Telltale Games, under the ownership of LCG Entertainment, has returned with a new property called The Expanse: A Telltale Series. Developed by Deck Nine Games, known for the successful Life is Strange franchise, this game marks Telltale’s first venture into a new property since the acquisition. The Expanse – Episode 1, titled Archer’s Paradox, impresses players with its emotionally engaging storyline and well-developed characters. While it maintains elements that fans loved in the past, it also stands out from Telltale’s prior work with improved acting, storytelling, and gameplay mechanics. The gripping narrative makes The Expanse – Episode 1 a must-play for fans of both Telltale and James S.A. Corey’s book and television series.
Review of Episode 1 in A Telltale Series
The game puts players in the role of Camina Drummer, voiced by Cara Gee, before the events of the television series. Drummer serves as the XO of The Artemis, a scavenging ship searching the wreckage of a UNN ship. The Expanse: A Telltale Series serves as an introduction to the universe for newcomers while providing a unique origin story for long-time fans. As the episode progresses, players unravel deeper mysteries and build relationships with the crew members, shaping Drummer into the character known and loved today.
Graphically, The Expanse is Telltale’s best-looking game to date. The environments are incredibly detailed, combining the art style of Telltale with a rich and otherworldly color palette. The facial animations have also improved, making characters react more realistically to dialogue and actions. This enhances the dynamics of the characters and the impact of dialogue choices.
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The gameplay mechanics in The Expanse have also evolved. Players now have freeform traversal in a vast space, allowing them to walk, run, and float through different areas. Zero-G traversal opens up opportunities for exploration, with hidden areas rewarding players with unique interactions and items. The Expanse also introduces a new choice mechanic, where player decisions during exploration and personal interactions shape the fates of the crew members. These choices have a significant impact on the story, reflecting the evolution of Telltale’s gameplay mechanics.
A Telltale Series – Episode 1: A Review | The Expanse: A Telltale Series – Episode 1 Delivers an Evolved Gameplay Experience
However, the implementation of the exploration and relationship mechanics could lead to frustrations. Players are not given guidance on the location or number of salvageable items, which can be missed if players simply follow the directional marker. The full crew interactions and collectibles can only be experienced by interacting with various areas, calling the crew for feedback, and searching hidden locations. Only after completing the episode will players know if they found all collectibles.
The narrative of The Expanse – Episode 1 revolves around a gripping mystery. Drummer discovers a United Nations Navy ship wreckage and uncovers a hidden data drive within a safe. The implications of this discovery are briefly touched upon, leading to a life-or-death decision. The Expanse presents one of Telltale’s most compelling narratives, establishing a strong foundation for the series.
Overall, The Expanse: A Telltale Series – Episode 1 is a successful return for Telltale Games. It offers improved mechanics, intense storytelling, and an immersive introduction to The Expanse universe. Players have a greater sense of agency than ever before, with their decisions shaping the story and the characters. This game sets the stage for a promising experience and demonstrates Telltale’s dedication to delivering quality titles.