Dontnod's Tell Me Why - Episode 3 Out Now
edited September 2020 in General Chat
Please don't post spoilers from any leaked Tell Me Why episodes.
Tell Me Why
Chapters 2-3 Trailer
Discuss Tell Me Why in this thread!
Tell Me Why is the latest narrative adventure game from DONTNOD Entertainment, the studio behind the beloved franchise, Life is Strange. In this intimate mystery, twins Tyler and Alyson Ronan use their supernatural bond to unravel the mysteries of their loving but troubled childhood in beautiful small-town Alaska.
Tell Me Why releases digitally August 27th, 2020 on Xbox One and PC. It's free with Xbox Game Pass on both console and Windows 10
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Gotta say anyone looking for a Telltale -like/narrative focused game this looks like a real steal considering the whole thing will be out within 30 days, meaning you only gotta pay 10 bucks for the whole thing with game pass.
Really not trying to bring unneeded negativity onto the forums but not really sure where else to put this:
DONTNOD really needs to fix their formula, all their games look the same and all of them are really bad in terms of story, and always have cheesy dialogue. The LIS2 story was a complete joke. I don't know how but this new games animations look more stiff than Telltales BTTF against all odds and that was like 9 years ago. Voice acting also sounded like a fan dub hahahahha.
Really hope they fix their games quality. Their recent games all sold horribly and I'm really hoping people don't end up laid off. Maybe the art directors, animators, modelers, and VO cast need better working conditions? Just seems like these guys keep shipping out the same boring game over and over.
I do agree that I hope they do change their formula a bit because I am starting to see a bit of a pattern that happened with Telltale. Kinda just making the same game but different story, not a lot of innovation from what worked before. That said, I still feel they are way better off than Telltale was towards the end simply because they have original IPs. So even though their newer games aren't anywhere close to a smash hit as the original Life is Strange, their studio has value in itself. (And even though their gameplay isnt evolving much, they have been offering a lot more to the gameplay and things to do in the world/hub areas that Telltale was really lacking and only really started to get "caught up" with the Final Season.)
I also wouldnt say its fair to say "all their stories are really bad" because that's a pretty subjective thing to say for the types of games they make seeing how there 100% is an audience for these kinds of stories to be told. And even then they aren't bad stories. They got their moments of clunky dialogue but the overall narrative structure is pretty good. LIS2 definitely fixed a lot of the issues LIS1 had where there was some really clunky lines, or lips not syncing anywhere close to what the characters were saying. Personally I think I even preferred LIS2 story as a whole more than the first at least character writing wise, as I do think LIS1's 5 episodes, each episode a day in the school week was an overall better structure. But in the end I think both games are above average. I still prefer more Telltale Games than I do LIS games but I am looking forward to Tell Me Why and LIS3 whenever it is revealed.
To add on to this, Dontnod also has had the help of Square Enix as a publisher -- and now with Xbox Game Studios in creating an Xbox-exclusive game for their platform. That alone must have really helped them in terms of budget for each of their games, whereas Telltale did the whole developing and publishing; Something I've heard is a pretty tough job for one company.
I will agree with 4K that their games all look very similar, the animation, lip-syncing, and dialogue writing can be very stilted and awkward to watch. But from what I've seen with LiS 2, they pushed the agenda of a changing narative harder than I've seen Telltale do -- at least with the Season Finale. I'm not totally sure on this, but I think there's about 4 different endings to the season, (or maybe two, I only saw two on a friend's stream) and there's some pretty wild differences between each.
Looks decent, but tbh this hasn't really piqued my interest. I'll check out Episode 1 when it launches. Hopefully it feels fresh and not familiar. At this point I've just accepted that DontNod games will just have their usual problems. 2 years from now there will still be clunky voice-acting and dialogue, stiff animation and lip-syncing. But that's okay, whatever.
Man, there's a lot of stuff on the 26th and 27th for me to look forward to. Fall Guys Season 2 trailer, more gameplay from Mafia: Defintive Edition, Black Ops: Cold War reveal, and this.
I have a bad feeling that this is gonna flop worse than both LIS games. I didn't even know this was a thing and that's due to terrible marketing. The game seems to have a cooler concept than LIS but doesn't look very promising.
