Adventures Assemble: Marvel And Telltale

Oh. OH! Telltale are working with Marvel.

Almost every time I mention a Telltale game, I go off on a tangent about the next license I’d like to see them working with. Sometimes I’ll say Mad Men or Reservoir Dogs because I think that’s funny and hip, sometimes I’ll say Dr Who because that seems like a thing that actually might happen. Somehow, I’ve never put Marvel Comics forward though – I figured there were probably too many companies involved with their own licensing agreements for that to happen. Ever. But here it is. Or here it will be, in 2017.

It’s just a graphic with two company names on it and a release date more than a year away. But surely it was only a matter of time before the tendrils of the Marvel Universe found their way into gaming. Properly into gaming, I mean, not in pinball tables and match-3 cleverphone games. Comics, films, television and (presumably) an episodic ongoing character-based game series. It could be the perfect match, even if there’s a slight disappointment that the end product will almost certainly be a Marvel-flavoured version of something we’ve become very familiar with.

And, hey, if this series is a commercial success (that’s the most redundant ‘if’ I’ve ever written) then maybe The Big M will finally make that Freedom Force meets X-COM game I’ve been banging on about for the last ten years.

Lines I’d like to see: “Professor X will perform psychic surgery to ensure that nobody remembers this.”

41 Comments

  1. Hunchback says:

    2017? Wow, that’s quite far in the future… o.O

  2. Hunchback says:

    I would totally dig a Watchmen-based game from TellTale Games though, Can have different episodes played with a different character and all.
    Can see all the moral dilemmas (or lack thereof, if you are playing as Rorschach :D ) already…

    Ahhh, one can only dream of a serious and complex comic book competing with Spiderman and the Avengers.

    • Philopoemen says:

      like Fables?

    • Optimaximal says:

      I guess the problem is they *tried* to extend Watchmen with those brawlers… They were well made, but fairly rubbish regardless.

  3. honuk says:

    pretty sure these games are just made by fill in the blank robots by now

  4. Shockeh says:

    To steal Adam’s usual schtick of what IP he’d like to see, I’m still praying for a Culture Telltale game.

    “Diziet Sma will remember this.”
    “Elethomiel won’t.”

    • Terragot says:

      Flashman for me, though with current cultural climate I don’t think a brutally caddish, womanising-bully of a coward would make for a welcome appearance. Not to say without the late George MacDonald Fraser’s writing, I don’t think the handling of what is outrageous comedy could even be pulled off.

      • phlebas says:

        Daedalic do a popular line in adventure games with heroes like that, but I’m not sure they quite manage the irony.

  5. Philopoemen says:

    If does Disney owns Marvel, mayhaps we will see a Telltale Star Wars game? I must admit I quite enjoy the TT games as a nice little distraction.

    But personally I’d like a Transformers game in the IDW continuity; which is more successful because of the emphasis on the talky-talk and character building than the transform and shooty bits.

  6. Text_Fish says:

    I’ve never understood the appeal of Telltale games, at least among “hard-core” gamers. It seems like they started by pushing out a bunch of pretty “meh” point’n’clickers that only gained any notoriety for having a decent license and doing adventures when not many other people were bothering (it’s not hard to win when you don’t have any competition I guess), then when they realized they weren’t very good at that they started pushing out style-over-substance interactive adventures powered by the very-same cheap quick-time events that get much maligned in pretty much any other game ever.

    • empty_other says:

      Pretty easy. We enjoy making decision and have the game aknowledge these decisions later (not necessarely a completely new story branch, just.. aknowledgements or reprecussions from the choices we made). Its like Deus Ex or Mass Effect but without the boring and uneccesary padded combat inbetween. Its like our own morality test. The thrill of hoping we didnt (or did) offend a group of polygons. And quicktime events is an evil we just have to live with (and a way of forcing us to take though moral choices without given time enough to think about it, but give us a lot of time to regret it later, which is a thrill in itself).

      Whether you enjoy is the thrill of competition, or the adrealin kick from reflex gaming, or a real-time strategy chess-master who thinks two steps ahead doesnt make you more or less of a hardcore gamer.

      • Text_Fish says:

        Good points. I actually dislike the term “hard-core” because it is overly nebulous and has some pretty negative connotations, so I shouldn’t have used it really!

