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6 Sequels That Could Work As Episodic Games

Ever since the first season of The Walking Dead: The Game garnered all the accolades, a growing number of developers have started breaking up their games into bite-sized, easily digestible chunks. Telltale’s portfolio of episodic series aside, Kentucky Route Zero, Life is Strange and the upcoming Resident Evil Revelations 2 are other recent examples of this, and for the most part, folks don’t seem to mind the trend.

Telltale may be responsible for making it popular, but Capcom is refining it. Rather than wait for months between episodes of The Walking Dead or A Wolf Among Us, Revelations 2 episodes will come in weekly installments, starting with the first, which arrives next week.

I’ve never been overly accused of possessing any real amount of patience, so for the purpose of this list, let’s say the games we’re about to chat about will have a similar timeframe, with no more than a few weeks separating each episode.

The first game on this list is an obvious one, so let’s get this started with…

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  • I’ve never played episodic games so maybe you can explain to me how that works as far as purchase. But the concern for me is that you’re paying for each chapter of the story which essentially makes it more expensive than just getting the fall game. You have to wait for each episode but worst of all if things go wrong and developer bails out you will be left with an un-complete game. Finally and correct me if I’m wrong but episodic games are only distributed as DLC and because those can’t be archived, you’re stuck with it taking up your hard drive if you want to keep it.

    • patokadonald

      You either pay per episode or for the complete season if it’s announced how many episodes there will be as it’s usually 5 episodes per season. You can always wait for all the episodes to be released but the main premise behind going episodic is that the developers get funding while they are in the process of making the game, so for instance they put out one episode and if that game is something the people like and buy they get the money to make the following episode and so on. And DLC doesn’t mean that you have a single download and it’s over and you have to keep it always – on the contrary, you can delete the game and keep your saves and download it again when you want to play it, which is arguably better in the current internet age as you can be anywhere and just open your steam account, for instance, download and play it, so technically you have a digital archive you can access at any time.

      • Thank you for explaining. Though I can see why many see it as a convenience of always having the game with you wherever you go without having to carry discs, but you still have to download content every time and with current Internet speeds as well as the inevitable congestion this can take days. Not to mention, that not everybody has an unlimited data plan. Furthermore, with content being in the cloud can anyone guarantee that it’s always going to be there? What if the cloud server goes down, gets hacked or corruption occurs during download? The Internet provider could also be having issues or you may find yourself in remote area where there is no Internet. Consequently, you’ll be left without access to your content. Personally, I rather have the disc which I can pop in anytime I have the urge to play.

        • patokadonald

          Well, depends on your point of view. Are you carrying all your games on physical copies everywhere with you all the time? IN this day and age there’s internet everywhere – wi-fi, data plans etc. Hell, even smartphone plans have been unlimited for years – yeah, they get extra slow after the included full-speed MB are used but still. And chances are if you’re traveling to a remote location without any connection that you’ll download some games beforehand. And servers have backups these days, yeah, it’s possible for servers to be down for some reason from time to time but that’s very rare and doesn’t last very long and if something gets messed up during download you can always hash check it later. It’s not like if the download stops at 99% you have to start over

          • Obviously I don’t carry every game usually just the one or two I’m currently playing. Sure, the Internet is available almost everywhere, but this doesn’t mean it’s always sufficient enough to be downloading Gb of data and especially when you’re travelling. As an example the public Internet in hotels is slow for the most part and often not very stable. Again and in general not everybody has nor can they afford unlimited data plans. For those this makes downloading games all the time not feasible due to the additional expense incurred by going over their regular monthly plan. The hash check is comforting but did read not too long ago about someone’s dl version of Call of Duty crashing while the hard copy did not. Not saying it’s common occurrence but can imagine the frustration of downloading a game for hours or days resulting in a dud.
            Bottom line, both have their advantages and disadvantages. However, for me the disadvantages of DLC easily outweigh those of owning a hard-copy.

    • Brodequin

      Siren: Blood Curse was initially released as an 12 episodes game available for download, but later full game was released on disc…

      • Great! Now only if all the other developers could follow suit.

      • Was it really released on a disc? I never saw one here in the US?

        • Brodequin

          Yes, it was. In Europe…

          • Ugh. Should have known. That’s why I made sure to include US. You Europeans get all the best releases in a timely manner. Lucky.

  • Marco Arizpe

    I’d be interested in episodic horror games, I’ve always felt that horror is a genre that benefits from being short form. There is always the danger of the game running dry or being repetitive when its the same length as other games/films.
    There is the added bonus of episodic games being cheaper due to their shorter game time as we’ve seen the back lash over The Order 1886.

    • But in fact isn’t DLC more expensive?

