Watch 10 Minutes Of Telltale-like The Descendant

The Descendant [official site] is a Telltale-like (is that a genre yet?) post-apocalyptic narrative game. This time around it’s climate change that has brought about chaos and eventually a nuclear holocaust. Only a chosen few survived, hibernated in vaults for centuries.

When the time came to wake up and rebuild, one of these vaults, Ark-01, remained shut, and throughout the 5 episodes players are going to find out about the conspiracy at the heart of it all (no, not climate change – hohoho.) Developers Gaming Corps have released a video showing the first 10 minutes of the game. Grab some popcorn and enter the vault with me after the break.

The Descendant will mix branching dialogues, multiple endings and QTEs with a heavier focus on point-and-click style puzzles. The plot will follow two timelines: in the present we’ll take control of Donnie, a vault dweller trying to find out what happened to Ark-01; while in the past we’ll play as Mia, a janitor working at Ark-01 to keep people alive just when mysterious thing happened.

Let’s watch the video then. More than half of the footage is exposition and cutscenes setting up the story, and it’s only at 7:00 that the player really starts controlling their character.

0:25 – The voice acting feels a bit off, or at least at odds with the stiffness of the characters.
1:25 – I don’t blame them for doing this, but it’s always a little weird when footage from real-world wars and riots is stripped of its context and used in fictional works. Makes me feel all Baudrillard inside.
7:10 – Can’t you please walk faster?
7:15 – No, really, could you please walk faster?
9:32 – Bad guy continues being mean for no reason.

The first episode of The Descendant will be released on March 24th, with the other 4 coming throughout 2016. It’ll be available on Steam, or directly from the developer, where the season pass will set you back $14.99. (which is about £10.39)


  1. hamsarny says:

    i tried episodic but hated the disconnect from the characters and story between episodes. not saying it’s a bad thing – it obviously allows some games to be funded in stages which otherwise wouldn’t exist, but i prefer full story experiences. will decide if i wanna pick it up at the end of the year.

  2. racccoon says:

    Its a shame about the copy cat graphics of half cartoon half something, the movement looks very boring and does nothing to add to the game mechanics, most graphics are drawn & not 3d created, its looks like a very frustrating game for the game player, as he/she will not be in control, but will go through whats seems to be tedious actions of play, it seems this game will make you so bummed out by the lack of ability to do, with its zero freedom movement & adventure.

  3. Retroblique says:

    For me “Telltale-like” now means “a cartoon that forces me to choose all the dialogue and occasionally offers me some semblance of interactivity via QTEs”.

    I find it ironic that so many people complained about their Jurassic Park game because it seemed to ditch the walk/explore/puzzle elements of the traditional graphic adventure (that were still present in Tales of Monkey Island and Sam & Max) and stripped the interactivity down to just dialogue choices and QTEs. Low and behold, that’s pretty much what all current Telltale games are, with Game of Thrones being the worst offender.

    That’s not to say they’re not fun, but I’m growing increasingly hesitant to describe their products as games. Life Is Strange is much more deserving of its place in the graphic adventure legacy. You have a lot more direct control over the main character and have a lot more to do than just choose dialogue options and occasionally mash X to stop the thing doing the thing.

    So I guess this is all a long-winded way of saying I suspect that calling The Descendant “Telltale-like” is probably doing it a disservice.

    • Stevostin says:

      You certainly offer a more informed POV than mine. That being said, the Walking Dead is, to me, something like the first real adventure game I played. As in, it *feels* like an adventure, with uncertainty, stress, and an outcome that feels like it’s your very own story. The ones I played (TWD, Fables) certainly ended up offering real choices vs consequences (the fact that you can be four or eight reaching the last chapter for instance) that didn’t exist in all the “classics” I loved (and still do, but to me they’re not really “adventure” game anymore).

    • manny says:

      Real actual choice is not necessary for a narrative to be a game. All it needs is the ‘feeling’ of having a choice. Like those buttons on traffic walk signals.

      This is also inline with religious stories. Due to a third party present and acting, (God) the reader feels like he is participating in the story as well.

    • mavrik says:

      Huh? The whole interactivity and gameplay is in the dialogs and their choices (+ exploration) not the QTEs. QTEs are just a sideshow (and luckly they pretty much stepped away from them) to the main gameplay which is in dialog and story choices.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Lexx87 says:

    Am I the only one screaming THIS IS THE PLOT OF FALLOUT?

  5. Unsheep says:

    Us old people used to call these kind of games ‘Adventure games’, leave it to the mainstream to re-name already existing genres.

    Visually ‘The Descendant’ looks very impressive, however I want to see more of the gameplay before I make up my mind. It seems like an interesting sci-fi game though. If I buy it I’ll wait until all the episodes are out.

    • Marclev says:

      I haven’t played any Telltale game more recent that the first episode of Back to the Future, but from what I gather these are pretty damn far removed to what people call “Adventure games”.

      From the article, “mix branching dialogues, multiple endings and QTEs with a heavier focus on point-and-click style puzzles”. Depending on how much “heavier” that focus ends up being (heavier than what?), my reading is that it’s basically an interactive story book.

  6. Kyuurei says:

    I don’t mind this type of games but the episodic formula must die.

    • UncleLou says:

      It hasn’t even started yet. Just buy it when it’s released in its entirety, doesn’t really change anything for you.

      • Kyuurei says:

        Yes and trying to avoid spoilers for the next how many months? It’s just a bad way of making games, asking for money for a product that you cannot be sure it’s good along the way, making reviews a pain in the ass, that it can be trash after the first obviously longer and more polished episode which is going to be the selling point, with the highest abandonment rate of all the game types… i can wait and buy it after sure, but it still is a bad release practice for games.

        • klops says:

          Avoiding spoilers isn’t hard. I’ve played Kentucky Route Zero and the Walking Deads while actively reading about games and reading games related forums. I have not encountered spoilers since I don’t go to articles or threads that warn about spoilers or speak in detail about the game (reviews I do read). I’m interested in The Wolf Among Us, Game of Thrones and Life is Strange, for example, and don’t know anything else than the basic concept. With the games I’ve played, the quality has been good throughout the episodes.

          I’m not the biggest fan of episodic games and understand reasons why people don’t like them but it’s not a bad practice for releasing games, just different. The Walking Dead games put up as a single game the way they play now would not be a very working game.

  7. seroto9 says:

    I must say that the third-person slow walk is the bane of games for me. It ruined Stasis: I couldn’t get past the first hour – despite it being intriguing – just because of the walk.

  8. Turkey says:

    It’s quite fitting that this whole episodic thing took off with the Walking Dead, cause the genre kinda reminds me of comics. It’s like a bastard child of two mediums that doesn’t quite fit in either camp.

  9. Niruto says:

    Quick Time Events and long, unskipable cutscenes?

    No. Count me out.

    Actually, I’m not just out, we are enemies. This is personal.