To be fair it's not like they've only been doing point and click games. They did put out Vampyr a couple years ago, an action RPG, and that sold pretty well (over a million copies in under a year). It's also the biggest game they've done so far I think. Not to mention they started out their company with Remember Me (which ironically not many people remember).
There are indeed four very different endings, but what actually stands out about them is how these endings are selected. Here's a very good video on how it all works:
TL;DW: relationship systems! All your decisions, minor and big, sum up to an overall score that determines how a character responds to you and their surrounding world. Not only does one of these systems determine your ending (combined with a binary choice, making a sort of hybrid selection system), but it also affects your whole experience thoughout the 5 episodes. Having some immediate agency taken from the player is actually cool sometimes.
Game after game TellTale just insisted on never doing anything different when it came to the decision system, you can count with your fingers how many times they dared to deviate from doing the good old binary decision even when the game's story was just begging for a system that weighted all your interactions with a certain character (TWD:TFS and Batman:TEW are great examples of this: relationships that you spend the whole season building up reduced to a single choice in the penultimate episode).
The need for these types of systems is so apparent in these types of games that I have to believe that the teams behind them had every intention of implementing something like this, but the tool wouldn't allow it (even though TWD:S1 did it (), TWD:ANF seemed to struggle to incorporate it).
This to say I really disagree with the idea that DontNod hasn't innovated a bit with their narrative heavy games. They have innovated more than Telltale had in years in the decision department, and as for gameplay I don't really know if I need these games to have any more complicated types of gameplay. Journals/codexes, collectibles and costumizables compliment narrative driven games well, and both most recent LiS games nailed that. I hope they keep on expanding everything with this new game.
You are right, I probably should have mentioned that but I kinda didnt simply because their other non-narrative focused games dont get much attention even Vampyr that is a much larger game in scale. It wasnt a failure (I dont think? Hard to tell with games these days what the actual financial brings in compared to budget) but even though it seems it sold well enough I dont think it reached expectations.
But all that said, that def adds to the fact Dontnod has been doing a lot more than what Telltale was doing. They have their own IPs and other game genres. Even if those other genres arnt as popular, it makes their catalog a lot more diverse and shows they arnt just "the life is strange" people. (even though Im fairly certain they are shifting their focus to just doing more point and click adventure-like games only now)
I believe their are 7 endings but 4 "core" with the others being slightly altered iirc.
I feel LIS2's ending was probably one of the best out there for these narrative based games. Im glad each ending feels correct based on how you played yet not leaving an ending that can be definitively considered "the best ending." It ends realistically for how it would end for these characters, its pretty tragic or bittersweet, so I'm glad they didnt shy away from it. Its nice having a narrative game actually have something to say rather than just be a floaty experience that in the end doesnt really offer anything with substance or deeper themes.
LIS1 did very very very far from flopping. Its insane how many copies its sold. Its very similar to Telltale's Walking Dead in terms of first season was a massive hit but the second, although selling well overall, isnt anywhere close to the numbers the first had.
According to Focus Home Interactive, who published the game, it should be considered a success.
It's not LiS money, but it's enough to consider it to be a hit.
I 100% agree with that. I have no idea why Telltale was so afraid of having choices that would be different based on an accumulation of multiple choices. Theres nothing satisfying about having the game keep going "your relationship will change the outcome" but reality is "what single choice did you just make right this second before it happens?"
I think its because Telltale was worried if people got outcomes they didnt want people would be upset. I get the idea behind it, you want to make sure the player is satisfied with the story but if youre making a game all about choices and the world changing because of your actions, you really need to implement moments where things arent in your control but will play out differently because of what you did. Seriously, remember back when Telltale Games were about things you did in the past that would bite you back in the future? That feeling felt completely gone post Tales from the Borderlands.
(also what I was saying about innovation, I kinda just meant their own formula because I 100% agree they had innovated way harder than what Telltale was doing, especially when it comes to choices.)
Ah, thank you for that link. Glad to see it did well, I remember back when it first released hearing things like it wasnt doing well or something, glad they reached their goal.
Yeah, I'd definitely like choices with consequences you can't really predict, though at the same time, when I see that happen, I tend to see a good chunk of people complaining that they had no idea X would happen because they did Y so how is this supposed to be fair? So I can see why a company might be hesitant to do things like that.
I never said LIS1 flopped. All I said was that this game was never gonna reach the same success as LIS1. You can't really compare TWDS2's sales to LIS2's because a sequel doesn't have to surpass the original to be a successful game. LIS2 flopped immediately despite the huge fandom that the first game created.
