Star Trek: Resurgence mixes dialogue and action, Telltale style

Fans of Telltale Games’ story-focused game style may have been disappointed when the studio close the door back in 2018. The studio was then revived with many projects in development, including The wolf between us 2 and a game based on The Expanse. But Telltale’s style lives on beyond Telltale, thanks to Dramatic Labs’ Star Trek: The relive.

After playing a version of Star Trek: The relivewhen I sampled three separate scenes, I got the impression of a game that sticks to the Telltale formula, but makes a difference, the developer said, with more action and less complacency from the players. .

In a post-Telltale world, former Telltale designers at Dramatic Labs have switched to Epic Games 4’s Unreal Engine. They credit Epic’s engine for allowing them to build larger environments and settings. sections with more direct action without completely fast-timed events. Additionally, they’ve updated their philosophy around familiar Telltale consoles like dialogue, removing the “keep silent” option to force players to actively engage with the game.

“When we look at what you get out of the Star Trek experience, we want to deliver on every angle of that,” said Dan Martin. Star Trek: Resurgencenarration of the story. “So while the majority of the franchise is about people sitting around chatting, debating heavy issues, there’s also a lot of action and other types of scenes: mystery, investigation. , […] Everything you think about Star Trek, you get a piece of that with this game. “

First Officer Jara Rydek and engineering officer Carter Diaz discuss their order in a Starfleet reel in this screenshot from Star Trek: Resurgence

Image: Dramatic Labs

In Star Trek: Resurgenceplaced after the events of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the player assumes the role of two Starfleet members: first officer Jara Rydek and engineer Carter Diaz. According to Dramatic Labs, together, they will “unravel a sinister mystery involving two civilizations on the brink of war”.

Three scenes from Star Trek: Resurgence that we played at last month’s Summer Games Fest are significantly different, but they also share the similarities you’d expect from a Telltale game. In the first scene, Rydek and Diaz chat about their teammates before reporting to their captain on the bridge. When faced with the choice of respecting or rejecting their superior officer, I chose to remain silent, testing the limits of how I could make the shot without Star Trek.

Next, I travel to an alien planet to help oversee negotiations between two alien races, the Hotari and the Alidians, about a Dilithium mining operation. (While the Dilithium is part of Trek lore, two races were invented for the game.) This scene introduces Spock, who is skillfully voiced by Piotr Michael in the game. The relive. Martin said it was fun to write for an iconic character in a previously unexplored time period.

Negotiations turned out to be difficult, possibly in part because of my efforts to choose the most obnoxious dialogue option at all times, ensuring neither side would be offended. It is true that these games often create the illusion of player influence when in reality everything is mostly on the rails. However, I certainly tried to get Spock’s consent, which admittedly didn’t feel good.

In the demo’s final scene, I ride a slow-moving space shuttle while the two characters discuss a superior officer. The game presented me with waypoints and the shuttle lazily drifted towards them. It’s not exciting, but, it looks like the action will increase in intensity as the game progresses.

Starfleet crew members steer the shuttle toward a star and asteroid field in this screenshot from Star Trek: Resurgence

Image: Dramatic Labs

“It won’t redefine the genre, but we do have a lot of third-person discoveries, [and puzzle-solving]”Kent Mudle, the game’s narrator, told me. The relive there will be shootouts using an arcade-style cover shot, as well as more dangerous shuttle driving scenes than the “quiet” (as Mudle put it) experience I’ve played.

“There are some realistic parts of the game that are more than just dialogue selection and clicking everything in a kind of free walking part,” says Mudle. “There is a kind of action that is not just events that happen in quick time. We also have some of those, but we also have others, such as a kind of mild convulsive reflex. “

Like many people who work at Dramatic Labs, Mudle and Martin have both worked at Telltale. They say they’ve always wanted to expand their game in these directions, but didn’t always have the time, resources, or tools.

“Unreal Engine definitely helps,” Mudle said. “I think it’s also just the desire to do such things from the jump. We’ve made a lot of games like this and we’ve been wanting to make them more ‘game’ for quite some time to provide more types of interactions, different ways to sell while immersed into the story. And we’ve ruled out, only through time and previous motives, that it wouldn’t necessarily have been possible without spending a lot of resources on it. “

Starfleet negotiators talk to a group of aliens in dialogue from Star Trek: Resurgence.

Image: Dramatic Labs

As for removing the “keep silent” dialogue option found in previous Telltale games, “You’d be surprised how many people don’t use it,” Martin said. “Sometimes there is the rare option of silence when something really interesting happens, but most of the time, somehow the other characters in the room just keep talking around you and the story goes on. .”

“We’re trying to ask the players a little bit more, to really get involved and participate,” he added. “Not participating is not an option [used to] it is in. We’re trying to get you in there and having to pick a track, because that leads to a more interesting level. “

Based on what I’ve played Star Trek: Resurgence, Telltale game fans will feel right at home. But it is the improvements and improvements that the developers have talked about that makes me so happy to be part of Dramatic Labs’ final campaign.

Star Trek: Resurgence slated to launch this year on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

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