Telltale Games Debate: Masterful Storytelling! Futile Choices?
Sam & Max, Tales of Monkey Island, Back to the Future, The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, Tales From the Borderlands, and Game of Thrones; Telltale Games stands as one of the finest classic point-and-click game and interactive story developers in recent years. But despite their outstanding games, Telltale Games is not above some scrutiny.
In light of games like The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and Game of Thrones, LaughingMan, a huge fan of Telltale’s work, has issue with their bold advertising that “your choices shape the story”. His topic of concern is that the dialog choices offer only slight narrative changes in the storyline. What’s more egregious is that the true ending of such a “choice-shaped story line” is effectively moot, and the story ultimately culminates into a single defining choice that dictates the game’s conclusion. Mass Effect 3, anyone?
CineMax agrees that some of the criticism is, indeed, valid. However, he argues that, ultimately, Telltale Games is focusing on telling great interactive stories with a definitive beginning, middle, and end (with some input from the player, of course) — as opposed to making a straightforward “choose your own adventure” game with multiple different pathways with very little depth to them. Additionally, CineMax proposes that Telltale Games is doing something very unique in terms of video game storylines: The stories that Telltale tells focus not on protagonists who are “the chosen ones” or some sort savior figures, but rather on deep, complex, and relatively powerless characters that inhabit a world of strife and turmoil.
However, both LaughingMan and CineMax reach some common ground in that a completely customizable story experience would be a nightmare to develop. But what could Telltale Games do to appease both LaughingMan and CineMax? Who wins this gentlemen’s debate? Find out in the latest CCS After Hours Podcast!