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Found 25 results

  1. After a flat third entry, What Ails You ratchets up the excitement and, more importantly, the variety. The fog surrounding The Pact’s scheme finally dissipates and John Doe’s personal journey hits a major climax. What Ails You focuses on paying off choices. Primarily, the consequences of the player’s interactions with John Doe culminate in an intense and well-executed confrontation. Many of the conversations player had with John resurface in surprising, mostly logical ways, making his turn feel developed and nuanced. An element of inconsistency remains; John still admired Batman despite choosing to totally shun him in the previous episode. Overall, though, Telltale does a good job of making you feel greatly responsible for whichever man John chooses to be. During the episode’s explosive climax I found myself thinking “What have I done?” Everything hits the fan as the scope of The Pact’s goals, along with grander schemes involving the Agency, begin to crystallize. A good thing too, as the overall plot suffered from a lack of direction in the last episode. Their surprisingly personal motivations add a layer of humanity to the cast of rogues (save for Mr. Freeze who’s always had that) even if the more villainous aspect of the plan remains somewhat nebulous. Subplots like Alfred’s mental anguish and the Tiffany Fox saga receive some screen time but still don’t contribute much to the big picture as of yet. Decisions weave several divergent paths. The exciting opening chapter plays out in two very different ways depending on how players chose to conclude Fractured Mask. Seeing my actions result in such substantial differences excited and relieved me after the second episode’s final choice went nowhere. The same applies to the final chapter, with two equally exciting outcomes that I can’t wait to follow up on. Unfortunately, the prolonged delay between episodes has made it tough to remember the finer points of the story. Though a problem with this season as a whole, that came to a head here where players receive answers to questions I’d forgotten were asked. I also have a particular bone to pick with the story: what’s up with so many people learning Batman’s identity? If this keeps up, Bruce may as well out himself like Tony Stark did. We thankfully learn how Amanda Waller became privy to that knowledge, though Bruce still refuses to logically delve deeper into the matter. A couple of new wrinkles to gameplay offer welcomed freshness, like pouncing atop Bane and using the shoulder buttons to pummel him in first-person. Ultimately, the amount of interactivity remains the same: the occasional light puzzle and timed-button action sequence without any standouts. Conclusion: What Ails You serves as a good penultimate episode and probably the most memorable installment since Episode 1. The episode flies by thanks to eye-widening surprises, some much-needed clarity, and high-stakes drama. John Doe undoubtedly steals the show and his transformation looks to set up a thrilling season finale. If only we didn’t have to wait so long to play it. View full article
  2. After a flat third entry, What Ails You ratchets up the excitement and, more importantly, the variety. The fog surrounding The Pact’s scheme finally dissipates and John Doe’s personal journey hits a major climax. What Ails You focuses on paying off choices. Primarily, the consequences of the player’s interactions with John Doe culminate in an intense and well-executed confrontation. Many of the conversations player had with John resurface in surprising, mostly logical ways, making his turn feel developed and nuanced. An element of inconsistency remains; John still admired Batman despite choosing to totally shun him in the previous episode. Overall, though, Telltale does a good job of making you feel greatly responsible for whichever man John chooses to be. During the episode’s explosive climax I found myself thinking “What have I done?” Everything hits the fan as the scope of The Pact’s goals, along with grander schemes involving the Agency, begin to crystallize. A good thing too, as the overall plot suffered from a lack of direction in the last episode. Their surprisingly personal motivations add a layer of humanity to the cast of rogues (save for Mr. Freeze who’s always had that) even if the more villainous aspect of the plan remains somewhat nebulous. Subplots like Alfred’s mental anguish and the Tiffany Fox saga receive some screen time but still don’t contribute much to the big picture as of yet. Decisions weave several divergent paths. The exciting opening chapter plays out in two very different ways depending on how players chose to conclude Fractured Mask. Seeing my actions result in such substantial differences excited and relieved me after the second episode’s final choice went nowhere. The same applies to the final chapter, with two equally exciting outcomes that I can’t wait to follow up on. Unfortunately, the prolonged delay between episodes has made it tough to remember the finer points of the story. Though a problem with this season as a whole, that came to a head here where players receive answers to questions I’d forgotten were asked. I also have a particular bone to pick with the story: what’s up with so many people learning Batman’s identity? If this keeps up, Bruce may as well out himself like Tony Stark did. We thankfully learn how Amanda Waller became privy to that knowledge, though Bruce still refuses to logically delve deeper into the matter. A couple of new wrinkles to gameplay offer welcomed freshness, like pouncing atop Bane and using the shoulder buttons to pummel him in first-person. Ultimately, the amount of interactivity remains the same: the occasional light puzzle and timed-button action sequence without any standouts. Conclusion: What Ails You serves as a good penultimate episode and probably the most memorable installment since Episode 1. The episode flies by thanks to eye-widening surprises, some much-needed clarity, and high-stakes drama. John Doe undoubtedly steals the show and his transformation looks to set up a thrilling season finale. If only we didn’t have to wait so long to play it.
