The Expanse: A Telltale Series Reviews
A solid addition to the Telltale roster that accurately captures its source material while falling prey to the faults of the studio's other licensed games.
So far, The Expanse: A Telltale Series makes for a compelling prequel to the show, but it remains to be seen if it'll manage to stick the landing once all its episodes are out.
The closing decision ends the first episode on a promisingly divisive note, which might make repeat playthroughs, to explore different outcomes, more enticing than usual. At the moment, with four more episodes to go over the next two months, Telltale’s The Expanse is, in some respects, a step forward, but it isn’t enough to generate much enthusiasm beyond the devoted audience it’s shooting for. Telltale is back and, for the most part, it’s more of the same.
An affectionately crafted prequel to The Expanse which, while worthwhile for fans, fails to evolve Telltale's tired gameplay design in any meaningful manner.
Telltale's latest story-driven adventure may be its best yet thanks to creative environmental storytelling and a strong narrative that pulls no punches.
What remains to be seen is how the game’s meaningful choices will affect the story in later episodes. The plot of Episode 1: “Archer’s Paradox” doesn’t stray far from typical Expanse fare, but a revelation in a later episode seems poised to explore more of the show’s deeper themes of exploitation, injustice, and inequality.
Unfortunately The Expanse: A Telltale Series probably won’t stick with me like The Wolf Among Us or even The Walking Dead did. But there is still some fun to be had, and it’s proof there is the potential to add a little more gameplay to Telltale titles. I even think another proper Expanse entry that has a bit more meaningful of a story to tell could be perfect for the Telltale formula. If that happens, I hope the narrative doesn’t play it too safe next time.
The Expanse: A Telltale Series is a return to form, though that form is almost out of style. Each of the five episodes takes an average of about two hours to complete if you’re hunting for all of the collectibles, so the amount of content is on the shorter end. But if you’re looking for solid writing and characters that fit well within The Expanse universe, this adventure is another chance to revisit the series and see Camina Drummer be a badass all over again. However, the dated mechanics and the game’s choice to be a prequel impair the effort.
While not a mind-blowing start, The Expanse: A Telltale Series - Episode 1 sets things up nicely for the rest of the story.
Telltale’s entry to The Expanse feels like an obvious move. A world rife with conflict, character and violence is reimagined through the snarky and laser-focused lens of Camina Drummer - and it’s brimming with life and excitement. This carefully spun narrative buries the arbitrary action gameplay, and is totally worth the few hours you’ll need spare to sink this game.
Under fire from the Europa's Bane pirates, Drummer must make the call to save her crew. This episode turns up the heat with the introduction of an antagonistic faction, while still allowing smaller moments to bond with the crew members in a way not present in the initial episode. While it feels like more of the same at times, this is a stronger episode in general from the first that gets to the action much more quickly, and has me looking forward to the next stop in this space-faring voyage across the Belt.
While not the strongest entry so far, episode three still manages to feel like it takes the narrative forward with a powerful revelation and climax. Learning the history of some of the first belt settlers was fascinating, however a lack of decision-making opportunities bogs down the gameplay loop. While it may not be the middle act I was hoping for, Telltale certainly still has its hooks in me with Drummer's story.
While a lack of story-changing decision moments and elementary gameplay systems mar the experience of this episode, the incredible characters and looming narrative climax continue to drive the series as a whole. With guns drawn on both sides and threat levels at maximum, I'm hoping Telltale has enough left in the tank to execute Drummer's story properly with the upcoming finale.
While this episode is short in length, it certainly isn't lacking in excellent narrative execution. The final confrontation between Europa's Bane and the Artemis culminates into an intense altercation with death being a constant threat throughout the episode. A fitting conclusion to Drummer's struggle to survive, even if gone too quickly.
While Camina Drummer may not have been the captain of the ship at the start of the mission, she absolutely takes the reins by the end. Telltale has stepped it up in terms of both visual quality and game play, with a solid yet short intro to their take on a gripping sci-fi narrative. The true depth of which however remains to be truly tested going into further episodes as the narrative progresses.
The Expanse: A Telltale Series is a welcome return for the celebrated company. Although the first episode is particularly short, it sets up an intriguing story that requires no prior knowledge of the franchise, yet will please fans of the show. Several refinements improve the gameplay, however, it doesn’t stray too far away from conventions of the genre. Most importantly though, the world, the characters and the story are fascinating and due to this, I am excited for future episodes.
The Expanse: A Telltale Series retains what made the earlier games such a success, for better or worse, and smuggles in upgraded visuals and a tight, well-told story. It's still classic Telltale at its core, but if you weren't a fan of those earlier games, this bold new direction isn't likely to make you a believer.
The Expanse: A Telltale Series is a hugely enjoyable analogue to both the beloved television show and series of books that it is based on, and one that shows that Telltale Games is still very much capable of putting out involving, episodic stories with a cast of characters that are effortlessly engaging. With Cara Gee's thoroughly excellent performance as Camina Drummer anchoring the whole package, only an emaciated final episode and divisive plodding pace tarnish this otherwise triumphant return to form for Telltale Games.
The Expanse: A Telltale Series is a fantastic companion piece to The Expanse show, telling a prequel story with so many weighty decisions that include the lives of various crew members is “classic” Telltale. Even when players make a seemingly good choice you can’t help but think about what sort of negative connotations its going to yield later down the road. I enjoyed virtually every moment of The Expanse, this is Telltalle at their very best anyone who is a fan of their past work shouldn’t miss this series.