Thanks For The Tales, Telltale

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Before I start praising the games of Telltale, I want to make it clear that this article in no way supports the management and executives of the company. Here at X-Geeks, we stand by the amazingly talented and hardworking staff who have given their all and gone the extra, often unpaid, mile in producing an outstanding array of games. For so many talented people to lose their jobs overnight, with no severance, in such a disrespectful way is appalling. To all those who have lost their jobs or soon to lose them, we stand with you. We Thank you.

So with the closure of the studio, what does that mean for the games currently in development?

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Obviously Telltale will no longer be making any new games going forward. So there will be no The Wolf Among Us 2 or Game of Thrones Season 2.  These have both been confirmed as cancelled. As for the Stranger Things game in development, Netflix is said to be looking at other options. So we might see a game of some sort, hopefully in the ‘Telltale spirt’. However, they could still end up sticking with Telltale, in which case this game would be completed by the 25-person skeleton crew. There are also unconfirmed reports that there will also be another Minecraft: Story Mode game.

As some of you may know, I am currently recording Lets Plays of The Walking Dead: The Final Season. You can find Episode one on our YouTube channel. It has not yet been confirmed if this game will ever be completed. Telltale has stated that “Multiple potential partners have stepped forward to express interest in helping to see The Final Season through to completion.”. So there is hope that at least The Walking Dead will be completed. But nothing is certain.

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I don’t want to make this article all about the negative. Because this studio has produced some of my favourite games. I love point and click, story and adventure games. It’s the genre I love the most and fell in love with back in the 90s thanks to LucasArts and the Monkey Island games. But it is a genre, in modern terms, that is no longer fashionable. So to have a studio, like Telltale, to take of modern gaming and produce some outstanding titles that met with critical and financial success, it was a big deal.

Over the years, Telltale have produced some outstanding games and their unique brand and house-style have always had that special feeling, even if the game was below their usually high standards. So what are their best pieces of work? With so many great games to choose from it was a tough task to whittle them down into a top five. But I gave it my best shot.

Top 5 Telltale Games:

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Tales of Monkey Island

I found Telltale games when they were charged with the task of producing a new Monkey Island game. As it is my favourite ever game franchise, I jumped at the chance to play a new Monkey Island game. This game started my love affair with Telltale as a studio. They nailed the story, humour and puzzles that I came to expect from a Monkey Island game. They felt like they got it, this studio felt like a potential spiritual successor to LucasArts. I was over the moon. The game itself is fantastic. Sure the controls are a nightmare and the first episode is a struggle to get through. But as soon as you get to grips with the controls and get into the meat of the story it is a truly amazing gaming experience.

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Game of Thrones

Telltale taking on one of the most popular TV shows in the world? It was always going to be to a winner. The themes and tone are perfectly in line with the TV show and you really get sucked into the world of Westeros. You play various members of House Forrester, while they have not appeared on TV yet, they are mentioned in the book A Dance with Dragons. As well as this new house, you get to interact with show favourites such as Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen as well as Tyrion and Cersei Lannister, all voiced by the stars from the show. The game, like the show, contains some truly harrowing and heartbreaking moments. The choices and consequences format, made famous by Telltale, is very much suited to a property like Game of Thrones.

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Sam & Max Save the World

Following on from Tales of Monkey Island, another LucasArts favourite made their gaming comeback, in this case, it was Sam & Max. If you’ve never played a Sam & Max game, you are truly missing out on something special. This game sees a return to form to the series as the world’s greatest vigilante private investigators ‘hit the road’ again on their greatest adventure to date. The graphics and level design are simply stunning and the story, humour and dialogue choices are a nostalgic throwback to classic gaming.

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The Walking Dead

It’s safe to say that it was The Walking Dead that brought the studio to the attention of gamers worldwide. As they would go on to replicating huge success with Game of Thrones, Telltale attached themselves to a popular TV show at the height of its popularity. But it was more than just the source material that saw the game rise to success. The choices and consequences was a breath of fresh air to gamers. The complex characters and the high standard of writing all ensured the game was a huge success. Never have I played a game that took me on such an emotional rollercoaster, ending in pure heartbreak. As the credits rolled on the final episode, I was literally out of breath. I felt emotionally exhausted and physically drained, all because of the sheer power of the storytelling.

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The Wolf Among Us

Based on DC Vertigo’s Fable comic book series, The Wolf Among Us is hands down one of the greatest games ever made. Not only is the world such a unique setting, but it is also, once again, the quality storylines and characters that make this game so unbelievably enjoyable. While I had read some Fables, I never truly got into the comics until after playing this game. I’ve been hooked ever since. In The Wolf Among Us, you play Bigby Wolf, AKA ‘The Big Bad Wolf’. You are the sheriff of Fabletown, a place where characters from well-known fables and fairy tales can live but in a real-world setting. The premise and execution of this game is nothing short of sublime. The twists and turns, the highs and lows you go through make for a breathtaking journey and an exhilarating gaming experience. There is no game, from a storytelling standpoint, that comes close to matching the heights of The Wolf Among Us. And with Telltale now out of business, the long-promised sequel will forever be lost to us. I am genuinely devasted by this fact.

So there you have it, my top five picks of my favourite Telltale video games. What is your favourite? What do you make of the studio’s closure? Let us know in the comment.

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