Well saying "flop worse than both lis games" would imply that you'd believe both lis games flopped and this new game will flop even worse. I'm guessing thats not what you meant now, but that wording does read that way.
And I wasnt saying a sequel needs to surpass the other to be considered a successful game, which is why I said even though the second game sold well overall it wasnt close to the first games sales. We were talking about "if a game flops" so I was simply saying first game sold super super well and even though the second game doesnt really compare to those numbers, it still sold and was received well enough to not be considered a "flop."
I feel like Telltale changed to where they just don't want you to replay the games more than once. From TFS feeling extremely linear and Joker and AJ, to the removal of rewind and less gameplay. It's such a shame, especially after Kent Mudle's dissapointment with Telltale GOT.
Can't speak for this game because nothing about it has interested me in the slightest, but since we're on the topic of Dontnod, what the hell ever happened to that Twin Mirror game they were making? There was this 10 minute section of gameplay released like 2 or 3 years ago that everyone thought looked like crap, and I've heard nothing since.
It's apparently still slated to release this year and is not episodic. It's also not releasing in Japan... for some reason.
Wow really, this year? Huh, there has been like no fanfare for this. Seems like they definitely put more resources and effort into this game then Twin Mirror. Japan thing is kind of weird, can't make heads or tails as to why that might be. Probably some contractual thing regarding the publisher, who knows.
Funnily enough, their publisher for Twin Mirrors is Bandai Namco, a very Japanese originated company.
It's still releasing this year and is no longer episodic.
It sounds bad. It looks bad.
As someone who found Life is strange 2 a breath of fresh air (compared to the former) I'm really looking forward to this and Twin Mirror. I liked what I've seen so far from the trailers, so fingers crossed that they can pull it off.
Also as someone who loves these sort of narrative choice games I disagree they aren't innovating. They clearly are. Life is strange 2 manage to make a really unique relationship system where by the end you are pretty much locked in the choices you made from the previous episodes, so you really get to see the impact of your actions. Nothing can top Batman's two entirely different episodes for a finale but its damn close and deserves to be praised.
True dat. If only Batman did the same relationship-locking outcomes with John in regards to how Episode 5 played out (rather than choosing the binary Trust/Betray John regardless of any of your previous decisions).
I don't know much about Life Is Strange 2's choice/consequences throughout the season -- if there's any major disparity between scenes, but the varied endings to the whole season are definitely impressive.
Well I did finish episode 1 a bit ago and Im not super sure how I feel about it. Im not gonna go super in depth until its finished but I didnt find it that interesting. I think the player agency is kinda just... not there. And I guess the plot kinda feels floaty. I do like the 2 main characters though.
Hopefully episode 2 starts to pick things up because at the moment it didnt really give me a hook.
When you see that ass.
I like the UI improvements in this game so far, feels better and I like the little Q menu that pops up for reading.
Huh, the design reminds me of Koro Sensei from Assassination Classroom.
Wow I think that was the slowest paced episode DontNod has made yet. I thought "Chrysalis" and "Out of TIme" were slow episodes but Tell Me Why's premiere episode was practically "Nothing happened!". Thaaat said...The writing is really good and how they handle Trans representation is really impressive. Tyler's a good character with some interesting flaws, and I'm surprised how open the game is about that. It's a good middle ground so he's not treated like this holy thing or this torture device. He's just a normal person dealing with some shit like Alyson.
The memory mechanic is interesting but I gotta say I much preferred the story cutscenes rather than staring at fragmented models flapping their maws. In fact I really missed decision making, its done so casually and care free this time around and I don't think I like that too much. I much preferred these type of dialog trees as a side thing like it was in life is strange 2.
Overall I'm a little concerned how slow this is going to end up being but at least the mystery is engaging enough to where I'd want to see more, and only having to wait a week between episodes does make it feel better than LIS2 4+ month wait times. I'd be a little peeved if I had to wait that long after finishing such a slow crawl premiere like this. Mmm probably give it a 7. (mainly just because of the intriguing main hook and sharp writing this time around)
Also side note but goddamn is this game really well optimized. Even more so than LIS2. Was shocked my janky laptop could run this game (well on low ass settings) with a consistent 60 fps.Glad I was able to play this "exclusive" completely fine on old hardware.