        I guess with the exception of production quality I don’t see TT’s gameplay designs as much of a step up from all those casual pixel hunting or room escape games, and I’ve always been inclined to look to books or cinema for my narrative fix because whilst the theory of open-ended storytelling appeals to me, I’ve yet to feel properly hooked in practice.

    • Hunchback says:

      The quick-time events ARE shit and utterly pointless in TT games too, i really don’t understand why they put those things in, i don’t know a single person who ever said “hey, those quick-time events in games are so awesome, i’d love to see a whole game made entirely out of those!”.

      But the rest of the TT games is quite nice, even tho it’s basically an interactive movie, not really a “point and click adventure” in it’s true meaning. That’s not a bad thing tho, these kind of games (and that new IP “Life is Strange”) are really chill and great for finishing a long day when you are too tired to bother with anything that requires serious thought, dexterity or other gaming skills.

      • Text_Fish says:

        Now you mention it I can see some appeal in the “games for relaxation” angle, though I’d probably go for something like Osmos or a more old-school adventure game. I think I find QTE’s quite stressful, come to think of it.

    • Premium User Badge

      Risingson says:

      Their first games where everything but meh. When I finally started to play Strong Bad or Sam & Max, my feelings were, at the same time, awe and “why is it that difficult to make adventures THIS good?”. You obviously have not played them, because they are the closest thing to classic Lucasarts adventures, with lateral thinking, great writing that is funny and full of clues and loads of sarcasm about different issues that were quite more brilliant and adult than all gta stuff (the music festival industry in that third episode of Strong Bad, that Berghain parody in the vampire episode of Sam&Max…).

      Unless you dislike the genre and prefer that games like these are not released. I miss those Dave Grossman adventures a lot, because of the pure joy the gave to me. Some Wadget Eye stuff, some bits of Daedalic or Kingart, some sporadic other adventures “had” it, but none of the recent ones were at the same level as the Telltale episodic ones – whose only real flaw is the reiteration of the 3d models.

      • Text_Fish says:

        I was really excited for Sam & Max and they did capture some of the basic humour elements, but the episodic thing really didn’t work for me, it made the whole thing feel too compartmentalised. And that bit with the driving mini game — yuck! As a general rule of a thumb for me, if a mini-game is essential to progression it’s a sign that the main game is seriously lacking.

        • Premium User Badge

          Risingson says:

          Well, I think that the episodic gaming was a much more cohesive storytelling than the original, very flawed, Hit the Road. That one was techically impressive, but the puzzles were all over the place and the characterization was lacking. It had a nihilistic mood that I loved and a view of americana that is irresistible, but the Telltale games were much better in that.

          However, minigames, yes, agreed. A thing to avoid, always.

    • vlonk says:

      I prefer grand strategy games. My wife loves League of Legends right now. It was only natural to introduce her to Starcr…. sit lazily on the couch with the big screen and play Telltale games.

      • vlonk says:

        Oh and Telltale games are perfectly sized for big screen TV+ wireless gamepad with the big picture mode from Steam. UNTIL those horrible quicktime events need actual aiming then somebody better run to the PC for mouse controls.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      Well, I don’t understand the appeal of hard-core gamers, but I like Telltale’s games so I guess we just have opposite viewpoints.

      I think they got their action sequences right in Fables. I found the “QTEs” enjoyable there, as opposed to slightly annoying in The Walking Dead (season 1 – haven’t played s2 yet).

    • icarium says:

      it’s less the gameplay, more the story being told.

  7. JimThePea says:

    Telltale’s output seems to be becoming less like adventure games and more like QTE-sprinkled choice-em-ups. Playing Tales from the Borderlands recently, the very few puzzles I faced in the game were easy, dull busywork, it felt like they’d just given up. I don’t hate making choices or frantically mashing buttons but that and aren’t enough to sustain an engaging experience for me.

    I imagine adding superheroes into the mix isn’t going to help, I don’t love Spiderman enough to spend 5 minutes looking for his socks and the rest of the game choosing dialogue options and reacting to commands to press this or that.

    • JimThePea says:

      Okay, turns out putting something in angle brackets causes it to disappear. Slightly ironically, the sentence should read:

      “I don’t hate making choices or frantically mashing buttons but that and *insert popular franchise here* aren’t enough to sustain an engaging experience for me.”

      • Text_Fish says:

        Agree’d. It just goes to show what a cash-cow fanboys can be.