      • Marco Arizpe

        DLC is an added expense but its separate from the initial game bought. For example Outlast was $60 in the US for the initial game and the DLC Whistleblower, which was a prequel of sorts, was an additional purchase albeit cheaper.

        Episodic is not DLC it is gaming done in the stye of television where each installment is part of a whole. Perhaps a better comparison is with comic books where you buy each issue as it comes out and a certain number of issues tell a story arc.

        • I know what episodic means. DLC = Down Loadable Content, episodic games are distributed that way and therefore are DLC. Brodequin pointed out that Siren: Blood Curse was eventually also released on disc but this is not the rule.

          • Marco Arizpe

            Well in gaming DLC usually refers to content that is additional to a main game. The way episodic works currently is its all digital and tends to be cheaper since the developers don’t have to produce physical copies and have those physical copies sold through stores like Best Buy.

            WIth Tell Tale Games’ Walking Dead the individual episodes were purchasable digital only and when the season was complete there were physical disks available of the complete seasons and they were cheaper than stand alone games.

            Digital download games can be cheaper or they should be.

        • boxcar182

          Huh? Outlast was never $60 in the States. I think it’s max price was $20 and its whistleblower DLC was $10 ($20 at most). Plus it was free on PS+ at one point.

  • Brodequin

    Did you Adam not mentioned Siren 2 because it was never released in USA? I can assure you that Siren 2 is absolutely terrifying, challenging and nerve wrecking, for me best of the series. Siren 3 as episodic game worked very good, so next one would be great too. I WANT SIREN BAAAAAACK!!!

    • Sarah A

      I’d take a remake of Deadly Premonition over a sequel, to be honest, it’s a good game but I get oddly embarrassed playing it even when no one’s around.

      Also thanks for mentioning Siren 2, I came to point that out.

  • Fleshstorm

    I would love to see another siren soon, and episodic would be okay for that, but otherwise I’ve never really been a fan. If you scare easily I could see wanting the game in short doses to calm your nerves, but it doesn’t solve an issue with repetitiveness. It just makes you wait for the next chunk of the game (whether its more of the same or not). Please leave the episodic to telltale, and companies desperate to restart a series (resident evil).

  • Victor

    I can’t believe u put EPISODIC and Dead Space, Evil Within and Alien in the same category. I’ll clearly tell you how I feel about it and that’s simple HELL NO!!!! It’s already fucked up how they did that to Resident Evil, cause of the success for Walking dead. That’s bullshit, I’m against it and once again NO NO NO AND NO! I would prefer my hard copy so I can play as much as I want, when I want instead of waiting for the next section to release. That’s bullshit so I say hell no hell no hell no I can’t believe u threw Dead space and Evil within in that category. SIMPLE NO!

    • ThunderDragoon

      I pretty much feel the same way!

    • boxcar182

      I will say though that at least Revlations 2 is out a week from one another. Unlike TellTale games, where they are inconsistent and disappear 2-3 months between episodes.

  • I thoroughly enjoyed the episodic play style of Siren: Blood Curse. I happily paid for them all as I missed the previous Sirens so much I just had to check it out for nostalgia’s sake and glad I did. As was mentioned is earlier comments, don’t think I’d care for a fragmented Dead Space or Evil Within, that would kinda just ruin their continuity as a whole for me. Maybe, just MAYBE Alien might be one I’d consider being broken up into episodes with the first person play style and missions…

    • Brodequin

      If you missed first two Siren games back on PS2, they are available in PSN Store (Forbidden Siren and Forbidden Siren 2) for PS3 πŸ™‚

      • NO WAY?! I did purchase Siren on the PS3 but at the time Forbidden Siren was not available in the PSN store. I just may have to dust her off and download Forbidden. Thank you for the info!

        • Brodequin

          My pleasure. I don’t really know if FS2 is available in US PSN store. Check it out. I hope it is πŸ™‚

  • boxcar182

    Dead Space 3 was an awesome addition to the franchise. Dead space 3 was equivalent to what Aliens was to the Alien franchise.

    Clarke fought these things so many times, he became a fighter. It’ll never compare to 1 and 2 (1 being the best, in my opinion) but it was a fantastic and enjoyable game. They left it on one of the biggest cliffhangers (along with it’s ‘Awoken’ DLC) that a part 4 needs to happened. Whether it’s episodic, full $60 retail. It must be done.

  • Victor

    And then I like when he say’s a sequel to the evil within might not be necessary… LOL why the hell not? If it was a good game and a fun ride why not have a sequel? FAIL..

  • Remidoodle

    You were… satisified by the entirety of The Evil Within? You either have really low standards or are easily pleased. I for one as well as half the population have thousands of questions and feeling pretty incomplete. Maybe that’s just me. @__@

  • I prefer the whole game, not chunk sizes, but at least w/ Revelations u don’t have to wait more than 6 months for the next episode.

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