Had time to finish, definitely a slow start, but I am interested.
I like how the memories work, they're only based on what they recall, and not what the exact scene was, which leads to some neat stuff. However, I do find it weird that you had to choose between Tyler and Alyson's memory of Tessa at the grocery store, all you really need to do is keep it to "They had a fight" and not really a need for who was angry first when asking the questions.
Yeah, the choices as a whole this chapter felt very undefined as to how they can have any consequences. I couldn't actually get the truth out of Tessa since the game glitched and actually wouldn't highlight her debt collection book, but in general nothing felt consequential. I really hope the next episode does something more consistently unique with the memories and they aren't just basic conversations. From the interviews I read Dontnod treated it like a "choose whose side to believe" mechanic which so far seems very underutilized in the narrative and branch making.
The big thing for the game seems to be the relationship between Tyler and Alysson, and going by the achievements, it's going to end with either a weakened or strengthened bond. Relationships in general seems to be the big thing for all of the characters as that's what the Consequences screen highlighted.
yeah I figured but it seems even more downplayed than what life is strange 2 did. Even the choices they highlighted in "your decisions" screen felt underplayed. I'm cautiously optimistic. Still a bit too early to judge I guess. Even with the mini series 3 episode count.
Here's the episode 2 launch schedule as well as the new trailer:
Finished episode 2, I liked it more than the first, still keeping to a slower pace, but a better rhythm, if that makes sense.
Mmm better than episode 1 tho its still lacking that emotional punch I need from it. It continues to be slow as molasses. but more did actually happen this time. Much more decision making and a lot more of the dialog trees I like, which felt so underutilized previously. I'm more interested in the development of Tyler and Allison this time around, but there's a lot of out of nowhere and inconsistent character moments because the story demands drama. (I sided with Tyler and they immediately have a fight out of nowhere, acknowledge a previous decision I did as being good, and go back to fighting). It was a little hard to take seriously at times.
But, yeah just slightly better than the premiere, which I feel had a better emotional hook despite episode two's stronger pacing. The finale needs to ramp up the conflict to a satisfying conclusion cause mm yeah, I feel not nearly as invested as they clearly want me to be by the end of that "cliffhanger". I do appreciate the weekly releases this time around, since this series would have been a snore if It was planned over 6+ months. Truly weekly episodes is the only way this could have worked (that or just releasing the game as a complete package). Discussing episodes and what could happen next is always fun, but there's honestly not a lot to even discuss with this game. The plot is too simple to justify it.
I ramble but I really am enjoying this game. It's just not exciting or investing as other episodic games I'm used to.
Well I finished episode 2 and I would still say there isnt really "much" there. I think it was overall better than episode 1, but not by a lot.
I just kinda feel like this game doesn't really have a plot. Feels like a story that would better fit a 2 hour movie, not a 3 part game because the plot that is here is being stretched really thin.
Character moments and overall story feels kinda random. Honestly have no idea what the ending was even trying to imply and I'm really having no investment. I mean every other kind of game like this I always play it on sitting but this one I found myself getting bored and turning it off and then finishing it later. Not because I ran out of time to play, I just didnt want to play anymore.
I dont know. I hope it can have a pretty cool ending and pull something neat together but I'm kinda doubting that. Like I said before, this game's story just feels "floaty."
Also bold prediction:
Tom is the dad.
And there it is, my worst fears for this game, realised.
I haven't played the game myself, though I'm tangentially interested in it. The problem is, without looking up actual launch footage of Tell Me Why, I can't for the life of me figure out what the plot is. Trailers and stuff don't tell me much, and from an outsider's perspective it doesn't seem like there's any interesting plot to this game at all.
How I see it is: "Two siblings return to their hometown and must confront some issue long forgotten..." And while that sounds interesting on paper, that's not what I'm seeing from anything released of it... It just looks like... Normal life problems: the game.
Is that what the plot of this game is? Or has it been poorly communnicated so far?
What was the idea behind this game? Was it just, "we want to make an episodic choice-based game" but then not much else beyond that? I've watched Episode 1 now, and I'm less invested than LiS2. And judging by the comments here, it doesn't get much better. Why did they make this? Also I like the idea of weekly episodes, it means we can discuss and then the next one comes out, but there doesn't really seem to be much discussion. People don't seem like they're hyped about this.