  3. Today, the Dark Knight rises once more. The second episode of Telltale's caped crusader focuses on the corruption of Gotham City; shady dealings that seem to have played a role in the death of Thomas Wayne. Players face a pivotal choice: Will Bruce Wayne wear the mantle of Batman or billionaire in his pursuit of the truth? As part of Telltale's promotion for their Batman series, the developer has put together an interesting behind the scenes video detailing the process their voice actors go through to bring their characters to life. Catching glimpses of voice acting greats like Troy Baker (Bruce Wayne/Batman), Laura Bailey (Selina Kyle/Catwoman), and Travis Willingham (Harvey Dent) playing off of one another feels like a real treat. They all bounce of one another and come up with ways to fine-tune their performances. It's really quite interesting and a must watch for anyone who has a glimmer of interest in the voice acting business. Telltale's Batman Episode 2: Children of Arkham can now be downloaded for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Episode 2's release date for last gen consoles or mobile will be unveiled later this month. Curious about the Batman Telltale series? Check out our review of Episode 1: Realm of Shadows.
  4. Today, the Dark Knight rises once more. The second episode of Telltale's caped crusader focuses on the corruption of Gotham City; shady dealings that seem to have played a role in the death of Thomas Wayne. Players face a pivotal choice: Will Bruce Wayne wear the mantle of Batman or billionaire in his pursuit of the truth? As part of Telltale's promotion for their Batman series, the developer has put together an interesting behind the scenes video detailing the process their voice actors go through to bring their characters to life. Catching glimpses of voice acting greats like Troy Baker (Bruce Wayne/Batman), Laura Bailey (Selina Kyle/Catwoman), and Travis Willingham (Harvey Dent) playing off of one another feels like a real treat. They all bounce of one another and come up with ways to fine-tune their performances. It's really quite interesting and a must watch for anyone who has a glimmer of interest in the voice acting business. Telltale's Batman Episode 2: Children of Arkham can now be downloaded for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Episode 2's release date for last gen consoles or mobile will be unveiled later this month. Curious about the Batman Telltale series? Check out our review of Episode 1: Realm of Shadows. View full article
  5. The three-part addition to Telltale's narrative take on the popular blocky building game comes to a close with the release of Episode 8: A Journey's End? this September 13. Minecraft: Story Mode proved to be fairly successful when it launched in late 2015 and Telltale began extending the series with new episodes as part of the Adventure Pass after the original five episode run came to a close. Three episodes make up the additional content. The first, A Portal to Mystery, offered players a chance to solve a spooky mansion mystery with characters voiced by popular Minecraft YouTubers. Access Denied composes the second episode of the Adventure Pass in which players face off against a haywire redstone AI. The final episode, A Journey's End?, follows the block-based adventurers as they battle their way through a gladiatorial arena in a bid to find their way home. Two voice actors have been revealed for the finale episode: Jim Cummings and Kari Wahlgren. Many might recognize Cummings for his work on Winnie the Pooh and Darkwing Duck. Meanwhile, Kari Wahlgren has made a name for herself on Rick and Morty and The Farily OddParents. The Adventure Pass can be purchased for $14.99 while individual episodes go for $4.99 apiece. It is required that players own Episode 1 of Minecraft: Story Mode or the physical season pass disc in order to purchase Episodes 6-8. Minecraft: Story Mode and the Adventure Pass episodes 6 & 7 are available now for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Android, and iOS. Episode 8: A Journey's End will be available on September 13 for all consoles and PCs, with the mobile versions coming later that week.
