Battle of the Brands!
With the recent death of episodic gaming developer Telltale Games who you may know from games like Back to the Future, Sam and Max, and Minecraft: Story Mode… just kidding, that’s not a real game. The real creme de la creme of Telltale Games was of course The Walking Dead. An adaptation which won numerous Game of The Year awards from publications both top tier and fansites/fanblogs. With the finale of The Walking Dead: The Final Season looming and Telltale fading into the ether of history we here at Los Harrow Games present to you our opinions on what games we would’ve liked to see Telltale Games make.
Allan Muir – Managing Editor & Xbox Stalwart
I have made it clear on every social media platform, podcast, and any other place I am on that I love Doctor Who. Both classic (1963-1989) and New Who (2005 – present). Technically there has been an episodic Doctor Who adventure game made during the Matt Smith era of Doctor Who and frankly it wasn’t as good as it should have been. Telltale’s decision mechanic would have made it fantastic as it had episodes written by actual Doctor Who writers.
There is even a perfect point in the Doctor Who canon where an episodic game could fit into the mythos. That is the period between the last episode of Classic Who “Survival” where it ends with my personal favorite, the seventh Doctor as played by Sylvester McCoy and his assistant Ace as played by Sophie Aldred walking off onto their next adventure with The Doctor saying the following: “There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, the sea’s asleep, and the rivers dream. People made of smoke, and cities made of song. Somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice, and somewhere else the tea’s getting cold. Come on, Ace — we’ve got work to do!”
There’s also the fact that once that episode ended we as an audience didn’t see the Seventh Doctor until 1996 where he would be forced to regenerate due to an issue with the anesthetic and turn into Paul McGann who you may recognize from such films like Alien 3 and Queen of the Damned. There is a documentary about what Series 27 would have looked like called “Doctor Who: Endgame” and an episodic game series would fit the series perfectly. It would also give mainstream Whovians a proper farewell to the Seventh Doctor and Ace that could be canon.
Josh Miller – Staff Writer
Friday the 13th
I’ve been saying it for a long time and it only made me shout it louder after Until Dawn released – I wanted Telltale Games to make a choice-driven horror game using the Friday the 13th brand.
Each episode could have been the player acting out another camp counselor. The actions of each counselor would affect not only their likelihood of survival, but also the survival of other counselors as well. This could involve being stalled by locations of bodies in certain areas, items being readily available or absent in later episodes, and even if people would be alive in the finale.
I love the horror genre and I especially love slasher flicks. Part of what made Until Dawn work was putting yourself in the decision making process as one does when watching those movies. Telltale releasing a game similar to that would have been rad, especially with a beloved horror franchise like Friday the 13th.
Emmett Watkins Jr – PlayStation Head
While Telltale is most loved for their more serious stories, such as The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, it might be easy to forget how pleasant of a surprise Tales from the Borderlands was. What was once a franchise known primarily for its wacky, nonsensical tone meant to backdrop the satisfying gameplay was turned into a gripping narrative with real stakes and relatable characters. Telltale seemed to have had a unique talent for making the ridiculous accessible, and I think that talent would be perfectly served by adapting the Saints Row universe into thier formula.
There are plenty of crazy franchises that could be adapted, but Saints Row seems a specifically great fit due to the dichotomy between the tone of it’s first games and latter ones. The first two games were gritty and grounded, gang related crime dramas that carried its emotional weight through character moments more than setpieces. But by the third title, the game shifted from grounded seriousness to a bombastic, over-the-top tone that only grew stronger in the fourth game.
I think this series would have been uniquely set up to give Telltale the ability to play to both their more serious and more comical strengths. They could even set the series, much like Tales from the Borderlands, after the events of the most recent entry, which would give them a lot to play with considering (SPOILERS) the end of Saints Row IV gives the gang the ability to time travel.
Depending on the time period(s) explored, the game could be a deconstruction of the characters that we’ve followed over 3 game or an insane romp through iconic historical events and eras. But sadly, with Telltale being no more, hopefully either the newly announced movie or, even better, a potential fifth game could bring some of those ideas to fruition.
This one should have been a no-brainer, seeing as Telltale partnered with Disney for their Guardians of the Galaxy series – not to mention their affinity for expensive, high-profile franchises. The world of Star Wars, as we know, is vast and peculiar. It has cemented itself in our lives through whatever means necessary: films, television, comics and novels, even other video games and – dare I say it – mobile apps. Let’s be real, Star Wars has probably affected everyone in the world through some way, no matter how small. Furthermore, whether it’s the rich storyline between the forces of good and evil, or you just think BB-8 is cute, I think we all have a soft spot for the franchise, too.
So what better way to continue the Star Wars empire (no pun intended) than experiencing it through the magic of Telltale? Personally, I’d love to see how the smaller guys live, much like the focus of Rogue One. Imagine seeing the Clone Wars through the eyes of a clone on the front lines, or stepping into the shoes of a youngling survivor fighting through the original trilogy? Hopefully the plot of the upcoming Fallen Order game is akin to the latter, but even so I think Telltale’s crafty storytelling and decision-making engine could add even more life to such a narrative.
This just seems like the right choice for a company with such a focus on, well, telling tales (that pun was SO intended). Telltale’s co-founder Kevin Bruner even told Game Informer recently, “I always wanted to make a great Star Wars adventure game.” With such a complex lore spread across years of Legends and Canon material, I think it’s about time the world received something powerful and personal like a Telltale Star Wars game.