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Posted by Giefcookie

Probably my GOTY even though I haven't even played it.

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Posted by Mystyr_E

don't know if it's my #1 for GOTY but it's definitely going to make top 10, maybe even top 5

Posted by fiberpay

It's a great game but probably not my game of the year. Also I find that this game could fall into the category of Minecraft and that being that it is barley a game.

Posted by haggis

@ProfessorEss said:

The Walking Dead makes me happy and sad at the same time.

It makes me happy to see such strong writing in a videogame, but at the same time it makes me sad to see story trumping game play in the minds and hearts of the gaming press and gaming community.

But story hardly ever trumps gameplay in contemporary games. Is it so bad that one game does it, for a change? There's definitely no risk of it happening everywhere. Just look at FPSs. Hardly any of them even try to offer a decent story.

Posted by Veiasma

@Jiggaboojeeves said:

The fact that The Walking Dead is getting such rave reviews is nothing but an indicator to publishers that players don't care about meaningful interaction, good gameplay, or anything beyond a linear, extremely non-interactive story with non-consequential gameplay. This review is a shame and a symptom of a larger problem - that reviewers and games press have become totally acceptable throwing actual interaction, what games are about, to the wayside for linear content told best in other mediums - film and literature.

That's an interesting argument. It's too bad blind fanboyism makes so many people ignore it.

Posted by Xeirus

@captainanderson said:

When Alex Navarro, someone known for their deadpan snark and callous black heart says something like "It is an immaculately paced, painfully affecting story featuring some of the most lovingly crafted characters ever to appear in a video game," chances are you have a masterpiece.

Also, it made him (and me) cry. Shit is GOOD

Posted by haggis

People get hung up on there not being multiple endings, just as they got hung up on ME3's three (or four, I guess) endings. Never mind the variations that happen within the game itself as you're making choices. They weren't as obvious here, but after having played TWD's early episodes through a few times, I was actually amazed to see how differently somethings play out. I'd much rather have that than a few mildly different endings.

It's not the ending that matters, so much: when we're making choices, we care. Someone earlier said that handing out food in Episode 2 has no impact on gameplay, that the game doesn't care, only the player. The player is actually what matters. If the game succeeded in making you care enough to put thought into your choices, it succeeded--even if those in-game choices don't go anywhere. Just as the idea that Clementine might be watching made people choose different actions. That's what this game is about, and in that it's hard to argue it didn't succeed. Choice isn't just about narrative options and multiple endings, but about making the player feel responsibility for his or her actions within the game.

In that sense, TWD succeeds where ME3 fell short--ME3 forgot about halfway through that the decisions were supposed to be about immersion, not necessarily narrative. Once it became about narrative, the decision tree got way out of whack. People can talk about choice in these games being illusory, but it's a game. It's all an illusion. That's what storytelling is.

Posted by Phatmac

Completely agree with this review. I had done problems with gameplay, but it is still too good for me to hate.

Posted by unpopularkarama

@Jiggaboojeeves said:

This is a bad review and really goes to show how game reviewers don't bother to dig into games beyond a surface level. If Alex had taken a look and tried, say, replaying the first two episodes and making different decisions, he'd learn how little if any meaningful interaction the player has with the world. The game relies on deception and putting up an illusion of interactivity to throttle you through linear, non-interactive moments that would be better suited to a film, than a game, because to make this a game, they've had to remove the player's ability to interact with any consequence.

For example, the scene in episode 2 where you hand out food? Nobody cares except the player. The game doesn't care what you do. The characters don't actually care. There's zero consequence for thinking about that segment in any meaningful way. Hell, the choice where you hand out the axe to one of two people plays out exactly the same way, down to the same animation of the fire axe getting stuck so that the player can be forced into a quick time event, regardless of how long or hard they thought about who to give the axe to.

The fact that The Walking Dead is getting such rave reviews is nothing but an indicator to publishers that players don't care about meaningful interaction, good gameplay, or anything beyond a linear, extremely non-interactive story with non-consequential gameplay. This review is a shame and a symptom of a larger problem - that reviewers and games press have become totally acceptable throwing actual interaction, what games are about, to the wayside for linear content told best in other mediums - film and literature.

Sounds like you didn't play the game all the way through because you should be eating your words.

Posted by borkran

Excellent review, Alex. Hands down, my Game of the Year.

Edited by captainanderson

When Alex Navarro, someone known for their deadpan snark and callous black heart says something like "It is an immaculately paced, painfully affecting story featuring some of the most lovingly crafted characters ever to appear in a video game," chances are you have a masterpiece.

