RIP Telltale, 2004-2018

Hello, and good Monday to everyone! This week has been busy for me, and so I’ve not watched anything really. But there has been stuff to talk about that I want to discuss with you. It won’t be a long post but I think it will be a sad one. I cried about this when it first came out, believe it or not. I’m sure that literally everyone in the gaming (and probably every other) community knows what’s happening here, but let’s just dive right into it.

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Game of Thrones, Borderlands, The Wolf Among us and The Walking Dead – Telltale Games, 2004-2018

In a very sudden, and almost tragic, turn of events – Telltale is shutting down. It’s come pretty out of the blue. And I have to say – the way it’s been handled is pretty awful.
Early in the weekend this press release arrived on the internet:
Today Telltale Games made the difficult decision to begin a majority studio closure following a year marked by insurmountable challenges. A majority of the company’s employees were dismissed earlier this morning, with a small group of 25 employees staying on to fulfill the company’s obligations to its board and partners.   “It’s been an incredibly difficult year for Telltale as we worked to set the company on a new course. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to get there. We released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales. With a heavy heart, we watch our friends leave today to spread our brand of storytelling across the games industry.”

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The Wolf Among us, Tales from the Borderlands and The Walking Dead – Telltale, 2004-2018

These 250 employees were given no notice. No severance pay was given to any of them. Some of them were hired a week ago. One poor guy moved across the States to work here. Their health insurance only lasts one more week. According to an ex-dev, Emily Grace Buck, these people were working for pittance, doing over time for free and working paycheck  to paycheck. She has also confirmed that –
They will not be completing the last season of The Walking Dead. There is no news on those customers who have brought the season pass getting their money back, or at least partial refunds. This will be interesting – what happens when people purchase a season pass and it never gets fulfilled? This will set president for new season passes, and what happens when a company goes bust before completing it. Everything has been cancelled, other than the Netflix show for Minecraft: Story Mode.

Without a shadow of a doubt, this has been an awful situation, and handled very badly. The fact that they were hiring last week actually sickens me. I am shocked, however, that things seemed to go from fine to awful in 24 hours. I am interested to see how this all turns out.
Like I said in the intro, I am very upset about this. The Telltale games were some of my favourites, and I will hold them all dear to my heart. There have been 2 I have spoken about on here; Batman and The Guardians of The Galaxy, but I also loved every other one I had played. I am kind of glad I haven’t brought The Walking Dead past the 1st season (I was waiting till the final ended, and getting a pack of them to binge). We shall just have to see what happens.

Have you heard about all of this? What are your thoughts? Which were your favourite, and least favourite, Telltale games? Leave a comment down below.

[Header: Telltale Logo, Telltale, 2018]

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Games I’m Looking Forward to Playing in 2018

Merry Monday, readers! How are we all today? Other than a stinker of a cold (I know – I think I’m cursed) I have had a really good week!
Last week I gave you the games I’ve enjoyed playing this year, so this week it was suggested that I give you all the games I want to play in this year – ones that will release in the next 9 months! Let’s just get on with it shall we!

Sea of Thieves – Released 20th March 2018

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Sea of Thieves, Rare, 2018

Everyone loves pirates, right? I’ve wanted a good looking pirate game since Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, which was a great pirate game (and awful assassin’s game!) I’ve seen some amazing footage of this game, played by big gaming channels like Funhaus, and it just looks like a tonne of fun! I love the idea of hoisting the sail, steering a ship and getting the booty from long lost islands! My only qualms with it is the character generator making everyone look like a potato, so hopefully they’ll be changing that for the actual game release. This game looks like it’s going back to the early days of Rare, from before it was brought out by Windows and the awful Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, and I am so excited!

 

A Way Out – Released 23rd March 2018

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A Way Out, Hazelight Studios, 2018

A Way Out is the second game by Josef Fares (of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons fame). This is a pretty revolutionary game. Whilst lots of large narrative games are single player only, this game has no single player – only a multiplayer (local and online). Players must work together as Leo and Vincent, two convicted criminals, to escape their prison. The story is split screen, so players can see both narratives at once. This idea, to me at least, is so cool! I love playing games with other people; as much as I do like a singleplayer game, it’s really refreshing to play something whilst chatting to someone – and I have just the man I want to play this with! (Our resident Man on the Silver Mountain if you hadn’t guessed! He’s also looking forward to playing this one too)

 

State of Decay 2 – Released 22nd May 2018

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State of Decay 2, Undead Labs, 2018

Zombie games make it twice on this list, and this is number one! I was recently introduced to State of Decay last year, and brought the Game of the Year edition last week for myself. What I’ve always thought that game lacked was a multiplayer. Which is why I’m glad that they didn’t change much about this game for the sequel, other than adding a multiplayer. I’ll be going through the first State of Decay to get myself through the wait for the second one!