        • Philopoemen says:

          see, other than GoT and to a certain extent Fables, the actual franchises don’t interest me. It’s like an interactive movie…I don’t have to work too hard, there’s a sense of accomplishment for doing very little, and sometimes it’s just nice to get swept up in the story.

          They’re nice, inexpensive diversions which keep me occupied for my money’s worth and offer a little bit of replayability (not very much, but enough).

  8. karnak says:

    “then maybe The Big M will finally make that Freedom Force meets X-COM game I’ve been banging on about for the last ten years”

    I don’t know if Adam Smith knows that Microprose was once trying to do the exact same thing in a game called “Guardians: Agents of Justice” (the link points to a french site, though):
    link to abandonware-france.org

    And even the glorious Bullfrog was also trying to wear a cape and underwear over the pants in “The Indestructibles”:
    link to abandonware-france.org

    And let’s not forget the interesting visuals of “Champions”:
    link to abandonware-france.org

  9. Premium User Badge

    lurkalisk says:

    “maybe The Big M will finally make that Freedom Force meets X-COM game I’ve been banging on about for the last ten years.”

    Ffff… What? The fact that Disney now owns Marvel may have an impact (microscopic). Anything to do with Telltale, though, is essentially a pinball table, as so well put.

  10. silentdan says:

    While I’m sure no one from Telltale will read this comment, I have to put this idea out there in some form: I want Telltale to make a Brütal Legend-based game. BL may have trouble standing on its gameplay, but the atmosphere was masterfully executed, and while anyone can get a new manshooter or fantasy RPG on a fairly regular basis, no one is making games set in a world of metal.

    I want to try out a new guitar riff, with my worn leather boots planted on the craggy crest of a lightning-ravaged mountaintop. I want to put larger chrome teeth on the front of my exhaust-belching roadster. I want to hear Ozzy tell me about how the Old Gods used “play music; beautiful music, man!” I want Lemmy to heal my wounds.

    I bet TT would hit Tales From a Brütal Legend out of the park. Someone make that happen, please.

    • maninahat says:

      If we are talking about licences we want TT to make games from, I’d like to see them tackle Archer…in the proviso that they change the use of quick time events: instead of having a failed quick time event result in INSTANT DEATH TRY AGAIN STUPID, your character should simply receive a painful looking injury that will get reflected on later (much like in the show). Also, they should dick around with the player by giving them seemingly sensible choices, only for Archer to misconstrue the option in some unforseen, moronic way. I like how TT games potentially give you enough room to turn their nice guy protagonists into jerks, and Archer would be the perfect reversal of that (a jerk you can try to make a nice guy).

  11. draglikepull says:

    One license I’d like to see Telltale tackle in an upcoming game is Sam & Max. But make it less about “choices” and quicktime events and more about solving inventory and dialogue puzzles. Maybe make a game like Tales of Monkey Island, too. That was a good game. I don’t know if Telltale could get those licenses, though.

    • silentdan says:

      Those games actually were made by Telltale. And given that they’ve gotten Game of Thrones, I’m not sure any IP is definitively out of their reach. I’ve already suggested Brütal Legend’s world, but if any of you have read the Mistborn series, I’m sure you’ll agree that there’s potential there, as well.

      • draglikepull says:

        I was being sarcastic. I just want some more humorous adventure games from them.

        • MadTinkerer says:

          Oh man, I hope they get the license to do a Thimbleweed Park game! 8D

        • silentdan says:

          Sorry, I really wasn’t sure. I figured most people probably knew that TT made them, but I didn’t make the connection between your citation of lighthearted titles vs. TT’s current stable of mostly grimdark material, so I missed your point.

  12. DougieMonster says:

    Freedom Force meets X-COM?! I’ve been banging on about that very same concept to anyone who’ll listen for a LONG time! It’d be bloody awesome eh? A “Nick Fury Simulator” where you dispatched super-heroes to deal with various threats/emergencies. If only…

    • Zekiel says:

      At the risk of being backwards-looking, I would say that a Marvel Freedom Force-esque game would be a lesser gamer than a third Freedom Force game (all other things being equal). One of the chief joys of FF was how it constantly lovingly took the micky out of the Silver Age rather than just presenting it as is.

      Stay Tuned Freedom Fans!

  13. April March says:

    Here’s what I think about a Marvel adventure game: *blows a raspberry*

    Now, a Vertigo adventure game…