(Only half kidding, of course.)

Posted by Alorithin

@Jiggaboojeeves said:

This is a bad review and really goes to show how game reviewers don't bother to dig into games beyond a surface level. If Alex had taken a look and tried, say, replaying the first two episodes and making different decisions, he'd learn how little if any meaningful interaction the player has with the world. The game relies on deception and putting up an illusion of interactivity to throttle you through linear, non-interactive moments that would be better suited to a film, than a game, because to make this a game, they've had to remove the player's ability to interact with any consequence.

For example, the scene in episode 2 where you hand out food? Nobody cares except the player. The game doesn't care what you do. The characters don't actually care. There's zero consequence for thinking about that segment in any meaningful way. Hell, the choice where you hand out the axe to one of two people plays out exactly the same way, down to the same animation of the fire axe getting stuck so that the player can be forced into a quick time event, regardless of how long or hard they thought about who to give the axe to.

The fact that The Walking Dead is getting such rave reviews is nothing but an indicator to publishers that players don't care about meaningful interaction, good gameplay, or anything beyond a linear, extremely non-interactive story with non-consequential gameplay. This review is a shame and a symptom of a larger problem - that reviewers and games press have become totally acceptable throwing actual interaction, what games are about, to the wayside for linear content told best in other mediums - film and literature.

I have no problem with true choice being negated by a story telling gate or postponed till a point of no return.

I do think the game was falsely advertised with the fashion of true choice. The difference between the self immolation hatred of ME3 and the loving acceptance of TWD is all in public expectations.

Posted by buckybit

I switched my PC OS in between episodes and suddenly had this save game issue, which is really a key misfortune, since it does not allow to carry your choices to the next episodes.

But I had to keep *playing* this game, since the characters are so interesting and for me too, Clementine has become one of my most beloved fictional - not just video game - characters.

The ending is just ... wow.

Posted by ProfessorEss

The Walking Dead makes me happy and sad at the same time.

It makes me happy to see such strong writing in a videogame, but at the same time it makes me sad to see story trumping game play in the minds and hearts of the gaming press and gaming community.

Posted by Metal_Mills
@Jiggaboojeeves said:

This is a bad review and really goes to show how game reviewers don't bother to dig into games beyond a surface level. If Alex had taken a look and tried, say, replaying the first two episodes and making different decisions, he'd learn how little if any meaningful interaction the player has with the world. The game relies on deception and putting up an illusion of interactivity to throttle you through linear, non-interactive moments that would be better suited to a film, than a game, because to make this a game, they've had to remove the player's ability to interact with any consequence.

For example, the scene in episode 2 where you hand out food? Nobody cares except the player. The game doesn't care what you do. The characters don't actually care. There's zero consequence for thinking about that segment in any meaningful way. Hell, the choice where you hand out the axe to one of two people plays out exactly the same way, down to the same animation of the fire axe getting stuck so that the player can be forced into a quick time event, regardless of how long or hard they thought about who to give the axe to.

The fact that The Walking Dead is getting such rave reviews is nothing but an indicator to publishers that players don't care about meaningful interaction, good gameplay, or anything beyond a linear, extremely non-interactive story with non-consequential gameplay. This review is a shame and a symptom of a larger problem - that reviewers and games press have become totally acceptable throwing actual interaction, what games are about, to the wayside for linear content told best in other mediums - film and literature.

Who cares? The games incredible. Dig into 95% of choice systems and you'll find the same thing. The game is tense, interesting, with great characters, incredible moments, and a powerful story. I thought this was done better than if it was a movie because as linear as it is it's YOU shooting that person, YOU in that scene, YOU helping Clem.
Posted by Milkman

@Jiggaboojeeves said:

This is a bad review and really goes to show how game reviewers don't bother to dig into games beyond a surface level. If Alex had taken a look and tried, say, replaying the first two episodes and making different decisions, he'd learn how little if any meaningful interaction the player has with the world. The game relies on deception and putting up an illusion of interactivity to throttle you through linear, non-interactive moments that would be better suited to a film, than a game, because to make this a game, they've had to remove the player's ability to interact with any consequence.

For example, the scene in episode 2 where you hand out food? Nobody cares except the player. The game doesn't care what you do. The characters don't actually care. There's zero consequence for thinking about that segment in any meaningful way. Hell, the choice where you hand out the axe to one of two people plays out exactly the same way, down to the same animation of the fire axe getting stuck so that the player can be forced into a quick time event, regardless of how long or hard they thought about who to give the axe to.