  6. The three-part addition to Telltale's narrative take on the popular blocky building game comes to a close with the release of Episode 8: A Journey's End? this September 13. Minecraft: Story Mode proved to be fairly successful when it launched in late 2015 and Telltale began extending the series with new episodes as part of the Adventure Pass after the original five episode run came to a close. Three episodes make up the additional content. The first, A Portal to Mystery, offered players a chance to solve a spooky mansion mystery with characters voiced by popular Minecraft YouTubers. Access Denied composes the second episode of the Adventure Pass in which players face off against a haywire redstone AI. The final episode, A Journey's End?, follows the block-based adventurers as they battle their way through a gladiatorial arena in a bid to find their way home. Two voice actors have been revealed for the finale episode: Jim Cummings and Kari Wahlgren. Many might recognize Cummings for his work on Winnie the Pooh and Darkwing Duck. Meanwhile, Kari Wahlgren has made a name for herself on Rick and Morty and The Farily OddParents. The Adventure Pass can be purchased for $14.99 while individual episodes go for $4.99 apiece. It is required that players own Episode 1 of Minecraft: Story Mode or the physical season pass disc in order to purchase Episodes 6-8. Minecraft: Story Mode and the Adventure Pass episodes 6 & 7 are available now for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Android, and iOS. Episode 8: A Journey's End will be available on September 13 for all consoles and PCs, with the mobile versions coming later that week. View full article
  7. Fans of Telltale's The Walking Dead franchise are as ravenous for new details as the titular flesh eaters themselves, and one juicy morsel found the light at Telltale's PAX West panel Friday afternoon. The third season will officially be titled The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series – A New Frontier. Kevin Bruner, co-founder and CEO of Telltale Games described season three "As a harrowing and horrific drama" that delves into the grit and grime of survival in a flesh-eating apocalypse. Players should ready themselves to deal with their beloved Clementine "confronting the new rules of order and justice in a land being brutally reclaimed and rediscovered by what's left of humanity itself." The upcoming season is set roughly four years after the dire events of season two, and features the return of the series' darling Clementine, as well as a mysterious new (and playable) character named Javier. The series' executive producer, Kevin Boyle, explained that the theme of the third season will be fundamentally different than the two season before: When we began this series, we explored what it meant to protect a character like Clementine at all costs. Years later, meeting her for the first time, Javier will begin to unravel the mystery of who Clementine has become, as her story intersects with his - both of them still driven by the things they value most long after society's collapse. A New Frontier will premier this November on PC, console, and mobile platforms. Players can also expect a physical edition that allows access to subsequent episodes as they become available. There's currently no word on what the revealed subtitle might mean for the new season. While "The Walking Dead" has predominantly focused on the southeast regions of the United States, "A New Frontier" might imply a switch of scenery. What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments. View full article
  8. Fans of Telltale's The Walking Dead franchise are as ravenous for new details as the titular flesh eaters themselves, and one juicy morsel found the light at Telltale's PAX West panel Friday afternoon. The third season will officially be titled The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series – A New Frontier. Kevin Bruner, co-founder and CEO of Telltale Games described season three "As a harrowing and horrific drama" that delves into the grit and grime of survival in a flesh-eating apocalypse. Players should ready themselves to deal with their beloved Clementine "confronting the new rules of order and justice in a land being brutally reclaimed and rediscovered by what's left of humanity itself." The upcoming season is set roughly four years after the dire events of season two, and features the return of the series' darling Clementine, as well as a mysterious new (and playable) character named Javier. The series' executive producer, Kevin Boyle, explained that the theme of the third season will be fundamentally different than the two season before: When we began this series, we explored what it meant to protect a character like Clementine at all costs. Years later, meeting her for the first time, Javier will begin to unravel the mystery of who Clementine has become, as her story intersects with his - both of them still driven by the things they value most long after society's collapse. A New Frontier will premier this November on PC, console, and mobile platforms. Players can also expect a physical edition that allows access to subsequent episodes as they become available. There's currently no word on what the revealed subtitle might mean for the new season. While "The Walking Dead" has predominantly focused on the southeast regions of the United States, "A New Frontier" might imply a switch of scenery. What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments.
  9. Telltale has announced that next Friday will be a big day of revelation for fans of both The Walking Dead and Batman. They will be holding a panel in the Hydra Theatre of the Grand Hyatt during PAX West. Those who attend in person will be able to ask the panel questions after the various announcements and might be walking away with a giveaway for sitting through the presentation. We don't know exactly what will be shown regarding The Walking Dead at the panel, but the earlier reveal of the third season during E3 left many tantalizing possibilities. We know that this season will feature two playable protagonists, one of which will be series mainstay, Clem. Many expect at least one of the reveals during PAX West to be the fall release date that was hinted at during the initial announcement. Telltale will also be hosting a Crowd Play event using the new in-game Crowd Play feature that they've developed to make Telltale games a more multiplayer experience. This year, attendees of the Crowd Play event will be able to cooperatively play through Batman Episode 1: Realm of Shadows before receiving an early, exclusive look at the upcoming Episode 2: Children of Arkham. Giveaways will follow this event as well, and the press release included a winky face after that bit of information. Not entirely sure how to take that, but you might want to go to the Crowd Play event if you can.
