E3 2011: Zombies & Dinosaurs? WALKING DEAD & JURASSIC PARK
E3 2011: Zombies & Dinosaurs? Telltale
Independent downloadable game developer Telltale Games is at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles with a trio of titles that revisit a breakout hit, return players to a ‘lost world’ and tease a new effort involving one of the hottest properties in comics and television.
Puzzle Agent 2
FBI puzzle investigator Nelson Tethers is back, returning to the scene of the crime in Scoggins, Minnesota on his own time to uncover the truth about the events of the first game and solve a mystery involving the disappearance of some locals. In addition to a new batch of puzzles, and more of the humor an weirdness inspired by the art of Graham Annable and a peculiar variation of noir from movies like Fargo and television shows like Twin Peaks. The FBI wants the Scoggins cases closed so this time around, Nelson is on his own, but maybe not alone, as this episode introduced a new female puzzle solving rival for Agent Tethers.
In a great departure from the norm for Telltale Games is this new chapter in the almost 20 year old Jurassic Park universe. Following a loose thread from the 1993 movie, that of rogue programmer Dennis Nedry's lost Barbasol can of dinosaur embryos, this Jurassic Park game will tell the story of several different survivors of the initial breakout as they struggle to recover the can and survive while being stalked by a real, but hereto unknown to the people on the island zoo, unrevealed predatory dinosaur acting on instinct, not malice. Unlike pervious Telltale titles, this game will be presented in the ‘interactive drama’ format, like Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain, with environmental interactions and movement mapped to the screen and QTE action sequences that can result in player death. As this is the first time in an Telltale game that the player can be killed, the game will be tuned to make it progressively easier if players become stuck. Jurassic Park will be released in five episodes for PC, XBL, PSN and Mac starting this fall.
The Walking Dead
Very little information could be shared at this point about Telltale’s work on The Walking Dead game, even the style/genre of gameplay couldn’t be released. What was revealed was that the visuals will be ‘evocative’ of the look of the comic, and the story will be rooted in the drama of losing your humanity in a seemingly hopeless situation. The player character will be the original creation Lee Evert, a man who escapes police custody during the initial hours of the zombie outbreak. While original comic protagonist Rick first sought to reach Atlanta, Lee is on his way out as he meets orphaned 7 year old Clementine, and feels compelled to help the little girl. She acts as Lee’s moral compass and may help him stay grounded in his humanity as the game compels Lee, and you, to make some tough decisions. While this game will be an original story, locations like Hershel’s Farm, and characters like Glen and Lilly will make appearances, likely chronologically before their introduction in the comic. No release date or platform information has been announced.