The fact that The Walking Dead is getting such rave reviews is nothing but an indicator to publishers that players don't care about meaningful interaction, good gameplay, or anything beyond a linear, extremely non-interactive story with non-consequential gameplay. This review is a shame and a symptom of a larger problem - that reviewers and games press have become totally acceptable throwing actual interaction, what games are about, to the wayside for linear content told best in other mediums - film and literature.

Thanks "Jiggaboo" but no one gives a fuck.

Edited by ChrisTaran

Fantastic review for an amazing game, Alex. Hands down my GOTY. Glad to see something as different and as moving get the mainstream recognition it deserves. Not that that's a new thing with this review, it;'s been happening since episode one, but it still delights me to see so many love this story heavy game.

Also, could not agree more about Clementine. Perhaps my favorite child to appear in any piece of fiction ever.

Posted by trolipo

This is a bad review and really goes to show how game reviewers don't bother to dig into games beyond a surface level. If Alex had taken a look and tried, say, replaying the first two episodes and making different decisions, he'd learn how little if any meaningful interaction the player has with the world. The game relies on deception and putting up an illusion of interactivity to throttle you through linear, non-interactive moments that would be better suited to a film, than a game, because to make this a game, they've had to remove the player's ability to interact with any consequence.

For example, the scene in episode 2 where you hand out food? Nobody cares except the player. The game doesn't care what you do. The characters don't actually care. There's zero consequence for thinking about that segment in any meaningful way. Hell, the choice where you hand out the axe to one of two people plays out exactly the same way, down to the same animation of the fire axe getting stuck so that the player can be forced into a quick time event, regardless of how long or hard they thought about who to give the axe to.

The fact that The Walking Dead is getting such rave reviews is nothing but an indicator to publishers that players don't care about meaningful interaction, good gameplay, or anything beyond a linear, extremely non-interactive story with non-consequential gameplay. This review is a shame and a symptom of a larger problem - that reviewers and games press have become totally acceptable throwing actual interaction, what games are about, to the wayside for linear content told best in other mediums - film and literature.

Posted by Dprotp

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

Cool story but it doesn't matter how you play everyone ends up with the same ending, which kinda sucks. But it's crazy that a iPad game can be up for GOTY.

the point of telltale's walking dead, i feel, is the journey to the ending we will all basically have. i like that this game has a story that grabs and pulls me into terrifyingly wonderful places instead of a somewhat okay story that culminates into a good ending (though that's not any less valid either, just not what i'm looking forR)

Posted by Bourbon_Warrior

@Winternet said:

Far Cry 3, it's up to you now.

This is the game that I think can beat it, Tropical Skyrim anyone?

Posted by Ares42

Maybe it says more about me than the game, but from what I played I never really found there to be any hard choices. Maybe it's because of my long relationship with RPGs (the pen and paper kind), so that every time I play a game like this I just instinctively create a role to play as. It just becomes very easy to make moral choices when you know who you are at the core.

Other than that I do believe there are several valid issues with the game, but I can understand the mentality of "it does this one thing really well so I'll ignore it's flaws". I mean, reading the review about 80-90% of it is about a single aspect of the game. It feels like the score should come with the caveat "if you're into this kinda thing", but then again I guess the focus of the text conveys the message well enough.

Posted by Winternet

Far Cry 3, it's up to you now.

Posted by Fleck0

Handily my GOTY.

There's never been a game more deserving of a spoilercast (hurry up Jeff!). Gary Whitta even tweeted that he'd join in if they did.

Posted by mrfluke

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

They need to fly down Alex for GOTY discussion as he has done alot of reviews this year,

10000000000% agree, i really hope he gets in on the deliberations this year,

but even if he doesnt, walking dead seems to be the odds on favorite to win GOTY from a majority of sites.

Posted by Bourbon_Warrior

Cool story but it doesn't matter how you play everyone ends up with the same ending, which kinda sucks. But it's crazy that a iPad game can be up for GOTY.

Posted by BuyBondsYo

@Jiggaboojeeves:

I'll just say one thing about your post...

LOL

Posted by CornBREDX

I agree, Alex. It's a fantastic game held up a lot by it's narrative and acting. 
 
A lot of people are claiming it's GOTY, but I'm not sure about that yet (for me personally). For myself there was a lot of technical issues when I played it (on a modern 64 bit windows 7 PC). I was able to play it with no issues after fixing it, but every episode was a new issue I had to deal with. 
 