Shadows Kiss – Released Sometime in December 2018

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Shadows Kiss, Clockwork Throne Studios, 2018

This is the first game I’ve ever backed from the beginning of it’s development. I love a good supernatural game, as well as an MMO, so putting vampires and multiplayer games together is a big yes from me! It draws a lot of inspiration from Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, which I’ve never finished but do love to have a play of every now and then. I can’t wait to run around and eat some humans, whilst running around and killing werewolves with friends – nom, nom, nom!

GTFO – Released Sometime in 2018

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GTFO, 10 Chambers Collective, 2018

The second installment of zombies on this list. Except this one is much scarier, and I won’t be able to play by myself at all! GTFO is by the people that made Payday, which is obvious when you look at gameplay trailers. It’s a 4 player cooperative game, which I hope can be played with less than 4 players, and you team together to go around an abandoned facility, grabbing loot and killing undead! I am an awful shot, so I hope that people can help and bear with me!

Ooblets – Released Sometime in 2018

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Ooblets, Doublefine Studios, 2018

Thought I’d end this on a nicer game. I love simulation games; and loved Stardew Valley when it came out. This is very much like that, with a mix of Pokémon too. It’s just about living a life – harvesting, exploring, joining clubs, collecting things and meeting the towns residents. It’s just a calm and relaxing experience which I can’t wait to have! It’s all so cute and adorable, and I will feel cute and adorable playing it!

Have you seen any of these games before? Wanting to play any? Perhaps you hate the idea of them? I’d love to hear! Leave a comment down below!

 

 

Top 5 Games I’ve Enjoyed Playing in 2018

Hello everyone! Thank you for bearing with me recently! Been all over the place! I’ll always come back to you though, remember that! A library is never closed for long!

This week I promised you a bumper post of what games I have been loving so far in 2018; most of these games are old, or have been updated in 2018, some of them are new. I play a lot of video games at home, with Seb and with friends so narrowing this list down was hard. But without further ado – here is the ‘Top 5 Games I’ve Enjoyed Playing in 2018’!

Life is Strange

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Life is Strange, DontNodEntertainment, 2015

 

Let’s start with Life is Strange. I have been playing this in anticipation for playing the prequel, Life is Strange: Before the Storm. Both are episodic games, with the ability to do things to change the future dialogue or events in the game. Set in the fictional town of Arcadia Bay, Max Caulfield (a student photographer) discovers she has the strange ability to rewind time when her childhood best-friend Chloe is shot dead by Nathan Prescott, the boy who’s father owns the school and most of the town. The ability to rewind time is a big part of Life is Strange. It allows for the puzzling mechanics of the game – fetch quests and changes to the environment. The first rewind is to save Chloe from her untimely demise at the hand of Nathan.
I really enjoyed playing this game, I haven’t finished it yet, but plan to in the next week or so. Whilst some of my friends found the story to be mundane, I currently find it to be compelling and I want to progress to find out what happens. I can’t wait to finish and start the next one!

Dungeons and Dragons: Neverwinter 

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Dungeons and Dragons: Neverwinter, Cryptic Studios, 2015 – Present

I have played this game for a long time; at least 3 years at this point. Like many other gamers, I play both tabletop and video games, so playing a D&D MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) with the ability to sit at my desk in my pyjamas sounded like a laugh riot!
Neverwinter takes place in the time when a the city itself is forced into chaos by the disappearance of the last Lord. Factions are fighting for dominance to call Neverwinter home, as undead rise and attack. The Lich Queen Valindra attacks the newly built wall, it’s a weak feature, and attempts to sack the city. The tutorial forces the player in as deep as possible – they have the save the city as quick as possible!
As with all Dungeons and Dragons stories, Neverwinter is captivating from a narrative standpoint. All of the races are accepted equally; classes and races get their own quests too, which you can include your friends in on. My main character Lerissa (a tiefling warlock) loves to run around with her lover Svokk (a dragonborn rogue)!

