. Telltale is quite brave for attempting to add their own story to such an interwoven tale.
The Walking Dead Game: Season 3 has been announced during the San Diego Comic Con in July and I am sure that all the fans of the flawlessly made game were excited to hear this. However, one thing is not clear yet: the release date of The Walking Dead Game: Season 3, and that’s probably due to good reason as development is certainly in its early stages.
However, during the Skybound Entertainment’s 2014 Multimedia Panel at Comic Con, Telltale Games President Kevin Bruner and The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman announced that there will be a third season of The Walking Dead game and that it’s coming… later rather than sooner. Here is the quote:
“Will there be a Season 3? Ok… there WILL be a Season 3. Yes, we are going to be making Season 3. — And it’s coming SOON? No, it will be coming LATER. Not this year […] but 2015.”
So, the release date of The Walking Dead Game Season 3 is sometime in 2015. Although we didn’t get a complete release date, I believe that it is safe to say that the title will actually launch in the first quarter of 2015, just like the previous games. My personal guess is that the game will come in February or March, so there’s still a bit of waiting left to do. Until then, you can still replay the first two seasons and enjoy the direction of the game.
Generally reviews are pretty straight forward from a writer’s perspective. Play the game, dissect the game, review the game. Even if the process is complex, the steps are rudimentary … that is to say, if the game actually functions.
In the case of The Wolf Among Us: Cry Wolf, the game ceased to cooperate so many times that it has delayed the review for weeks. Every time I attempted to tackle the game, it denied me access with bug after bug, as if it wanted to remain out of the limelight.
Cry Wolf is the most frustratingly broken episode Telltale has ever created, yet regardless of technical aspects and a few questionable design choices, manages to surpass everything that In Sheep’s Clothing attempted. That is, after I was finally able to surpass the myriad of bugs that awaited.
The fifth and final chapter in The Wolf Among Us has you returning to the shoes of anti-hero Bigby Wolf. As with past episodes, you will once again get to guide Bigby on a path of redemption or destruction, that is, when the game allows you to actually make real choices.
A common problem with Telltale games is that they offer both immensely satisfying and stressful choices, but as a contrast, offer the illusion of choice that tricks the player into believing they’re a part of the story. Several times in The Wolf Among Us, be it Cry Wolf or Smoke and Mirrors, you will have to make what appears to be a hard decision, only to have your character guided to the same place regardless. It’s not an apparent problem until you’ve had to replay the game either due to bugs and frustration, or by choice, but it’s a problem nonetheless.
A studio like Telltale, famous for character driven adventures, has earned the reputation of provoking both an immense attachment to characters, and tough choices. That said, one must argue: is the choice meaningful or impactful if you know that it’s simply an illusion? The answer is no if you were to approach me with the question.
When you’ve explored every musty, dank corner that Cry Wolf has to offer, you realize that you are frequently stumbling upon story-breaking illusions. A good example of this is (introductory spoiler) when you have to chase down two cars, and Telltale deceitfully leads you to believe you have a choice, only to be forced onto the car regardless of how many ways you attempt to take the other. It is this kind of thing that really makes Cry Wolf frustrating and disappointing, though luckily for fans of the series, intense action, dramatic tension, fantastic writing and plot twists await regardless of this criticism.
Bigby and the tale of the various citizens of Fabletown definitely comes to a close on this chapter, and almost nothing feels left unexplained. After four episodes of exposition and mystery, it’s very satisfying to have all of the enigmatic plot points unraveled and explained in a meaningful and memorable way. Some of the moments in this chapter stand out as some of Telltale’s best work to date, and though I’ve said that a lot, it’s commendable to them that they can continue to outdo themselves on a regular basis.
From the moment the Cry Wolf begins to the ending credits, there is not one moment of fluff or filler to be witnessed. It is direct and straight to the point without spending too much effort on down time. Telltale has put the more investigative, explorative aspects on the backburner to keep this chapter always in your face with its drama.