Great game, but marred by technical issues. Definitely 5 star worthy though.

Posted by mrfluke

@Jiggaboojeeves said:

This is a bad review and really goes to show how game reviewers don't bother to dig into games beyond a surface level. If Alex had taken a look and tried, say, replaying the first two episodes and making different decisions, he'd learn how little if any meaningful interaction the player has with the world. The game relies on deception and putting up an illusion of interactivity to throttle you through linear, non-interactive moments that would be better suited to a film, than a game, because to make this a game, they've had to remove the player's ability to interact with any consequence.

For example, the scene in episode 2 where you hand out food? Nobody cares except the player. The game doesn't care what you do. The characters don't actually care. There's zero consequence for thinking about that segment in any meaningful way. Hell, the choice where you hand out the axe to one of two people plays out exactly the same way, down to the same animation of the fire axe getting stuck so that the player can be forced into a quick time event, regardless of how long or hard they thought about who to give the axe to.

The fact that The Walking Dead is getting such rave reviews is nothing but an indicator to publishers that players don't care about meaningful interaction, good gameplay, or anything beyond a linear, extremely non-interactive story with non-consequential gameplay. This review is a shame and a symptom of a larger problem - that reviewers and games press have become totally acceptable throwing actual interaction, what games are about, to the wayside for linear content told best in other mediums - film and literature.

cool story bro

Posted by iAmJohn

@Jiggaboojeeves: That's a pretty racist-ass username you got there, bro.

Edited by Bourbon_Warrior

They need to fly down Alex for GOTY discussion as he has done alot of reviews this year, Sleeping Dogs still my GOTY.

Edited by Xeirus

@Jiggaboojeeves said:

This is a bad review and really goes to show how game reviewers don't bother to dig into games beyond a surface level. If Alex had taken a look and tried, say, replaying the first two episodes and making different decisions, he'd learn how little if any meaningful interaction the player has with the world. The game relies on deception and putting up an illusion of interactivity to throttle you through linear, non-interactive moments that would be better suited to a film, than a game, because to make this a game, they've had to remove the player's ability to interact with any consequence.

For example, the scene in episode 2 where you hand out food? Nobody cares except the player. The game doesn't care what you do. The characters don't actually care. There's zero consequence for thinking about that segment in any meaningful way. Hell, the choice where you hand out the axe to one of two people plays out exactly the same way, down to the same animation of the fire axe getting stuck so that the player can be forced into a quick time event, regardless of how long or hard they thought about who to give the axe to.

The fact that The Walking Dead is getting such rave reviews is nothing but an indicator to publishers that players don't care about meaningful interaction, good gameplay, or anything beyond a linear, extremely non-interactive story with non-consequential gameplay. This review is a shame and a symptom of a larger problem - that reviewers and games press have become totally acceptable throwing actual interaction, what games are about, to the wayside for linear content told best in other mediums - film and literature.

What in the fuck are you talking about dude, are you seriously so upset you nitpick something as good as this game?

If you think TWD was a bad game I would love to know what you think the good ones are. Get out of my face with your bullshit man.

If you think this is a bad review write your own, this website lets you do it. Once you finish come back and let me read yours and we'll compare it to Alex's "bad" one.... I look forward to it.

EDIT: I see you did review the game on here.... 4 MONTHS AGO, haha, what a joke you are...

Posted by unpopularkarama

@giant_frying_pan said:

Now make Jeff play it so he can't deny it GOTY like Red Dead.

Amen!

Posted by Cashewual

Very good review indeed, my only complaint with the game is that is more of interactive story (albeit an amazing, emotional roller-coaster of a story) than a game.

Posted by Alorithin

Curious to see how Giantbomb tackles the gameplay/story telling divide. Games like Mass Effect, Red Dead, Skyrim, and Saints Row all have B+ action gameplay riding next to their stoires.

Journey and Fez are floaty platformers with no fail states.

Walking Dead is an adventure game with a dialogue wheel.

Spec Ops is a third person shooter that no one wants to play past the story.

Posted by Jiggaboojeeves

This is a bad review and really goes to show how game reviewers don't bother to dig into games beyond a surface level. If Alex had taken a look and tried, say, replaying the first two episodes and making different decisions, he'd learn how little if any meaningful interaction the player has with the world. The game relies on deception and putting up an illusion of interactivity to throttle you through linear, non-interactive moments that would be better suited to a film, than a game, because to make this a game, they've had to remove the player's ability to interact with any consequence.