 

Overwatch

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Overwatch, Blizzard Entertainment, 2016 – Present

I’ll be honest – everyone and their dog plays Overwatch or has seen Overwatch being played. I, like many other people, have a main character or two – I really like playing D.Va, Sombra, Moira, Zenyatta and I’m looking forward to the addition of Brigitte later this month!
A brief synopsis is thus – Overwatch is set in a fictionalised Earth, thirty years after the the resolution of the Omnic-Crisis. Human created AI’s called Omnics, that turned against their makers. The United Nations, based off of the real life equivalent, quickly created the team of ‘Overwatch’ to fight against them. They win, and shut down the Omnics. The Leaders of Overwatch begin to argue, Gabriel Reyes and Jack Morrison can barely be around each other anymore. The UN realise they need to do something to stop them, as the rest of the world have outcried about it. Overwatch HQ is blown up, purposely killing Reyes and Morrison among others. The UN then passes the Petras act, stopping all Overwatch and Overwatch-esque activity from ever happening again. Years pass and it turns out that Reyes and Morrison are very much alive – Reyes is now a terrorist called Reaper (basically death), the leader of Talon, out for vengeance and killing. Morrison is the masked vigilante Soldier: 76, and he’s working with old members of Overwatch to stop Reyes and find out why he was shut down in the first place.
Now this story is great, but I wish I had found it out in the actual game and not via story comic books or via my own research. These characters have amazing backstory, which should be found out via playing the game. The story doesn’t even mean anything in the game, Overwatch and Talon characters can play in the same maps together and be on the same team. Why have an in depth story when it means literally nothing?

Kitty Powers Matchmaker / Love Life

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Kitty Powers Matchmaker, Magic Notion, 2015

Who doesn’t love drag? Who doesn’t love matching people to others, forcing them to be together even if they aren’t meant to be? Who doesn’t love giving their couples a happy ever after? If you answered “I love it!” to these questions this game is for you! Kitty Powers is a real British drag queen (waiting for one of our Queens to get on RuPaul is getting tiring), and the lending of her persona is amazing for this game. She’s the perfect person to have as a boss. She has recently launched a new branch of her dating service and has hired the player to serve as her newest matchmaker . You can design your character to fit how you want, including dietary requirements. I really loved this little game, even though it can be repetitive at times, it’s a fun way to pass the time. I obviously just like to play matchmaker, even if I make all my characters lie to get to the second date!

Orwell / Orwell: Ignorance is Strength

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Orwell, Osmotic, 2016

Orwell is an episodic surveillance game. The Nation is lead by The Party. And you are an investigator of the government, spying on the civilians. It’s a linear story, unti’ the end; you are investigating The Thought, a freedom fighting company against The Nation and The Party.  Each part of the evidence is a data-chunk which can be used for or against The Thought. It is the players story that determines the outcome of The Nation, Orwell and The Thought. The Second Game is much in the vein of the first; the player is still an investigator for The Nation.
I really enjoy these kind of games. I love a good story, especially a dystopian one, and can’t wait to get playing on the second episode of Orwell: Ignorance is Strength.

Have you played any of these? Loved or hated them? Want to know what other games I play? Leave a comment down below!

‘Tell Gamonda to call me!’ – Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy, 2017

Hello everyone! I’m back! I enjoyed my randomly gifted weekend off from our resident Man on the Silver Mountain. It gave me enough time to begin writing again! I’ve really enjoyed getting back to my stories. Oh – and to play a lot of video games… don’t judge me, okay?

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Our daring team! – Guardians of the Galaxy, Telltale, 2017

This weeks review is (almost) a sequel to my previous review about Telltale’s Batman. While not of the same branding, it’s almost Marvel’s answer to it. Firstly, I want to point out that – like Batman- this is Telltale’s Guardians, not the movies. All the characters are based on the comics, not the movies. And the movies aren’t mentioned. Remember, no movies here. Okay – now that’s been set straight, here we go!

Let’s get in the mood for it with some ELO, which just so happens to be the theme song for this game!

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Spaaaaaaaace! – Guardians of the Galaxy, Telltale, 2017

Anyway, back to the review! –
The plot centers on the Guardians finding an artifact of great power, the ability to bring people back from the dead. Each Guardian individually covets this power (for spoiler reasons). Some want to get rid of it completely some want to use it to bring back a loved one. I’ll let you play the game to know who wants what. But I can let you know that the Guardians must protect it from the malicious Kree Hala the Accuser who wants it for herself. The Kree were all killed out, and her ship is the last of their kind. She wants her son back. She wants her people back. It’s an understandable want. Except she’ll kill to get it.

