The revival of the adventure game genre is here and I couldn’t be happier. I grew up with the hilarity of monkey island, the Insanity of Sam and Max, the charm of Grim Fandango and the pure immersion of Myst as well as many more and I miss that unique brilliance. It was a genre that challenged its players to remember, problem solve and adapt; and they were able to tell some damn fine stories in a way no other genre could.
It is a genre that has some incredible strengths that no other genre is able to do as well and yet. with the last couple generations it has fallen out of vogue. The Fps has near taken over, rpg’s have seen increased, and multi-player titles have had a recent rise to popularity; adventure games, at least in the traditional sense have been forgotten.
Thankfully we have Telltale Games reviving interest in the genre once more. Walking Dead and the recent first season of Wolf Among Us have garnered a large cult following, a lot of positive media attention and once again introduced a generation to the wonders of adventure gaming. No other company in this time has been able to achieve these things and yet a small indie company was able to. They weren’t content with rebuilding the same style of game, that never would have worked as gamer interests and popular culture have changed. Instead they focused directly on popular interests within a specific market, modernised the mechanics to suit this new generation and created an aesthetic that mirrors cult graphic novels of our time.
Many have tried reviving interest in this stale forgotten genre but few attempted to change the focus and remodel the mechanics as much as Telltale have, it’s kind of fitting that they should be the ones and now they will benefit from creating a brand that will last for many years to come. And now coming out of the VGX awards *vomit* we know they are also working on 2 new amazing IP’s: Game of Thrones and Tales from the Borderlands. These will obviously strengthen the genre further and bring in fresh players, maybe even from outside the gaming sphere.
I’m wondering how well they are going to reinvent these two titles as well, they did a fantastic job with the walking dead and The Wolf Among Us but then, their style translates well to the cell shaded aesthetic. Obviously Borderlands will do well in this style but then maybe it’s too similar to its own, it won’t feel as unique to Telltale. I’m intrigued as to how they are going to re-imagine the Game of thrones world but I imagine it will receive far more scrutiny than the others.
I’m wondering where the genre will go from here considering many will always try to copy the more successful styles and titles and franchises. We’ve been getting that old painterly adventure style for years but will we see an increase in this more modern form of interactive fiction. It’s a medium that is able to avoid the usual pitfalls other genres seem to face when trying to tell an engaging story while still allowing player input; it invites choice rather than restricts it and engages in a story rather than simply telling it.
It is a much needed rebirth for gaming in general and we will no doubt see many of the same mechanics incorporated in new ways across a variety of genres. Maybe we will begin to get more focus on storytelling rather than just graphical fidelity and more than just the same burly white dude stories we usually get….we can only hope
#Adventure #Indie #Telltale