The Expanse is the first title since the rebirth of Telltale Games. They are continuing with the format of an episodic adventure that has worked well for them in the past.
To The Brig or The Airlock
Based on James S.A. Corey’s popular book series and TV show, The Expanse. Players can now explore this extraordinary world like never before, taking on the perspective of Camina Drummer.
When it was announced that The Expanse was being made into a Telltale series it piqued my interest and went into my book of games to keep an eye on.
Just a heads up, the game’s storyline takes place before the TV series, so it’s unnecessary to watch the show to enjoy the game fully. It is up to you to make the story choices, your actions as Drummer will shape the world around you. Episode One is out now with episodes being released every two weeks. It’s important to note that the gap between these episodes is relatively short, which effectively addresses my concerns regarding the episodic format. In the past, some games may have a delay of two months between episodes. However, it seems that the situation has gotten better for the time being.
Drummer is acting XO of The Artemis, a scavenging ship under Captain Garrison Cox. The crew is growing increasingly frustrated with Cox’s unfulfilled promises of a large payout, and some of this tension is being directed towards Drummer. This tension is increased with Cox declaring once again that everyone will be rich. This time the wreckage of the UNN Urshanabi promises riches.
Playing in the third-person in The Expanse is an exhilarating experience, thanks to its array of exciting features. The game’s Zero-G and Mag Boots mechanics allow you to explore a vast range of environments and even walk up walls – truly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in Telltale Games.
Exploration in Zero-G is a superb experience with salvage and logs being harder to find. Some items will be essential to the branching storyline, an early example of this is a replacement Laser Crystal for Dr Virgil. This will provide the ability to do better quality surgery improving the chances of people staying alive. There are also Data Logs which will offer more insight into the world around you.
Episode Release Schedule
- Episode 1 – Archer’s Paradox – Out Now
- Episode 2 – Hunting Grounds – August 10th
- Episode 3 – First Ones – August 24th
- Episode 4 – Impossible Objects – September 7th
- Episode 5 – Europa’s Folly – September 21st
Choices and Consequences
Unlike previous Telltale games, The Expanse presents a challenge in determining the impact of choices made as Drummer. However, this refreshing change allows for the freedom to make personal choices without feeling constrained by a pre-set narrative. Quick Time Events (QTEs) are also crucial in determining the story’s outcome, including the possibility of a character’s survival.
Graphics & Audio
Telltale’s latest release, The Expanse, is undeniably their most visually impressive game yet. The feeling you experience while walking down tight, low-lit corridors is vastly different from the sensation of floating through the vastness of space in zero gravity. The upgraded character animations in this iteration are notably superior to those of previous editions. It’s truly remarkable to see the involvement of Cara Gee, who lends her voice to the character of Camina Drummer in the TV series.
From what we’ve seen in the first episode the visuals have been spot-on with textures and lighting playing a massive role due to the haunting nature of the episode. It remains to be seen how this will stand up in future episodes with different situations.
I must say, the audio quality is truly impressive. The involvement of Cara Gee in the series is particularly noteworthy, as it adds a tremendous amount to the overall experience. For those who have seen the TV show, the game feels like an interactive extension of it, which truly enhances the sense of realism.
The Urshanabi has seen better days
Episode 1 took me about 1hr 15 minutes to complete, which given the length of an episode of the TV series is an hour I felt was just right. With collectables playing a part it will require multiple playthroughs to see how choices impact future events. I hope the remaining 4 episodes continue with the same length.
I’m confident that The Expanse will continue to impress in Episode 2 and beyond. It serves as an excellent prequel to the series. I’m sure newcomers to the universe will be eager to start watching. Upon thorough evaluation, The Expanse: A Telltale Series Episode 1 – Archer’s Paradox has been deemed worthy of the prestigious Thumb Culture Gold Award, solely based on its remarkable debut episode.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.