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Gamora and Nebula look much more like their comic counterparts – Guardians of the Galaxy, Telltale, 2017

The writing for this game was superb. I loved that it wasn’t even about the films; I was able to feel like I was playing each and everyone of the characters was fully rounded, even the secondary character arcs, and I felt sad at each death, maybe-death and even when things just didn’t work out properly for our characters.I loved every moment of this game. At certain points you get to see Peter’s Mum, go back inside his memories of her. It was incredibly sad watching her die, especially because you’re playing a 10 year old character at the time. Drax’s family was a crazy minefield, and I just want to hug him now. Rocket’s girlfriend Lylla was hella amazing, as was Gamora’s upbringing and even playing as Groot was so cool! I love Telltale storytelling, and there were points I wanted to laugh, points I wanted to cry. It was amazing. Seriously, give it a go.

Like Batman I will put my choices down below! SPOILERS AHEAD:

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Have you played Guardians of the Galaxy? Do you love or hate Telltale? Leave a comment down below!

[Header Image: Guardians of the Galaxy, Telltale, 2017]

‘You’re not just a thief. You’re more than that’ – Batman; The Telltale Series

Now, I’m unsure if I’ve said before, but I love video games (probably just as much as I love comics). Want to know what I love MORE than comics or video games? Video games that are comics. Which is why I love Telltale – The way they tell their stories are almost like graphic novels. They come out episodically, like a comic does (though I like to wait till I can binge the whole game at once) and the choices you pick are reminiscent of a choose your own adventure novel.

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It’s not a Batman series without him trying it on with Selina Kyle (Catwoman) at least once – Batman: The Telltale Series, Telltale, 2016

Batman: The Telltale Series came out in 2016, episodes releasing every couple months between August and December. I tend to wait till the whole series is out before buying it, and it just so happened that the ‘Steam Summer Sale’ so I thought, “What the heck!” and decided to splurge the few pounds on the game. I had wanted it for ages, so was glad that it was included in the sale.

 

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Bruce donning the Batman Cowl – Batman: The Telltale Series, Telltale, 2016

Batman is a young man in this game, he’s only seemingly been Batman for a year. From what I worked out he’s barely even 30, and it shows. He’s idealistic and tends to make rash decisions (or at least that’s how I played him). He’s quick to fall in and out of love with people and ideas, and he still needs Alfred to pretty much hold his hand through everything; he needs Alfred to be the Dad he never had.
This game gives new and fresh insight into the story of Bruce Wayne, and the demise of Thomas and Martha when Bruce was a child. It gives the “reader” (should that be player?) a true understanding of why Bruce does all of this. Throughout the beginning of the story, Bruce is helping out Harvey Dent become the new Mayor to replace Mayor Hamilton Hill, the current and corrupt Mayor of Gotham. Harvey and Bruce are, as Selina calls them, “BFFs” and watching Harvey’s decent into madness (to become Two-Face) has an obvious effect on Bruce. I also really enjoyed the way that Selina and Bruce had a small, and semi-unrequited, romance blossom between them – admittedly I did screw that up at one point, and she became slightly more standoffish with me that I had wanted.

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Friend or Foe? Batman and Catwoman waiting to strike – Batman: The Telltale Series, Telltale, 2016

However, of course it has to all go wrong for Bruce. Suddenly, and with no warning, Bruce’s family name is besmirched. Your job, as Bruce, is to find out what’s going on. Mayror Hill is a man that has connections to both the corrupt Carmine Falcone and… the Waynes? It’s the player’s job to find out why these connections exist, and what that means for Bruce’s family. An old family friend, Oswald “Oz” Cobblepot, who grew up with Bruce, comes to bite him in the behind. It’s up to the player to determine who is friend and who is foe. Luckily, the Telltale games evolve around the player’s choices, so everyone will end up with a slightly different story.

 

SPOILER HEAVY PICTURES
See below for my choices throughout the game, and what kind of Batman I turned out to be.

 

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Have you played Batman: The Telltale Series? What did you think? Have you played any other Telltale games, or other graphic novel point and clicks? What were your thoughts? Want me to play the new Guardians of the Galaxy one, and give you all my thoughts (please say yes!)? Leave a comment down below! 

(Header Image: Batman: The Telltale Series, Telltale, 2016)