  10. Telltale has announced that next Friday will be a big day of revelation for fans of both The Walking Dead and Batman. They will be holding a panel in the Hydra Theatre of the Grand Hyatt during PAX West. Those who attend in person will be able to ask the panel questions after the various announcements and might be walking away with a giveaway for sitting through the presentation. We don't know exactly what will be shown regarding The Walking Dead at the panel, but the earlier reveal of the third season during E3 left many tantalizing possibilities. We know that this season will feature two playable protagonists, one of which will be series mainstay, Clem. Many expect at least one of the reveals during PAX West to be the fall release date that was hinted at during the initial announcement. Telltale will also be hosting a Crowd Play event using the new in-game Crowd Play feature that they've developed to make Telltale games a more multiplayer experience. This year, attendees of the Crowd Play event will be able to cooperatively play through Batman Episode 1: Realm of Shadows before receiving an early, exclusive look at the upcoming Episode 2: Children of Arkham. Giveaways will follow this event as well, and the press release included a winky face after that bit of information. Not entirely sure how to take that, but you might want to go to the Crowd Play event if you can. View full article
  11. The Walking Dead: Season Three is here with a seasoned Clementine. The innocent sweet pea of season one has aged into a hardened teenager. With the ever-present threat of walkers she embarks on a new journey. Season Three introduces a new character, a man named Javier, who has managed to survive the horrifying world they call home. He will share the burden with Clem as players will play through the game controlling both charters. “Clem has also been through a lot since we left her at the end of Season Two,” stated Telltale, "depending on the paths players may have taken with her in the past, she may or may not be exactly the same person we knew back then.” The choices from Season Two will not be in vain because it will effect how Clem reacts to situations in Season Three, and who you may or may not come across on your journey. You can help Clementine in her grand struggle to survive this fall when the third series of Telltale's The Walking Dead begins. View full article
  12. The Walking Dead: Season Three is here with a seasoned Clementine. The innocent sweet pea of season one has aged into a hardened teenager. With the ever-present threat of walkers she embarks on a new journey. Season Three introduces a new character, a man named Javier, who has managed to survive the horrifying world they call home. He will share the burden with Clem as players will play through the game controlling both charters. “Clem has also been through a lot since we left her at the end of Season Two,” stated Telltale, "depending on the paths players may have taken with her in the past, she may or may not be exactly the same person we knew back then.” The choices from Season Two will not be in vain because it will effect how Clem reacts to situations in Season Three, and who you may or may not come across on your journey. You can help Clementine in her grand struggle to survive this fall when the third series of Telltale's The Walking Dead begins.
  13. The SXSW Gaming Expo will be going from March 17-19 and will feature the debut of Telltale Games' Batman series on the 18th. The 45 minute event will be hosted by Kinda Funny's Greg Miller who will be interviewing members of the Telltale team as more details about the title are revealed. Batman will dive deep into the life of Bruce Wayne as he struggles with his dual identity as a rich billionaire and the iconic cowled crime fighter. Kevin Bruner, Telltale's CEO, claimed in a recent interview that "It's not like any other Batman game out there." Admission to the expo and the reveal panel is free for all comers to the Austin Convention Center. You can find the full schedule for SXSW proper and the gaming expo online. The Batman reveal details are below: BATMAN: Telltale Unmasked with Greg Miller Friday, March 18 4:30PM - 5:15PM Admission: FREE Austin Convention Center 531 E 4th St Ballroom C For those outside of the Austin area who can't make the event, fear not! The whole panel will be streamed live on Twitch via the SXSW Gaming channel: twitch.tv/sxswgaming Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks!
  14. The SXSW Gaming Expo will be going from March 17-19 and will feature the debut of Telltale Games' Batman series on the 18th. The 45 minute event will be hosted by Kinda Funny's Greg Miller who will be interviewing members of the Telltale team as more details about the title are revealed. Batman will dive deep into the life of Bruce Wayne as he struggles with his dual identity as a rich billionaire and the iconic cowled crime fighter. Kevin Bruner, Telltale's CEO, claimed in a recent interview that "It's not like any other Batman game out there." Admission to the expo and the reveal panel is free for all comers to the Austin Convention Center. You can find the full schedule for SXSW proper and the gaming expo online. The Batman reveal details are below: BATMAN: Telltale Unmasked with Greg Miller Friday, March 18 4:30PM - 5:15PM Admission: FREE Austin Convention Center 531 E 4th St Ballroom C For those outside of the Austin area who can't make the event, fear not! The whole panel will be streamed live on Twitch via the SXSW Gaming channel: twitch.tv/sxswgaming Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks! View full article
  15. The Walking Dead: Michonne launches this month and Telltale has gone so far as to tease the release of its three episode miniseries with an extended preview of the opening minutes of the premier episode. Titled 'In Too Deep,' episode one deals with Michonne joining Pete and his crew aboard a ship called The Companion. However, things go wrong when they follow a desperate signal for help and find a the site of a horrific slaughter. That leads them to a floating colony of survivors called Monroe, an isolated safe haven that might just be hiding the twisted person behind the massacre. As for the preview itself... I'll give you fair warning: It's heavy, even by The Walking Dead's standards. 'In Too Deep' releases on February 23 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, and Mac. It will be followed by an iOS and Android release on February 25. The second episode, titled 'Give No Shelter,' will be released sometime in March, while the final entry in the miniseries 'What We Deserve,' will become available in April. The entire miniseries will cost $14.99. Though the series isn't a full season, Telltale seems to be giving it the star treatment. They've brought on Samira Wiley of Orange is the New Black fame to voice Michonne. The press releases about the title compare it to the first season of Telltale's The Walking Dead series and tout its many (over 100) Game of the Year awards. For fans of The Walking Dead graphic novels and show, this Michonne miniseries will fill in missing gaps in the iconic sword-wielding woman's story.
