Let me clear the way, I am not a fan of The Walking Dead series in TV. Sure I have watched some episodes, but I didn’t really connect with it. In the other hand the game made by Telltale Games got me really hooked. A fantastic adventure game that is really a breath of fresh air.
The Walking Dead: The Game is not your typical zombies game. You don’t have a shotgun or machine guns to mow down hordes of zombies. No, this is a different experience. The game has a slow pacing that creates a perfect atmosphere. Everybody is caught by surprise by the outbreak. The characters are normal people and they would do everything to survive the experience. In terms of characters, the game has a different cast from the series. The main character is Lee Everett. At the time the game starts, Lee is being transported to prison for a crime he committed (or not…). But the zombie outbreak starts and gives him a “get out of jail free” card. Injured and bleeding Lee, after a close quarter encounter with a zombie, makes his way to a near suburban housing development, where he finds Clementine, a little girl with no one to look after her. For the next two hours, it’s up to you to keep Lee alive and able to protect Clementine.
Choice in this game really matters. Everything that Lee do (or not) or say will have an impact in the story. The game keeps a log of all these choices and craft the story depending on them. So if Lee helps a character, he will not forget and help Lee later. Or you might lie to somebody to protect your identity and later somebody might do something to hurt you or your dear ones, but I will not spoil that for you. In my first playthrough, I made Lee a perfect father figure and an extremely cool guy. In the second mmm, you figure it for yourself. The cast of character in the first episode is fantastic. The development of these characters is amazing. For some you really care and for some other, not that much.
Most of the time you will spend navigating the world and speaking with the characters. But the game has some pretty strong moments too. There are some moments where you have to choose who to save and who to let die. And there are the close encounters with the zombies. In some cases you will have to mash a button to kill it and in some other cases you will have to find the best way to take out the zombies. This last part is really fantastic, believe me.
The Walking Dead uses a new adventure control scheme. You navigate Lee with one joystick and then move an on-screen reticle with the other. Environments are littered with interaction points that you can hover over with the cursor and choose to look at for more info, open, talk to or so on.
And there are the visuals. Telltale used a cel-shaded look with black thick strokes around the characters and objects that really pretty and it really fits the atmosphere of the game. The character and the zombies are really detailed. Some problems are present in the animations but they are not a big deal. A problem that I found kind of a nuisance was the camera cut. But again not much of a big deal. The voice acting is also top-notch. The zombie kills, oh my god. Here you will find the most gruesome kills ever. Bashing the brains out of a zombie or using the axe in interesting ways … :D
The Walking Dead: The Game is a breath of fresh air in the adventure genre. Telltale is known for it’s awesome adventure games and the first episode of the game really delivers. I can’t wait for the other episodes to release as I want to see how “my” story is going to play out. This is a must have for everyone. The game is available for PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PS3. You can buy each episode for 4,99$ or the full season pass for 19,99$ for PS3 and 24,99$ for PC and Mac. If you get it on Xbox 360, there is no season pass so you’ll have to pay 400 Microsoft Points per episode sometime this month.