Review Copy Provided by Skybound Games
Pioneering effectively an entire genre, the legacy of Telltale Games, despite its cataclysmic end, has made a resounding impact on the medium, propelling interactive storytelling to a place where it never could have reached before. But there’s no denying that the path to such a legacy wasn’t divisive even before the closure of the studio. Fans questioned the exact reason how their narratives lent themselves to games especially when most of the actual gameplay (choices, exploration, etc.) were considered average at best. Critics frequently compared their new releases to that of the LEGO franchise, simply just chugging along and gobbling as many new projects and IPs as it can. All of these criticisms are warranted, but most would also agree that they are overshadowed by the top-tier narratives and storytelling, characteristics that are seen best in their The Walking Dead four-season saga. And thanks to Skybound Games, there is now a definitive way to experience all four seasons, the spin-off Micchone storyline, and all DLC episodes in a brand-new coat of paint. The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Experience represents the growth of a studio from the first humble leaf to the final somber flower. It’s a growth that has its own highs and its own lows, but it’s one worth taking nonetheless. Games like these aren’t being made as often as some fans would hope for, with only the waning Life Is Strange franchise and QuanticDream holding up the fort. It’s a saga of interactive storytelling that, despite its numerous warts, is simply brilliant.
Realized by the efforts of Skybound Games, The Telltale Definitive Experience collects all of the studio’s The Walking Dead projects and bundles them in a sweet collection decal for $49.99 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via the Epic Games Store. At face value, this is a remarkable deal, and there’s also exclusive features that only this “definitive” experience holds. From developer commentaries to music players to even real-time animation viewers, there’s genuine passion going into every component of the collection. The new “Graphic Black” feature for every season excluding The Final Season doesn’t add much aesthetically, mostly coming down to a contrast slider difference, but there’s no denying that Skybound Games went above and beyond to delivering the ultimate love letter to fans. Easily surpassing the meager efforts of remastered collections like Batman: Return to Arkham and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, there really hasn’t been a remaster quite on the level of this one, outside of 2018’s Shadow of the Colossus from BluePoint Games. Point being, for both newcomers and returning players alike, The Telltale Definitive Experience offers genuine value for your buck.