For example, the scene in episode 2 where you hand out food? Nobody cares except the player. The game doesn't care what you do. The characters don't actually care. There's zero consequence for thinking about that segment in any meaningful way. Hell, the choice where you hand out the axe to one of two people plays out exactly the same way, down to the same animation of the fire axe getting stuck so that the player can be forced into a quick time event, regardless of how long or hard they thought about who to give the axe to.

The fact that The Walking Dead is getting such rave reviews is nothing but an indicator to publishers that players don't care about meaningful interaction, good gameplay, or anything beyond a linear, extremely non-interactive story with non-consequential gameplay. This review is a shame and a symptom of a larger problem - that reviewers and games press have become totally acceptable throwing actual interaction, what games are about, to the wayside for linear content told best in other mediums - film and literature.

Posted by Orange_Pork

Keep that hair short.

:(

Posted by project343

My GOTY (very closely followed by Dishonored).

Posted by leinad44

Only Jeff can stop this from being GOTY

Posted by hookem1883

@Pozo said:

@leejunfan83 said:

it's not a game it's a QTE

Aren't broad statements fun?

Yes this game has QTEs. And yes, they are used for the "action" moments, such as fighting off a zombie, but to say the entire game is a QTE is pretty unfair.

The Walking Dead is a point and click adventure at it's core. It's like saying that Sam and Max or Monkey Island is nothing more than an inventory management game.

I really think that games like The Walking Dead, Heavy Rain, Asura's Wrath and even Myst should be looked at a bit differently, and not be compared to traditional gameplay heavy games, but they are still games and should not be scoffed at because they do things differently.

Games like these are not replacing traditional gaming, they are just another addition to the broad range of what a game can be. Sorry for the rant.

I think you're right about this. I would argue that a lot of first person shooter campaigns are really just glorified point and click adventures, where you shoot dudes instead of opening cabinets. I think the fiction itself can be more important than how that fiction is delivered.

Great review, Alex. I do, however, disagree about Clementine. I think she's about as cliched of a child character as you can get. She might be the best one seen in video games thus far, but given the competition, that's not really saying a lot. The overall narrative structure of this game is great, but the dialogue is laugh out loud bad at some points.

Posted by Marz

this first season definitely upped the ante on video game storytelling in general...

Posted by joshthebear

GOTY

Posted by benji_18

Beautifully put Alex. Well and truly a masterpiece, one of the best from the last few years.

Posted by nick_verissimo

Having read every issue of the comic and watched all of the tv series, I can honestly say that the game is best version of the three. It's remarkable what telltale did with this game.

Posted by Atwa

Easily my favorite game of the year, even one of my most favorite games of all time. 

Posted by darkjester74

I don't see how any other game can compete for GOTY. Its pretty much a done deal.

Many congrats to Telltale, TWD is nothing short of a triumph in story telling.

Posted by gla55jAw

Top choice for my GOTY right here.

Posted by andrewf87462

Definitely my GOTY

Edited by Pozo

@leejunfan83 said:

it's not a game it's a QTE

Aren't broad statements fun?

Yes this game has QTEs. And yes, they are used for the "action" moments, such as fighting off a zombie, but to say the entire game is a QTE is pretty unfair.

The Walking Dead is a point and click adventure at it's core. It's like saying that Sam and Max or Monkey Island is nothing more than an inventory management game.

I really think that games like The Walking Dead, Heavy Rain, Asura's Wrath and even Myst should be looked at a bit differently, and not be compared to traditional gameplay heavy games. They are still games, and should not be scoffed at because they do things differently.

Games like these are not replacing traditional gaming, they are just another addition to the broad range of what a game can be. Sorry for the rant.

Posted by Maajin

I think everyone praising The Walking Dead as game of the year should look really hard at the way Telltale handles player choice and payoff, and then look back at Mass Effect 3: a fantastic game that did probably the best it could within it's limitations.

Don't get me wrong TWD is probably my game of the year. But it showed me very clearly, like Mass Effect 3 and Heavy Rain before it, that the ILLUSION of player choice is way more important than the choice itself.

Posted by Shaanyboi

@Sooty said:

@giant_frying_pan said:

Now make Jeff play it so he can't deny it GOTY like Red Dead.

Red Dead shouldn't get GOTY anyway for being dreadfully repetitive with too many "Ride shotgun with this guy!" moments.

agreed...