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Why Telltale Doesn’t Need To Change Their Gameplay

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Batman, Borderlands, The Walking Dead, Game Of Thrones. You name it. Telltale Games has done it all. As many of us know, Telltale has produced some of the most intriguing video game adaptions we have ever witnessed. The vocal point of a Telltale game has always been to pull players inside a usually very dangerous and compelling narrative filled with a huge cast of licensed characters to love and hate from your favourite comics, TV shows and movies, topped off with all decisions and consequences of the story resting upon the player’s shoulders.

Over the years, Telltale Games has made a huge name for itself in the gaming industry with its creative character designs and location settings, engaging dialogue, and its enjoyable use of puzzle solving and storytelling. However, a number of gamers and critics alike have stated that the usual narrative-directed approach to the games has become dated. Many fans of the Telltale games, including myself, don’t seem to think this is true at all. Here are three reasons why Telltale doesn’t need to change their gameplay.

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1. It Feels Like You’re Watching A TV Series Rather Than Playing A Video Game (In A Good Way)

One of the greatest treats Telltale has brought to the table is the fact that when you are playing through a Telltale story, it feels like you’re binging on a season of a very addictive TV Series. Each Telltale title is structured in the style of a television show and breaking up the game into a series of five episodes in a season. This specific structure makes the games very unique and different from other titles due to the player having the choice to kill off certain characters or let them live. When you watch a TV show, your mind is fixated on the story and the characters alone and this is what Telltale uses in its gameplay to a great extent. Every time you complete an episode of a Telltale game, it usually leaves you on a jaw-dropping cliff hanger and before you know it, you’re hungry for more.

This style of gameplay allows the story to be unpredictable and mysterious, often leaving us wondering of what may or may not have happened if a precise event hadn’t occurred because of a character’s demise. This gives the player room to decide on how to navigate through the game in their own way instead of playing through a storyline where you know what is about to happen. Telltale’s “television show” gameplay method lets the player focus primarily on the storyline at hand through conversations with characters and quick-time events rather than focusing on aggravating button-mashing boss battles, customizing weapons and accessories, and levelling up party members. Telltale’s main focus is interactive storytelling, and will often play on the Butterfly Effect theory in how one decision you make can affect the entire story and its ending.

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2. It Helps To Show Off Creative Character Representations

Many of the games produced by Telltale are based on characters featured in a popular range of comic books, video games, and television programmes such as the critically successful Telltale adaption of The Walking Dead. Telltale’s gameplay has increased the scale of how these characters have been written for this specific story and how they have been reimagined in that story. The Batman Telltale game for example wasn’t afraid to step outside of the status quo to make well-loved characters like Thomas Wayne and Vicki Vale villains in the story.

They did a splendid job at being creative with the DC characters they were working with, and on how well they developed the characters and villains in order to please the more hard-core Batman fans. Creating large contrasts with these characters from their original counterparts in the comics made them seem more believable and made them fit in more to the much darker and grittier representation of Gotham City that Telltale wanted their audience to experience. Providing the player with the choice to save Harvey Dent from turning into Two Face or not based on earlier conversations and actions prior to the event made Telltale’s version of that character distinctly more creative from previous Batman video game narratives.

Telltale is one of the very few game developers to incorporate strong characterization and narrative into their gameplay in a very effective way with the player stepping into the shoes of the main character and selecting one option out of many others to further progress the plot. Telltale has always produced tremendous stories and this is because of how subjective the gameplay is. The style of gameplay they use helps to add more depth to the story it’s initially based off of along with including a fresh new portrayal of characters we all love and cherish.

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3. It Shines On Replay Value

Telltale uses very simple and straightforward linear gameplay. Each game whether it be Tales From The Borderlands, the Wolf Among Us, Game Of Thrones, or Batman, all lead to the same point. All of these games follow the same linear game design where you start at the beginning point and finish at the end point of the game. With Telltale, you decide what pathways to take to get to that end point. As the player, you can’t exactly change the plot around as each Telltale title is a linear story but the gameplay allows you to choose from a range of different choices on how that plot eventually unfolds and how your choices reflect on the game’s ending. This makes Telltale games great for replay value.

Based on the particular choices you make throughout the game, certain characters’ motivations will change and the overall tone of the game will change also. Interactions between the characters change as well as the connection between them depending on what choices you choose and what outcomes you decide to take. Another great feature about Telltale’s gameplay is letting the player watch scenes they may not have seen the first time around and allows them to walk down a different path if they wish to play through the game again.

Telltale is a creative and imaginative game development team that lets their gameplay tell the story and makes for an interesting game design to let a player’s decision actually matter and affect the characters’ way of thinking. The sheer amount of time and effort they put into developing their games is something special and something that should be appreciated. Their gameplay has made them truly stand out as an exceptional game development company and has helped open new gateways to more critically acclaimed choice-driven releases such as Life Is Strange and Until Dawn.

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