  16. The Walking Dead: Michonne launches this month and Telltale has gone so far as to tease the release of its three episode miniseries with an extended preview of the opening minutes of the premier episode. Titled 'In Too Deep,' episode one deals with Michonne joining Pete and his crew aboard a ship called The Companion. However, things go wrong when they follow a desperate signal for help and find a the site of a horrific slaughter. That leads them to a floating colony of survivors called Monroe, an isolated safe haven that might just be hiding the twisted person behind the massacre. As for the preview itself... I'll give you fair warning: It's heavy, even by The Walking Dead's standards. 'In Too Deep' releases on February 23 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, and Mac. It will be followed by an iOS and Android release on February 25. The second episode, titled 'Give No Shelter,' will be released sometime in March, while the final entry in the miniseries 'What We Deserve,' will become available in April. The entire miniseries will cost $14.99. Though the series isn't a full season, Telltale seems to be giving it the star treatment. They've brought on Samira Wiley of Orange is the New Black fame to voice Michonne. The press releases about the title compare it to the first season of Telltale's The Walking Dead series and tout its many (over 100) Game of the Year awards. For fans of The Walking Dead graphic novels and show, this Michonne miniseries will fill in missing gaps in the iconic sword-wielding woman's story. View full article
  17. Telltale Games has been experiencing a golden age since the release of The Walking Dead season one three years ago. I very much contend that the studio hasn’t made a bad game since, and their first season of Game of Thrones is no exception. That doesn’t mean, however, that Telltale’s Game of Thrones exists free of problems. Despite the backing name of HBO’s most popular show, this might just be one of Telltale’s most muddled offerings since Lee and Clementine turned the company’s fortunes in 2013. I believe that the core narrative problems stem from an effort to emulate the show and books by cutting between our five main characters combined with the limitations of Telltale’s aging storytelling infrastructure. *minor spoilers ahead* The first season of Telltale’s Game of Thrones focuses on the plight of the noble House Forrester. The small, but important, family tasked with supplying the kingdom’s ironwood falls into dark times as it becomes embroiled in the political fallout of the infamous Red Wedding. Rotating between five members of the Forrester household spread across Westeros and beyond, players are tasked with keeping House Forrester from being wiped out by the scheming Whitehills and their backer, Ramsey Snow. The first episode proves incredibly effective at illustrating this premise while also introducing all of the main cast and their individual plot threads. We have Gared Tuttle, a squire to Lord Forrester who hears the nobleman's cryptic last words that send him on a journey to the Wall and beyond. In their darkest hour, the Forrester family sends for the exiled Asher Forrester who has become a mercenary across the Narrow Sea. Stranded in King’s Landing, the political heart of Westeros, Mira Forrester plays a dangerous game to protect her house from afar. In the absence of his father and elder brothers, Ethan Forrester must put aside his childhood in order to keep the Forrester keep of Ironrath from falling into devious hands. Gravely wounded and presumed dead, Rodrik, the eldest son of the Forrester clan creeps back home to prevent almost certain disaster. These various plot threads weave together to form a narrative that is at turns compelling and frustrating. While cutting between the diverse cast of characters certainly provides an interesting dynamic that other Telltale series lack, it sometimes felt more like a gimmick than a genuine asset. This feels particularly true of episodes two through four which seems to have certain characters treading water while more interesting things happen elsewhere. Writing diverse storylines and characters can be incredibly difficult, but because of the dead air in those episodes the momentum of the story slows to a crawl. For example, we seem to spend an awful lot of time with Mira in King’s Landing as she tries to make allies, but the payoff for that time often feels unrelated to what actions were taken during the time we were with her. That time could have been spent building relationships between other characters, bolstering the importance of player decisions. That isn’t to say that Mira doesn’t have important things to do during the six episode series, but rather sometimes the story seems to be subservient to the format instead of the reverse. That isn’t to say that there aren’t really awesome moments in Telltale’s Game of Thrones. Choosing to defiantly stand up to the Whitehills; guiding Mira through a delicate dinner party to successfully uncover an infernal plot against the Forrester family; and the heartrending climax of episode six are some of the best written moments in Telltale’s catalog. Those moments really work and feel equal parts Telltale at the height of its powers and Game of Thrones offering its mix of honor, duty, and backstabbery. However, I think that above all, Telltale’s Game of Thrones reveals the limits of what their current engine and game design strategy is capable of accomplishing. I had almost nothing but good things to say about the Tales from the Borderlands series that released alongside Game