The game based on The Expanse looks pretty decent, especially the zero-G bits

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In December, the new Telltale—a studio built from some of the pieces left behind when the developer went bankrupt—announced that it’s making an adventure series based on The Expanse, the six-season sci-fi show (based on novels) that was recently concluded by Amazon Studios.

I thought it was smart to make Camina Drummer the main character (who would rather play as pouty-boy James Holden?) and now that we have a peek at The Expanse: A Telltale Series via the Gamescom trailer embedded above, I’m mildly excited to play it.

In the trailer, game director Stephan Frost says he’s “super excited” for the zero-G bits of the game. I was glad to hear that, because I’ve always loved a good zero-G section myself—it’s the best part of the first Dead Space—and you really couldn’t make a game based on The Expanse without some floating.

The show (and I presume the novels, which I haven’t read) is all about imagining the weird problems involved with interplanetary travel and space life, such as how human bones might develop differently in low gravity, how ships might be designed to use acceleration as gravity, and how people would survive the G-forces caused by extreme space maneuvering. The latter problem is solved with magic liquid, so it’s not all science-ey, but I enjoy the bits where The Expanse doesn’t cheat too much. It looks like Telltale sees the same appeal in the source material, and there may be some pretty big wrecks to explore—not something Telltale is known for, and perhaps an indication that we’re not completely getting more of the same here.

I also like that it looks pretty gross. You’re not going to scavenge from wrecked spaceships without seeing some floating bodies, and indeed, there are floating bodies. Floating heads, too. For some reason, I have a kid-friendly image of Telltale in my mind—maybe because I associated it with a cartoon dog—but that’s not what Telltale was. The series that earned it mainstream fame, The Walking Dead, was also pretty gruesome.

There’s a lot of activity around Telltale and its past right now. Another Telltale game, Tales from the Borderlands, is getting a sequel called New Tales from the Borderlands, but that’s being developed by Gearbox (with some devs from the first game). Meanwhile, a studio formed by ex-Telltale devs, called Adhoc, is working on a sequel to Telltale’s The Wolf Among Us with support from the new Telltale. 

I’m glad the plate of intellectual property spaghetti formed by Telltale’s closure seems to be working out, at least for now. The Expanse: A Telltale Series is scheduled to release in Summer 2023 (or the first episode, at least, if they’re released over time).

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