Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead is now available on the PSN, XBLA, and PC. Will you be able to decide between the moral choices during an impending apocalypse? Read our review to find out!
The first episode of this episodic series The Walking Dead has you taking control of Sheriff Rick Grimes and his… oh wait; actually, that is not the case. I must be talking about the comic and the shows. Let us restart this correctly. The Walking Dead: A New Day has you taking control of convicted felon Lee Everett. This game talks place in the same universe of the comic and will feature some of the characters that you know and love from the hit series like Glenn and Hershel. The game starts out with you in a police cruiser having a friendly conversation with an officer when suddenly you get into a car crash as the world goes to hell.
Fans of the show will be familiar with this game and a few of the elements attributed with that, such as the deep moral choices and wonderfully designed areas and zombies. At key times in the game there will arise situations where must decide who to save. The choice you make will have a moral impact on you and the type of person you want to make your character out to be. The characters that live at the end of the episode will design how your narrative continues in the later episodes.
The dialogue in this game is where The Walking Dead succeeds and surpasses games of its types. The interaction between the characters allows you to form deeper connections. Some of the deeper connections that you form will allow you to build relationships with your posse of characters. There are going to be some characters that you love and there are going to be others that you will hate. (Doug is a tool, just saying ha-ha; just kidding he is cool…) All and all though, everyone brings a certain dynamic to the game that fits well into place.
If you have ever played a Telltale game, you will be familiar with their unique style of storytelling and gameplay. The Walking Dead is not a shooter and it is not an action title in the traditional sense of the word. The game centers on you moving your character with the left analog stick and using the face buttons to choose answers to dialogue. You do get items to use to help you progress through the story line which can range anywhere from tools to kill walkers or food to give your friend.
In certain instances, you will have the choice to pick dialogue that allows you to build relationships with characters. How does this help you might ask? Well, if you are in a tight situation, that character with whom you have been loyal to might actually come to rescue. Something special builds within these dialogues. Another great feature to the game is the morality that dealing with the zombie apocalypse brings. At certain instances, you have the choice to save the man that saves your life or a child of whom you have just met. You will have to pick quickly as time will not stand still and both characters could die if you do nothing. It really brings home that whole essence of being human during catastrophic times.
If you are a fan of The Walking Dead comics than this game will be right up your alley, the art style looks like an action-orientated comic. This game maintains the nitty-gritty apocalyptic feel that we have seen on the AMC show. The environments are barren and the suspense is absolutely chilling at times. The characters are very detailed and look very well done. The issue that I had with the game was that although the game has tons of dialogue that is controllable by cut scenes there were some technical issues with them.
The problem I had was that the transitions between the scenes were not as seamless as one might think. There would be times, where it would get choppy and the lag. Then I would hear the conversation first and then it would jump to the images of the characters speaking after.
In titles like this, you would not expect it to be an astounding musical experience but at times, it feels like it. The ambient music helps to build the amount of suspense that happens when you are all alone trying to survive with nowhere to go. The sudden thuds and flash of louds sounds play a huge part as the walkers are attracted to sound and sound will help you to stay alive. The soothing and different voices that you come across will help you get more into the dialect.
While we are on the topic of dialogue, there were a few instances in the game when you initiate a conversation and it seems that the character just bluntly ignores you and continues with the preset discussion. It does not happen very often, but as you explore and talk with characters, it can get noticeable. (I asked a question and she said “Ima get back to my dad” haha what!?) Other than that, I have no complaints to the game’s dialogue.
The game controls very well, although at times the reticle that you use to look at objects and interact can blend into the background. The game relies on you using solely the left analog stick (movement) and the right analog/ face buttons for options for interactions. Through this, you control the episode that you are watching/playing. It is easy to get a handle for the game. The controls are similar to the PS3 exclusive Heavy Rain and another episodic game called Back to the Future, (also another Telltale Game) as you button mash at certain times in the game. It is simply easy to get used to and fits the narrative story that you are playing.
The Walking Dead: A New Day is a great start to this episodic saga created by Telltale Games. The comic by Robert Kirkman is being done justice. The choices that you make in the game are some of the most gut wrenching and will have a lasting impression on how you play the story. Multiple playthroughs will be required, but that is fine as this game is one of a kind.