of Thrones. However, it existed comfortably in a relatively linear story that could diverge and reconnect relatively easily. Telltale’s design formula and engine work best within those constraints. To say that the world presented in Game of Thrones operates on the same level misses the mark entirely. Throughout the series I was constantly questioning why there weren’t more options. “Why doesn’t Mira do this? Why doesn’t Rodrik say that?” I’d think, “Surely there are other ways of dealing with this situation.” Having an incredibly limited way of dealing with tricky political situations seems at odds with the setting depicted in Game of Thrones. Telltale needed to do something a bit different mechanically to really pull off this series, but it stuck to the formula. That decision ultimately works to the series' detriment. While many Telltale games offer relatively few truly game-altering choices, often the illusion of choice is enough. Not so with Game of Thrones. It is actually frustrating to lose favor in court regardless of whether you play safe or live on the edge. That some important figures react the same way regardless of players’ decisions feels wrong for Game of Thrones. That I was so frustrated by the preordained decisions shows how attached I became to the cast through the well-written dialogue, but also shows that something else wasn't quite working. Not only does the story suffer from periods of treading water and impotence, the artistic style just doesn’t work the majority of the time. They were clearly going for an oil painting aesthetic that only sometimes hits the mark. More often than not, a strange background filter renders background objects to look incredibly pixelated or even poorly drawn. These starkly contrasting background objects appear most frequently in the first four episodes, but Telltale seems to have been aware of the problem as those jarring visuals are dimished in the final episodes. The only moments I wasn’t actively bothered by the visual choices for this style were in the establishing shots, but even those were often reused between episodes. Coming on the heels of Tales from the Borderlands, I expected to hear some captivating music. Perhaps Telltale would include a chilling rendition of 'The Rains of Castamere' or more variations of Talia’s lament. Unfortunately, that never happens. The music serves its purpose, but it never soars to the heights of tracks like 'In the Pines' or 'To the Top.' While Tales from the Borderlands feels like composer Jared Emerson-Johnson on his A-game, Game of Thrones feels more like his B-game. Conclusion: Telltale’s Game of Thrones is made for people who are already thoroughly invested in the world depicted in A Song of Ice and Fire. If you knew place names like King’s Landing, the Wall, or 'The Rains of Castamere,' you’ll thoroughly enjoy Telltale’s Game of Thrones. Just beware that this is definitively only the first season, and it does not end on a satisfying conclusion. The fate of House Forrester is left hanging in the wind and mysteries like the North Grove go unexplained. There are very genuine high points that will leave you gaping; moments that will have you giving an involuntary fist-pump; and periods of rage toward certain characters. The emotional highs are captivating, but it takes some patience to accept Telltale’s latest offering for what it is and bear with the plodding times between those highs. Game of Thrones – A Telltale Games Series was reviewed on PC and is available now for PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, iOS, and Android. View full article
  18. Telltale Games has been experiencing a golden age since the release of The Walking Dead season one three years ago. I very much contend that the studio hasn’t made a bad game since, and their first season of Game of Thrones is no exception. That doesn’t mean, however, that Telltale’s Game of Thrones exists free of problems. Despite the backing name of HBO’s most popular show, this might just be one of Telltale’s most muddled offerings since Lee and Clementine turned the company’s fortunes in 2013. I believe that the core narrative problems stem from an effort to emulate the show and books by cutting between our five main characters combined with the limitations of Telltale’s aging storytelling infrastructure. *minor spoilers ahead* The first season of Telltale’s Game of Thrones focuses on the plight of the noble House Forrester. The small, but important, family tasked with supplying the kingdom’s ironwood falls into dark times as it becomes embroiled in the political fallout of the infamous Red Wedding. Rotating between five members of the Forrester household spread across Westeros and beyond, players are tasked with keeping House Forrester from being wiped out by the scheming Whitehills and their backer, Ramsey Snow. The first episode proves incredibly effective at illustrating this premise while also introducing all of the main cast and their individual plot threads. We have Gared Tuttle, a squire to Lord Forrester who hears the nobleman's cryptic last words that send him on a journey to the Wall and beyond. In their darkest hour, the Forrester family sends for the exiled Asher Forrester who has become a mercenary across the Narrow Sea. Stranded in King’s Landing, the political heart of Westeros, Mira Forrester plays a dangerous game to protect her house from afar. In the absence of his father and elder brothers, Ethan Forrester must put aside his childhood in order to keep the Forrester keep of Ironrath from falling into devious hands. Gravely wounded and presumed dead, Rodrik, the