Review: The Expanse: A Telltale Series – Episode 3

Let’s explore an old space station instead, Welwala.

The Expanse: A Telltale Series Episode 3 review

With Episode 3, The Expanse: A Telltale Series reaches the midpoint of its story. After the end of the second episode, we find Drummer and her crew piloting the Artemis toward the coordinates found on a data card in the first episode. Episode 3 begins with the Artemis approaching the location of those coordinates: an old derelict space station.

Interestingly, this is one of the earliest created space stations. It was built shortly after the creation of the Epstein Drive, which allowed interplanetary travel in the solar system. This station existed before the term “Belters,” and before the formation of the OPA. This station was home to some of the first humans to leave Earth and settle in space.

The Expanse: A Telltale Series — Episode 3 review
Screenshot by Destructoid

The Expanse: A Telltale Series – Episode 3 (PC [Reviewed], PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S)
Developer: Deck Nine
Publisher: Telltale
Released: August 24, 2023
MSRP: $39.99

A monumental narrative episode that connects with the show

Until this episode, The Expanse: A Telltale Series has kind of been its own standalone experience in The Expanse universe. More specifically, it takes place before the events that unfold in the six-season television series. However, in Episode 3, the overall narrative actually connects with the show and gives us a more detailed look at the events leading up to it.

Honestly, I was curious if Deck Nine would end up doing this, but wasn’t too sure if it would. After all, the events of The Expanse: A Telltale Series are canon in The Expanse universe. Part of me felt like it would just be its own separate standalone story that simply takes place using a character we came to love from the show. But let’s be real here. If the goal is to make this a truly memorable experience, it would probably have to connect to the show in some way. Now that it does, the story definitely feels more impactful and meaningful. I’m more interested in seeing where we go from here with the final two episodes.

The Expanse Episode 3 gameplay loop
Screenshot by Destructoid

The gameplay loop continues

I had stated in my impressions of Episode 2 that I was afraid every episode would be exploring ship wreckage. For the first two episodes, that’s what we were doing most of the time. Fortunately, we step foot in an actual space station for the majority of this episode, though exploring a structure in zero-G is obviously very similar to exploring what’s left of a derelict ship.

While Episode 2 introduced a laser-dodging gameplay mechanic, Episode 3 features a new puzzle. For several spots throughout the space station, you have to direct power via cables to connect a grid of power boxes. It’s honestly very simple and not difficult at all; you just trace where which cable goes to the next box and activate it. Once again, The Expanse: A Telltale Series is primarily a narrative-driven experience. However, it is nice to see the developer try to throw in some new gameplay elements with each episode, no matter how simple they may be.

The Expanse Episode 3 choices mattered
Screenshot by Destructoid

Yep, my choices mattered

In Episode 2, it felt like my choices were starting to matter. But, in Episode 3, it’s very clear that my choices do in fact matter. Two big things happened at the end of the episode that made me curious—did I affect this outcome? In standard Telltale fashion, at the end of each episode, you get to see how your choices compare statistically to the choices of other players. While it appears one of the big things that happened does in fact happen no matter what, it appears as though the other big thing can be prevented. Sorry for the lack of detail here, I don’t want to spoil anything.

However, it gets even more interesting. Out of pure curiosity, I speed-ran through Episode 3 again, specifically trying to change the outcome. Don’t worry, I still planned to use my original playthrough going into Episode 4. With these types of titles, I find it most interesting to live with your choices. But I was surprised to find out that despite changing things, I still had the same outcome. I could be wrong, but I think it was actually a choice I made at the end of Episode 2 that had an effect on the outcome in Episode 3, which is great.

The Expanse: A Telltale Series is solid so far
Screenshot by Destructoid

A solid experience so far

As we head into the final two episodes, I’m overall feeling pretty happy with The Expanse: A Telltale Series so far. My only issue with it so far may be the length in comparison to the price point. The Wolf Among Us was $14.99 for five episodes that totaled close to 10 hours. So far, through three of the five episodes of The Expanse: A Telltale Series, I’m at a little less than four hours. And the price is $39.99, over double the price compared to The Wolf Among Us.

Not taking the length and price into consideration, this has been a fun trek through the universe of The Expanse. And, I feel like it’s about to get even more interesting as we head into the back half of the story.

In two weeks we will take a look at Episode 4. And on September 21 we will reach the conclusion of The Expanse: A Telltale Series with the final episode.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher. We’re saving the score for the final episode to encompass the complete experience.]

About The Author
Steven Mills
Staff Writer - Steven has been writing in some capacity for over a decade now. He has a passion for story focused RPG's like the Final Fantasy franchise and ARPG's like Diablo and Path of Exile. But really, he's willing to try anything.
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