Although it has only been in the public spotlight for a few years, episodic gaming has risen to become of one of the most popular genres of the current generation. Whether they are released weeks or months apart, each of them brings a unique window of perspective into the world in which it is set, from the politics driven bloodbath of Game of Thrones to the Victorian style humouring of Bertram Fiddle. This year has seen many different episodic adventures come to our homes, and these two games have proven themselves worthy contenders for this years crown.
Runner Up: Tales from the Borderlands (Telltale Games)
Set after the events of Borderlands 2, the episodic adventure of Tales from the Borderlands was truly a work of art. From the excellent script and emotive characters present throughout, to the graphic novel art style which matches the original game’s aesthetic, it is fair to say that this deserves pride of place in Gearbox Software’s Borderlands canon. The only small chink in the armour is the slow pacing in the fourth episode on Helios, but the trademark fourth wall breaking antics mix perfectly into a graphic adventure environment, and hopefully will ensure further continuation of the Borderlands universe.
In case you missed our review, be sure to check it out here.
Winner: Life is Strange (Dontnod Entertainment)
After releasing Remember Me in 2013, Dontnod Entertainment teamed up with Square Enix to produce Life is Strange. The ability to travel through time is one that is sought after by many individuals, but Max Caulfield is given the power almost at random, and that is what makes the game truly magical. The ability to rewind and replay almost any decision you make sets it apart from many games that rely on a permanent choice narrative, and allows for a creative puzzles and a true sense of making a choice rather than clicking a button. The relationship between Max and her best friend Chloe could easily have strayed into a unrequited love story, but instead, each of the five episodes tests their friendship in many different ways, especially when it comes to making reality changing choices at the end of the game. With a compelling set of side characters, a wonderful photography side quest and a unique graphical style, Life is Strange is the best episodic game this year, and is truly deserving of all the praise it receives.
In case you missed our review of each episode, be sure to check them out using the links provided below.