It’s hard to believe the penultimate episode of The Expanse: A Telltale Series is already upon us. And what a journey it’s been so far, eh? A decidedly average one to be frank. Three episodes down and I’m still waiting for The Expanse: A Telltale Series to deliver something that’s going to set the series alight. Otherwise it will be terribly difficult to recommend this episodic adventure from seasoned veterans Telltale Games and Deck Nine.
Perhaps the episode four, titled “Impossible Objects”, can raise the stakes sufficiently to set up an explosive finale!
Warning – spoilers ahead for previous episodes
Previously on The Expanse: A Telltale Series, Captain Camina Drummer began exploring an abandoned settlement in space alongside engineer, and love interest, Maya Castillo. They began searching for the supposed treasure stored here, the MK Core, but the truth about what it actually is caused concern. The MK Core is an incredibly deadly weapon that could cause immense threat to the rest of humanity.
A tough decision leads to a minor revolt, which then culminates in a moment shaped by choices made prior and the banishing of Drummer into space. And that’s where “Impossible Objects” picks up from.
For the vast majority of episode four, Drummer is isolated and scrambling to send a distress signal before her limited supply of oxygen runs out. The effects of hypoxia – low oxygen levels – especially disorientation and vision issues, become increasingly apparent. It’s done quite well, with momentary delusions enabling some character back-story to be explored. While it’s interesting to hear about the atrocious actions of Drummer’s past through a conversation with an imaginary character, the entire segment is painfully drawn out longer than is necessary.
Aside from wandering through various tunnels and sections of the settlement’s mining area, there are puzzles. Don’t get too excited though, for one of them is akin to those seen in the previous episode, where you have to redirect the power source through a network of cables. Simple is an understatement, unlike the conundrum following it, which has a solution that will have you pondering for too long as it makes no sense.
Unfortunately, the other interactive aspects are nothing to shout about. A brief, and I mean really brief, stealth segment and an uninspiring QTE sequence is all you’re getting here. Hence, it’s fairly easy to disengage your mind from the happenings as you await a decent reason to take notice again.
The highlight of the episode involves a great interaction and conversation between Drummer and someone who I won’t reveal the identity of. This person is fascinating as their personality is showcased brilliantly in a very short space of time. Just when episode four gets going however, it ends. Waiting around half an hour to find something to really grab my attention in the narrative, only for it to finish after another ten minutes, is disheartening.
It’s a common theme throughout the series; short runtimes with storytelling rarely taking precedence over the rest of the goings on and that affects how much you care about the plot, as well as the people. There aren’t even any meaningful decisions to put thought into in this one, giving you little input to proceedings.
As you can imagine after reading my thoughts, episode four of The Expanse: A Telltale Series isn’t going to receive many plaudits. It’s too short, yet somehow feels a lot longer with not enough occurring for it to ever be captivating. The puzzles are mediocre and there’s a general lack of interesting interactions to be had across the board. And that’s a shame as the one time there’s an attempt to build a character profile with a chunk of dialogue, it’s done exceptionally well.
The final stages of The Expanse: A Telltale Series episode four create a real buzz for the finale, but the rest of it kills all enthusiasm.