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The Walking Dead Review


Overview:

Over the past few years, comic books have come out of obscurity into the main stream with big budget films like Batman and Spiderman. At the same time, a huge zombie craze started, for better or worse. These two pop things led to a tv adaptation of the Walking Dead which became a huge television hit. With zombies being so prevalent in gaming, it was only a matter of time before a game was released for the series. As someone who has never watched the show, I was skeptical that it would just be just another generic zombie game. Rather than going with the typical zombie game, Telltale took on the project of adapting the series. Telltale has made a number of popular franchises into games such as Back to the Future and Jurassic Park. Both of these games we hit or miss with fans but they seem to find a good balance with the Walking Dead.


Story/Game Play:

Being that this is a telltale game, the basic game play is defined by the logo. These games are slower paced and story driven which is both good and bad depending on how much you care about the plot and characters. As someone who only played Back to the Future, which was a pure point and click game, Walking Dead was a nice change of pace. The game play feels like a breath of fresh air compared to most modern games which only enhances its playability. Each episode is about 2 hours but you rarely find yourself wanting to put the controller down.

Just for a basic overview, you play as Lee, a former professor that is on his way to jail for a murder when the car hits a zombie. He meets a young girl named Clementine who he takes under his wing. They meet a number of characters along the way who join your party and change the story depending on who you choose to side with and save in certain situations.

One thing the game does incredibly well is make mundane activities feel important and enjoyable, much like in Red Dead Redemption. In most games, the conversations you have with NPCs are dull and unimportant and are often worth skipping. In the Walking Dead, you find yourself wanting to talk to each character to see what they have to say and how it will affect your opinion of those characters. Even activities such as cutting a girl's hair or finding a tool to unscrew some nails don't feel bland because you are advancing the story to see what happens next.

The game finds a perfect balance between pure cut scene, quick time events that feel completely in place, and free range game play. Although the game is fairly linear, it works well because the player is more in it for the story. You never have to think too hard to advance which is different than a number of point and click games that telltale made in the past but they have changed the game play in this game to better suit telling a story. As stated above, each episode is about 2 hours but it doesn't feel like it. The game is very engrossing and keeps the player interested throughout with plot twists, cliffhangers, and a wide variety of choices to vary the story.

As stated above, the Walking Dead provides the player with various dialogue choices that will affect how characters think of you and often what you will think of that character. A story driven game only works if the characters are likable and you can relate to them in some way. As a main character, Lee is very likable and you often feel for him throughout the game, which is something not many games can pull off. Pending on how you play, characters will learn to trust or distrust you and it feels like you have tailored the story based on your decisions. Sadly, this is also the one big flaw of the game, although big in this sense doesn't seem to really affect my opinion of this game. Although it feels like you are changing the course of the game with your decisions, the characters who are lost along the way would have been lost in one way shape or form even if different decisions were made. Although this takes some of the feeling of a choose your own adventure away, unless you replay the game or look it up online, you wouldn't be able to tell this the first time through. Finally, one of the most interesting things about the game is each chapter's 5 major decisions are tracked and you are given the stats at the end of each chapter. It shows how your decisions compared with other player's decisions. Its not groundbreaking but its a cool little feature.

Lastly, there are some graphically hiccups on occasion but usually during cut scenes for the next episode preview. I did notice a little slow down in the beginning of episode 5 but these were extremely minor complaints.



Replay Value:

Although the replay value seems high with the decision making, most of the characters will have the same fate regardless. While this does detract a little from the replay value, the story here is a very good one and seeing alternate decisions is a good reason to revisit it. One question you have to ask yourself when you finish a game is if you ever see yourself going back to it. Walking Dead may not have a lasting appeal to some but it is a game where that i could see myself revisiting several times because the story is that enjoyable. Its almost like watching your favorite tv series over again once and a while. You know the outcome but its still just as enjoyable to you. The Walking Dead offers enough story variation that the player could change their decisions a few times and still not see every cut scene or small bit of story arc in here which gives the game a high replay value.


Trophies:

There isn't much to say here. Beat the game, get the platinum. Can't get any easier than this. Luckily, this is an absolutely perfect list for this game as it allows you to just enjoy the ride and not have to worry about any missable trophies.


Closing Statement:

Although the game play may turn some people off, this is a game that everyone should play. As someone who does not like many video game stories, this one is interesting throughout and has some very good characters and top notch voice work. With high replay value, a great story, and probably the easiest trophy list ever made, this game is an absolute must play. This is easily one of this generation's finest games.


