Telltale Games – it’s all up to me?
Telltale Games came into my life by accident – but what a beautiful coincidence it was! I am not a big gamer; never was and never will be. Every now and then, I love to pick up a pad and get lost in that imaginary world. With Telltale, I feel like it truly is up to me.
I thought we were all supposed to have a fresh start here. I can’t change the past.
Like I said, I am not a pro-gamer. When I was younger, I loved watching my brother play various games on his computer or PlayStation. I could spend hours and hours on his bed, staring at the screen in total awe. There was some strange, wonderful comfort in that weekend activity.
He could always get through difficult missions and fight scariest bosses. But we also played some games together – Heroes III, Counter Strike… And Tomb Raider (he was physically playing but he listened my advices), Aztec: The Curse in the Heart of the City of Gold (for some reason this game was scaring the shit out of me, but it was a “family party” for all – even my parents “played” with us) …
Oh, now that I think about it – video games were an integral part of my childhood. It was a bonding moment for all of us; my brother, my mum (she was a ROCKSTAR at Rollercoaster Tycoon) …
I’m tired of feelin’ trivial, mate. A lot of us are.
I think maybe that is the reason I’m not such a player (wink)? I would rather watch someone do it, haha. But like I said – every now and then I love getting lost in that magical, fictional world. And sure – there are a lot of games I like: Jedi Fallen Order, Ibb and Obb, Assassins Creed, all Lego games (because they are just so relaxing) but there is no game that beats one from Telltale.
The small studio from California started their operation in July of 2004. It was founded by former LucasArts (yes, people from THE Lucasgames) developers Kevin Bruner, Dan Connors and Troy Molander, after LucasArts’ decision to leave the adventure game genre (go figures).
Telltale had their initial successes by making games using intellectual properties with small but dedicated fan bases, like Sam & Max or Wallace & Gromit. However, the true breakthrough came a few years later in 2012 with The Walking Dead. And that was the game that made me fall in love!
I’m scared, Lee…
What can I tell you to make it better?
That you won’t leave me.
TWD: The Game is an episodic, 4-season EFFING AWESOME, HEARTBREAKING game. And? Look, I used to like the series up until the first half of the 4th season. Then it went to shit, like a lot of great shows. Telltale decided to take up bits and pieces and cook up a fresh story with engaging plot and – most importantly – giving up the decision capacity back to the players.
For me, that was something absolutely new and unprecedented. But hey, maybe someone else did that too? Could not care less, Telltale did it first for me! Opening shot says that the story is tailored by how you play and that the story adapts to your choices. Sure, there is an outcome already “carved in stone”, but…
But. My choices were impacting the future episodes and season. And gosh, who does not like statistics at the end of every episode? Guess we are creatures of numbers. The plot was designed to break our hearts, there is no denying. Clem and Lee? Kenny and his family? OMG! Who did you save – Doug or Carley? WHAT KIND OF CHOICE IS THAT ANYWAY?
See? Games are supposed to help me relax and here I am, goosebumps on my neck just thinking about it. Telltale used pop cultural phenomena and they did it right. This is why I cannot understand why they fell.
I can take care of myself. I’ve been doing it for centuries.
Second title that came through my hands was spectacular The Wolf Among Us and holy shit, it’s like Telltale didn’t even need to sell it. Based on DC Comics Vertigo series called Fables… Also known as ONE OF MY FAVORTIES COMIC BOOK SERIES EVER??? (Seriously they even did a crossover with BATMAN – “Batman vs. Bigby! A Wolf in Gotham”, no kidding).
And up until 2013, Fables did not have a proper adaptation – few try, all failed. I mean, Once upon a time is not exactly a story about citizens of Fable Town. There is Snow White and Prince Charming but come on… Warner Bros. started developing a movie in that universe in 2015 but the project was eventually canceled – not even shelved.
And the game? Fantastic and one of the best I’ve ever played. And probably the only one from my adult life that I’ve played multiple times. In fact, I might give it another shot tonight, because why not? Sounds like a great plan for my free, lazy evening.
Our stories used to be so simple. We had a beginning, a middle, and an end. But ever since we’ve moved to this awful city… everything’s gotten so confused.
This is why I was devastated to hear that they had to close the studio because their major investor pulled out. That was in the midst of releasing the second season of TWD, so right after I played TWAU. Suddenly, the abruptly ended story was supposed to have NO end? Are you kidding me? AND WHAT ABOUT CLEM AND AJ? Bish, you better be joking.
Luckily enough… They were bought by LCG Entertainment and basically saved the day. TWD ended with a 4th season and 2 spin-offs; The Wolf Among Us will have its second (and hopefully not last) season in 2023.
Maybe the new Telltale is on thin ice for now, but I believe there is a bright, bright future ahead. Currently I’m playing their version of Batman and it’s not the worst – but not my favorite as well. It’s a good and engaging story, but feels kind of… Not spectacular. Which is a good thing, because I think Batman was pretty down to Earth.
Everybody in Fabletown has a role to fill. You just have to pay attention to what they need to help them find it.
Let that game be an ice breaker. And even though I just said the ice is thin, it’s okay to break it – just so we can reach their full potential! The real test will be the 2nd season of TWAU – was the original Telltale spirit preserved?
As of now, there are no new announcements from the new Telltale but that’s okay. They used to have “gaming” rights to Stranger Things (I am in love and next week you will read all about it), but ever since the takeover happened, it reverted to original owners.
I am fully curious to see the new era of Telltale and what their creative minds will cook up for us. Some would say it’s a close world with limited possibilities, but… To be honest, there are at least 4 choices to make every time. And then once again and again, which makes it a closed world, sure – but with limitless choices. Oh, and one more thing – unlike the real world, Telltale’s adapts.