eldest son of the Forrester clan creeps back home to prevent almost certain disaster. These various plot threads weave together to form a narrative that is at turns compelling and frustrating. While cutting between the diverse cast of characters certainly provides an interesting dynamic that other Telltale series lack, it sometimes felt more like a gimmick than a genuine asset. This feels particularly true of episodes two through four which seems to have certain characters treading water while more interesting things happen elsewhere. Writing diverse storylines and characters can be incredibly difficult, but because of the dead air in those episodes the momentum of the story slows to a crawl. For example, we seem to spend an awful lot of time with Mira in King’s Landing as she tries to make allies, but the payoff for that time often feels unrelated to what actions were taken during the time we were with her. That time could have been spent building relationships between other characters, bolstering the importance of player decisions. That isn’t to say that Mira doesn’t have important things to do during the six episode series, but rather sometimes the story seems to be subservient to the format instead of the reverse. That isn’t to say that there aren’t really awesome moments in Telltale’s Game of Thrones. Choosing to defiantly stand up to the Whitehills; guiding Mira through a delicate dinner party to successfully uncover an infernal plot against the Forrester family; and the heartrending climax of episode six are some of the best written moments in Telltale’s catalog. Those moments really work and feel equal parts Telltale at the height of its powers and Game of Thrones offering its mix of honor, duty, and backstabbery. However, I think that above all, Telltale’s Game of Thrones reveals the limits of what their current engine and game design strategy is capable of accomplishing. I had almost nothing but good things to say about the Tales from the Borderlands series that released alongside Game of Thrones. However, it existed comfortably in a relatively linear story that could diverge and reconnect relatively easily. Telltale’s design formula and engine work best within those constraints. To say that the world presented in Game of Thrones operates on the same level misses the mark entirely. Throughout the series I was constantly questioning why there weren’t more options. “Why doesn’t Mira do this? Why doesn’t Rodrik say that?” I’d think, “Surely there are other ways of dealing with this situation.” Having an incredibly limited way of dealing with tricky political situations seems at odds with the setting depicted in Game of Thrones. Telltale needed to do something a bit different mechanically to really pull off this series, but it stuck to the formula. That decision ultimately works to the series' detriment. While many Telltale games offer relatively few truly game-altering choices, often the illusion of choice is enough. Not so with Game of Thrones. It is actually frustrating to lose favor in court regardless of whether you play safe or live on the edge. That some important figures react the same way regardless of players’ decisions feels wrong for Game of Thrones. That I was so frustrated by the preordained decisions shows how attached I became to the cast through the well-written dialogue, but also shows that something else wasn't quite working. Not only does the story suffer from periods of treading water and impotence, the artistic style just doesn’t work the majority of the time. They were clearly going for an oil painting aesthetic that only sometimes hits the mark. More often than not, a strange background filter renders background objects to look incredibly pixelated or even poorly drawn. These starkly contrasting background objects appear most frequently in the first four episodes, but Telltale seems to have been aware of the problem as those jarring visuals are dimished in the final episodes. The only moments I wasn’t actively bothered by the visual choices for this style were in the establishing shots, but even those were often reused between episodes. Coming on the heels of Tales from the Borderlands, I expected to hear some captivating music. Perhaps Telltale would include a chilling rendition of 'The Rains of Castamere' or more variations of Talia’s lament. Unfortunately, that never happens. The music serves its purpose, but it never soars to the heights of tracks like 'In the Pines' or 'To the Top.' While Tales from the Borderlands feels like composer Jared Emerson-Johnson on his A-game, Game of Thrones feels more like his B-game. Conclusion: Telltale’s Game of Thrones is made for people who are already thoroughly invested in the world depicted in A Song of Ice and Fire. If you knew place names like King’s Landing, the Wall, or 'The Rains of Castamere,' you’ll thoroughly enjoy Telltale’s Game of Thrones. Just beware that this is definitively only the first season, and it does not end on a satisfying conclusion. The fate of House Forrester is left hanging in the wind and mysteries like the North Grove go unexplained. There are very genuine high points that will leave you gaping; moments that will have you giving an involuntary fist-pump; and periods of rage toward certain characters. The emotional highs are captivating, but it takes some patience to accept Telltale’s latest offering for what it is and bear with the plodding times between those highs. Game of Thrones – A Telltale Games Series was reviewed on PC and is available now for PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, iOS, and Android.