Game play/Story: 9.5/10
Replay Value: 8/10
Trophies- 1/10 (Ease) 10/10 (fun factor)

Overall: 9.5/10

12 Comments

Excellent review and I totally agree with you. They are releasing a disc version of the game and I certainly hope it stacks just so I can play through the story again and make different decisions.


Everyone should play this game. The trophies being stupid easy is just a bonus.
thanks mikekeese for making a review like i asked if you wanted to do. i totally agree with this review and i think the fact u like it says alot cause u very picky in your games

the only thing that bothered me a bit is that the choiches u gotta make are emotionically very very difficult but i guess its part of the game. (survival i mean)
Yeah I am hoping the game stacks too but i will be getting it for the collection either way. With season 2, I'll probably play it as each episode comes out. I don't know if I would like to wait because I liked being able to play all at once but I think having to wait may add some excitement to the game
All I want to say is told you.
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mattybell2117
Dec 05 2012 10:15 AM
I guess I'm in the minority here, I really didn't think it was that stellar. I mean it was alright and it was amazing compared to other TellTale games but overall I didn't think it was anything special. I was an easy plat and the trophy list was well designed but it wasn't anything more than alright for me and I certainly wouldn't be going back and playing it more than once. I'd rather just watch the tv show.
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BobbbyLight
Dec 05 2012 10:27 AM
Telltale games suck. Always have, always will. This is the best because it has a more interesting story than the previous games they've released. Good story, but it's a terrible, awful video game. They have somehow managed to make pointing and clicking harder than it should be (just give me a pointer already) and their graphics are universally awful.

The story is good, so are the characters. That doesn't mean it's a good game, in my opinion.

EDIT: Good review though. That part did not suck. But stop trying to beat me!
bobby at least say why its awfull? the only thing thats awfull are the choiches but i think this sidecharakters and main charakters did grew alot. i cant really explain without spoiling stuff but there where moments i really loved some charakters then hated them and on the end i fully understood why they acted that way. not many games can pull this off. usually when sidecarakters annoy me its for the rest of the entire game

edit: i can see why people hate this game cause some choiches are messed up but on the end the world where they life is just messed up and fucked so i think its important background to know why people act this way

second edit: i rereaded and i agree the graphics are awfull on an old television and without hdmi cable. but in full hd lcd its sweet man. also it should be said its more sprites then what we usally used to.
I think what made the game great is alot of the choices were very difficult. Sometimes it was not as simple as right or wrong.


The only thing that pissed me off is why at the end Kenny wouldn't come with me, I was his best-friend the whole way. I loved that southern motherfucker :)

I think what made the game great is alot of the choices were very difficult. Sometimes it was not as simple as right or wrong.


The only thing that pissed me off is why at the end Kenny wouldn't come with me, I was his best-friend the whole way. I loved that southern motherfucker :)


lol man kenny was that charakter i loved hated and loved again. i wont spoil anything but on episode 2 i really got mad with what he did so i acted like an ass mostly. but on the end he grow on me and when i could say him to fuck off (so he wouldnt join) i didnt so he joined me and i actually didnt regret it lol
It depends how much you view it as a game or an interactive movie. The two best games of this year IMO were this and unfinished swan, which were both not the typical game.

I also thought back to the future was good but walking dead had very accessible gameplay. I'm horrible at involved point and click games
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BobbbyLight
Dec 05 2012 12:12 PM

It depends how much you view it as a game or an interactive movie. The two best games of this year IMO were this and unfinished swan, which were both not the typical game.


Yeah, that's more or less my point, I guess. I just think Telltale have made point and click control like shit when it's as easy as adding a cursor. See Machniarium for proof of how well it works with a controller instead of a mouse. How many times have we played these games and had the simple task of clicking something or walking somewhere end up a billion times more frustrating than it should be?

Some of the best games of this gen might not even be really great "video games" when compared against the format. Games like Flower and Journey don't really offer some sort of fantastic gameplay element They work more so based on concept and feel, which is very unique for the medium. So I can see why someone would love this. It's the rare "game" with a wonderful story and good characters I just loathe the way Telltale makes their games. I think they been terrible since the first one I played on the PS3 and it's not gotten any better, from a gameplay/control standpoint.
Yeah I actually didn't like machinarium at all because it was a pure point and click. I never really played pc games so it's not usually my style of game. Back to the future did have awkward movements but once you've seen the movement in Sherlock holmes, QWOP seems like it moves better