A Telltale Series’ Episode 3 Is Both Existentially and Thematically Disturbing to Great Effect

Welcome again to the episodic extravaganza that’s Telltale’s The Expanse! (As is custom, there will probably be main spoilers for Episode 2 and minimal spoilers for Episode 3.) Final time we met, our intrepid Camina Drummer had lastly consummated her will-they-won’t-they relationship with the Artemis’ Martian maverick, Maya Castillo (extra so a they-definitely-will, except you’re an entire monster just like the small proportion of gamers who selected not to take Maya up on her supply to do the midnight mambo). I used to be completely happy, they have been completely happy, and episode two was, general, a slice-of-life affair. Properly, minus the transient skirmish with the bloodthirsty Toussaint and their ruthless space-pirate gang.

Not that you just wanted a crystal ball to naturally come to this conclusion, however keep in mind after I talked about my suspicions that Episode 3 can be a far cry from the chillness of its predecessor? I’m equally vindicated and mortified in being completely right. Episode 3 marks the return of the high-octane intrigue that underlined the primary episode, specializing in the thriller surrounding an historic house station that allegedly incorporates the treasure Garrison Cox was so obsessive about (earlier than his “accident”). We hear a recording welcoming us as we method, extolling our ragtag band of scavengers because the supposed “subsequent evolution of humanity.” The message definitely has an ominous air about it, however certainly, the vessel holding our huge riches would by no means turn into bizarre or in any other case horrible!

Seems we traded being pursued by Toussaint with existential dread, terrifying but topical distress, and revelations that might very nicely result in the slaughter of tens of hundreds of individuals if no more! To additional clarify what I imply with out veering into specific spoilers, I’ll wax poetic. If you understand one thing terrible goes to occur to you and it’s unequivocally inevitable it doesn’t matter what you do, you’d most likely develop some fascinating coping mechanisms. It’s human — making an attempt to make sense of the mindless and in search of definitive solutions to incomprehensible questions.

Screenshot by way of Telltale Video games

In brief, this episode will get darkish. The way in which science fiction tends to hit these existential highs and lows, this episode packs that punch after which some. There aren’t any “enjoyable” zero-g shenanigans. There’s no light-hearted banter or bonding together with your crewmates. There’s ache. There’s greed. There’s unchecked ambition and apathetic capitalism. Camina is put in some actually unenviable conditions, and I’ve by no means been extra upset trying up the options to my selections on YouTube after I used to be completed (we’ll get into that in Episode 4’s overview, I promise).

The result of the episode’s “huge resolution” felt supremely rewarding, making my overarching option to actively be as variety and understanding of a captain as potential really feel prefer it actually mattered. Positive, issues might not have ended as ideally as I’d have hoped, however I’d vastly favor what in the end occurred to how issues might’ve transpired. Someway, Telltale has dodged the “prequel curse,” sustaining an enticing story no matter Camina’s assured survival. As a substitute, it’s these she adores most who bear the brunt of the implications of her actions.

Mechanically, not a lot has modified. As a substitute of dodging drone lasers (which, once more, erred on the facet of annoying relatively than enjoyable contemplating the not-so-fluid motion), this episode introduces an innocuous puzzle the place you redirect energy from one supply to the following to open doorways. It offered a pleasant, fleeting break from the heaviness of the plot. Although missing in grandeur, it was high quality for what it was.

Telltale The Expanse Episode 3 Screenshot
Screenshot by way of Telltale Video games

Because the final episode was gentle on plot particulars and I need to wait till the overview of Episode 4 to sink my enamel into the specifics of this one, I need to contact on a typical chorus leveled in opposition to this sequence to date simply as a little bit of a “meals for thought” part: the runtime. Plus, it’s one thing I haven’t talked about but, and if ever there was a time to convey it up, it’s now, seeing as how we’ve got some “downtime.”

As a recreation reviewer, I admit to an elevated stage of privilege to the typical gamer. We don’t precisely get a recreation for “free” as there’s nonetheless a dedication of time and demanding evaluation towards enjoying video games we find yourself reviewing. However the reality of the matter is that this: I definitely didn’t pay $40 for this expertise. For me personally, I discover the truth that every episode is round 45-ish minutes (straight-up with out indulging in any non-obligatory exploration) comforting; Telltale has valued my time with tight, constant episodes that don’t overstay their welcome and supply greater than sufficient characterization and persona to earn a gold star in my guide (which could change as we roll into the ultimate two episodes, however we’ll see).

Because it stands, I might’ve gladly paid $40 for what’s successfully been a high-quality interactive tv present. The pacing has been phenomenal by way of every of the three launched episodes, the stakes are clear and ramping up, and the characters — even with their restricted display time — are fleshed out with nuanced motivations and functions throughout the general story. The Expanse feels deliberate, saying lower than earlier Telltale fare ( you, pointless clickables with banal dialogue connected to them) whereas saying extra with its detailed environments and significant character interactions.

Telltale The Expanse Episode 3 Screenshot
Screenshot by way of Telltale Video games

I barely dodged a damaged coronary heart on the conclusion of Episode 3 of The Expanse. However as Camina faces her largest impediment but by the episode’s finish, I discover myself able to return to a ruthlessness I haven’t utilized since capturing Cox out of that airlock and not using a second thought. Some distressing, disgusting truths have been revealed, and maybe it’s excessive time to channel the Artemis’ former captain who would do no matter it took to get the job completed regardless of who received in his approach. Goodbye, Walter White. Hey, Heisenberg.

This overview relies on the PlayStation 5 model of the sport. A replica was offered for overview by Telltale Video games.


Episode 3 of Telltale’s The Expanse provides existential dread and simmering disloyalties to an already unstable house cocktail, making certain that the sequence hits a satisfying peak by bringing each Camina and the participant to a devastating breaking level.

The Expanse: A Telltale Sequence Episode 3