I must mention that this chapter suffers from being quite short however, but it never feels as if you’ve missed out, simply that they needn’t drag on which is essentially the very end of Bigby’s interactive story.
It’s nice that within the approximate hour and a half chapter, you do spend a lot of time engaged in the typical Telltale dialogue trees. You’re constantly arguing and reasoning with the people you meet or are bumping into again, and luckily, Telltale has avoided making every interaction feel samey and predictable, a major criticism of In Sheep’s Clothing.
These interactions would be nothing if it weren’t for fantastic character development in the previous chapters, and that is made quite clear by how much you will feel yourself caring as the events unfold. Characters you despise, you like, and characters you like, you despise. It’s that third dimensional writing that makes almost every single character you meet memorable. Nobody is perfect, and nobody is either entirely evil or entirely good.
As mentioned earlier, Cry Wolf spends little time developing already established characters, but they nonetheless remain as unique and interesting as ever before, even if you don’t get to spend much time with some of them. No matter the importance of the character, they’ll make an appearance, and the finale wraps things up for everyone. It may not be a Lord of The Rings-esque ending that shows the life and death of each character, but no one feels entirely left out.
The ending itself is a pleasant surprise. It felt as anything could’ve happened, but the route Telltale took with the exposition, pacing and the final conflict was a fantastic choice on their part. It kept you in the dark until the very last moments, and struck with revelations and explanations at just the right intervals. The final conflict is heated and intriguing, and the way they implement the core mechanics and the progression of Bigby as a character to impact the ending is quite fitting.
When all is said and done, Cry Wolf managed to redeem In Sheep’s Clothing with a hard hitting, suspenseful ending full of mystery and tension that any Telltale fan would be stricken by.
There are a few glaring issues such as illusory choices and bugs that prevent progress from being made, but once you conquer that, Cry Wolf is a game definitely worth playing.
It’s that time of the year again. Telltale Games has revealed the first and probably last trailer for Amid The Ruins, the fourth of five episodes in The Walking Dead Season 2.
“Free of their brutal captor, the group resumes their journey north. But hunger, violence and death have taken their toll. Simmering conflicts and inevitable changes within the group remind Clementine that danger can come from within, as well as without; she must choose her allies carefully in this penultimate episode of The Walking Dead Season 2.”
As with every installment of it, there are bound to be tough choices, dramatic climaxes and a whole lot of zombie killing.
Amid The Ruins releases on July 22nd for PS3, PS Vita, PC, and Mac in North America,and July 23rd for Xbox 360, PS Vita, PS3 in Europe.
Wolf Among Us: Cry Wolf Gets A Release Date, First TrailerTelltale Games finale of the wonderfully bleak The Wolf Among Us has been given an official release date and trailer. Cry Wolf is set to release on July 8th for PC and PS3, and July 9th for Xbox 360 and iOS.
The Wolf Among Us has had it’s ups and downs, but consistency aside, the game remains as thrilling as it is emotional, and I am surely not the only person that has been anticipating this chapter more than any other.
Below is the first trailer detailing a few of the events that may take place.
If the trailer isn’t enough, Telltale has supplied two screenshots for you to gawk at.
Telltale Games has released the first trailer for episode 4 of The Wolf Among Us, titled “In Sheep’s Clothing”. Along with the trailer, they’ve announced that the Episode will be released on May 27 for PC and Mac, May 28 for PS3 and Xbox 360, and May 29 for iOS.
Has the Wolf met his match? Beaten and bloody, Bigby is confronted by the realization that a society built on secrets is ripe for exploitation. And that the disenfranchised of Fabletown may see his prey not as the cause of their problems, but as their solution. Constantly caught between ‘the rules’ and doing the right thing, Bigby must tread a path fraught with danger in this penultimate episode of The Wolf Among Us.
I have been enamoured by Telltale’s take on The Wolf Among Us, and if A Crooked Mile is any indication of how excellent In Sheep’s Clothing will be, we’re in for a dramatic treat.