  19. A terrible evil threatens to consume the fabric of the world and only the scattered Order of the Stone can even hope to halt its inexorable advance. Jesse and company must set out to find the remaining members of the Order in Episode Two - Assembly Required. That episode becomes available digitally for consoles in North America today. Physical copies of the game will be making their way to retail today, as well. Retail discs of Minecraft: Story Mode cost $29.99 and come with Episode One on-disc. The disc will then grant access to all future episodes as they are released by Telltale Games via online updates. "Premiering 'Minecraft: Story Mode' this month, we've been overjoyed by the reception from both the Minecraft community and fans of Telltale across the world diving into the all-ages adventure and making key decisions that will craft their own stories throughout the rest of the season," said Kevin Bruner, CEO and Co-Founder of Telltale Games. "This week, we're happy to offer the game on a special disc at retailers worldwide, including access to the thrilling second episode, 'Assembly Required,' which will feel like a completely different chapter for players depending on their paths taken in episode one." Minecraft: Story Mode Episode Two - Assembly Required is now available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. Later this week the second episode will make its way to PC and mobile devices. The series will also be coming to Wii U and PlayStation Vita, but no word yet on release dates for those systems.
  20. A terrible evil threatens to consume the fabric of the world and only the scattered Order of the Stone can even hope to halt its inexorable advance. Jesse and company must set out to find the remaining members of the Order in Episode Two - Assembly Required. That episode becomes available digitally for consoles in North America today. Physical copies of the game will be making their way to retail today, as well. Retail discs of Minecraft: Story Mode cost $29.99 and come with Episode One on-disc. The disc will then grant access to all future episodes as they are released by Telltale Games via online updates. "Premiering 'Minecraft: Story Mode' this month, we've been overjoyed by the reception from both the Minecraft community and fans of Telltale across the world diving into the all-ages adventure and making key decisions that will craft their own stories throughout the rest of the season," said Kevin Bruner, CEO and Co-Founder of Telltale Games. "This week, we're happy to offer the game on a special disc at retailers worldwide, including access to the thrilling second episode, 'Assembly Required,' which will feel like a completely different chapter for players depending on their paths taken in episode one." Minecraft: Story Mode Episode Two - Assembly Required is now available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. Later this week the second episode will make its way to PC and mobile devices. The series will also be coming to Wii U and PlayStation Vita, but no word yet on release dates for those systems. View full article
  21. Walking Dead for Charity!

    November 14th, I'll be live streaming the two seasons of 'Tell Tales' award winning episodic series, 'The Walking Dead' for Extra-Life on TWITCH (TheThirtySomethingGamer). With the support of the voice actress who plays the lead character Clementine, Melissa Hutchison, I'm very confident in reaching my goal of $1,500 dollars, with all proceeds going to Boston Childrens Hospital. Looking forward to a long, fun day and I hope to see you all there! http://www.twitch.tv/thethirtysomethinggamer Instagram/Twitter- @jasoncaseyart
  22. Telltale has released a number of screenshots as well as a teaser trailer for Episode Three, titled The Sword in the Darkness. "I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men." - Excerpt from the Oath of the Night's Watch The Sword in the Darkness will release tomorrow for PC, Mac, and PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. The Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions will release on March 25 with an iOS and Android release on March 26. You can check out the image gallery on Extra Life's Facebook page.
  23. Telltale has released a number of screenshots as well as a teaser trailer for Episode Three, titled The Sword in the Darkness. "I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men." - Excerpt from the Oath of the Night's Watch The Sword in the Darkness will release tomorrow for PC, Mac, and PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. The Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions will release on March 25 with an iOS and Android release on March 26. You can check out the image gallery on Extra Life's Facebook page. View full article
  24. Sometimes highly anticipated games reveal their release dates months in advance and other times they try to sneak up on their audience. The latter scenario is representative of Telltale's Game of Thrones title, Iron from Ice. While there has been no official release date announced, VideoGamer spotted Telltale's PR representative responded to a questioning fan telling them that Telltale still plans to release the first episode of their five episode series in 2014. View full article
  25. Sometimes highly anticipated games reveal their release dates months in advance and other times they try to sneak up on their audience. The latter scenario is representative of Telltale's Game of Thrones title, Iron from Ice. While there has been no official release date announced, VideoGamer spotted Telltale's PR representative responded to a questioning fan telling them that Telltale still plans to release the first episode of their five episode series in 2014.