Telltale Needs a Break

By: Chris Giordano (@chrisgiordano_)

On December 3, 2015 in Los Angeles, Telltale dropped a trailer at the Video Games Awards showcasing their newest project: BatmanOf course, nerds everywhere were excited. Video games based on comics usually do well for us nerds – look at Rocksteady’s Arkham series as a prime example. Personally, I was elated. Telltale games are always well done from the story standpoint, and I was interested into seeing how they would tie in Bruce Wayne’s origin story which has been done multiple times over and over again.

Telltale’s Co-Founder and CEO Kevin Bruner stated in a blog post: “This iteration of Batman will give fans a first-hand opportunity to dive deeper into the complex life and mind of Bruce Wayne, the duality of his own identity, and the struggle of responsibility in saving a city overcome with corruption and villainy.”

Source:  TellTale

Source: TellTale

    Telltale’s Batman is set to release sometime in 2016.

Seeing the trailer reminded me that I still haven’t finished Telltale’s Game of Thrones, a game which I started playing in the summer but completely forgot about once school started up again. Luckily, Christmas break was mere weeks away, so I had my sight on finishing it then. I had my sights on getting that sweet platinum trophy, which is easily accessible in Telltale games.

I finished Game of Thrones utterly unimpressed. After the huge successes of The Walking Dead, and The Wolf Among Us, I had high hopes for Telltale’s rendition of one of my favourite television series. But to be honest, after playing their other games, I’ve realized that Telltale has lost their spark. Their games are still incredibly buggy, which is surprising considering that they’ve released (and re-released) games on PS4 and Xbox One – consoles which boast smoothness and graphical fidelity. Overall, their system is still repetitive with QTEs (quick-time events) and button-smashing. For me, it’s time for them to take a break in order to up their quality control and diversify their system. I’m not asking for a while, just take a year off to make the system better.

Source:  TellTale

Source: TellTale

Being a huge Game of Thrones fan, the graphics and overused gameplay left me wanting much, much more.

On the other hand, though, their dialogue-trees and remembrance system is flawless. It’s also always fun to see what percentage of all players did the same actions as you did. It is no question that Telltale is great, if not supreme, at bridging interactivity and storytelling together. They’re great at emotional story-telling and to me, that is where they truly shine. They were nominated for multiple Game of the Year Awards for Tales from the Borderlands, which to be fair, is a game I haven’t played. I’ve heard that the writing and story is quite funny and well-put together, but that is my only impression of the game. Have you played Tales from the Borderlands? What’d you think? Let us know in the comments below! Minecraft: Story Mode has been doing well on the NPD charts and have been reviewing well, too.

I’m usually impressed and pleased with whatever Telltale has to deliver, but Game of Thrones just left a sour taste in my mouth that I don’t see myself returning to another Telltale game until they fix their system and improve in quality control. They’ve been doing quite well for themselves, especially after The Walking Dead, but this is one of those things where I’ll be voting with my wallet by not buying their games anymore. It’s a shame that while Telltale is undoubtedly a master at storytelling, but continue to hinder their name by releasing buggy, or even broken, games; But for a studio who really propelled into the video game spotlight in 2012, only 4 years ago, it’s not fair to the gamers that they constantly seem to lack quality control in the games they release.

Do you agree? Does Telltale need a break? Tweet at me and let me know what you think.