silver_dewsky's The Walking Dead - Episode 1 (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

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When the Walking Dead game was first announced, you could probably see a general type of gameplay being set for it. After all, taking out zombies is something players have been doing for quite some time. But when it was announced that Telltale would be developing the game, it was clear that this game would be very different from titles such as Left 4 Dead and Dead Rising.

After releasing Jurassic Park in a complete package, Telltale has gone back to their episodic formula with the Walking Dead. Titled 'A New Day', this episode is the first of five coming roughly every month. This first episode gives you a few hours with Lee Everett, the main protagonist whom you'll have semi-control over.

Unlike most Telltale games, you'll actually be able to manually move Lee to a certain extent, but the upside is that all decisions made by the dialogue are all up to you. When speaking to characters in the game, certain dialogue options will appear, giving you a chance to see how certain options you choose can change the story. You'll have to hurry with a few, as some choices are given with a timer making you really commit to what you choose to say. There were numerous times where I wanted to see how picking another option would turn out, so It'll be great to have multiple saves and see how things can change based on my choices throughout the episodes.

Another neat addition with the choices is that your actions will be remembered in the game by characters you meet, which will continue into future episodes.

The visuals of the game are great too. At least to me, they appear to be the comic of Walking Dead in full color as well as being similar to Borderlands in terms of the cel-shading. The actors do a great job portraying their characters and thanks to the game's great ambiance in the sound effects and suspenseful music, you really get immersed into the story. Even if you're just watching a friend play, The Walking Dead can really suck you in with all it has to offer.

With an entry price of $5, The Walking Dead can be experienced by many. It's high production value, dialogue features and interesting characters really make one must play experience. Hats off to Telltale for starting The Walking Dead game with a terrific bang.

-------------------Episode 2 Review-------------------------------------Episode 2 Review-------------------------------------

Episode 2 of the Walking Dead takes place three months after the end of the first episode, and features some really difficult decisions that you’ll have to quickly make. Based on the choices you made in the first episode, ‘Starved For Help’ shows how alliances with different people are starting to be formed based on how you either helped or weakened your position with them. Without giving anything away, you can see how characters like Lilly and Kenny treat Lee, as well as others in the group who look to Lee for backup in decisions.

If you thought the first episode had intense moments, you’ll still be surprised about how much crazier things get for these survivors in this episode. There is a bit more action this time, but it’s all very hectic and requires quick responses. You’ll have to make hard choices and really stick by them as you continue on to Episode 3.

While the gameplay remains the same, there is a bit more to do and more choices for you the make which will continue on, so replaying this episode one or two times may help if you want to better your status with certain characters.

The game’s comic-like visuals are still great, and this episode shows it off more as you traverse many outdoor environments for most of this episode. Voice acting is just as great as for the sounds of walkers and ambient scores.

With Episode 2, you’re probably looking at about 2½ hours of more Walking Dead on the first play-through, and with about an hour if you want to replay and see how different elements turn out based on trying out other choices.

Arriving a little later than expected, Starved For Help is another great episode for TellTale’s talking on a more mature adventure game, although I wanted a bit more to hold me over until Episode 3. But I guess that’s what a good game does: leaves you wanting more.

-------------------Episode 3 Review-------------------------------------Episode 3 Review-------------------------------------

Episode 3 of the Walking Dead only takes place about a week from the intense Episode 2, and features more tough decisions that you'll have to make on a very short time limit. The group has been able to fix the RV, and events begin to set in motion that find them thankful that they repaired it.

The overall flow of the game hasn't changed too much, which is good thing since what Telltale established in Episode 1 has been really great to experience. In this episode, you'll actually find yourself in some roles that really pick up the game's story and action, which still requires you to be on your toes at all times. Later in the episode you'll have to put your thinking cap on more, as some environmental puzzles task you to remember some small details that the game lays out.

Emotions will run high in this episode, but there are some funny moments that temporarily ease the pain of making very difficult decisions.

It was always hard to make a decision and then watch as the game saves, making you really stick with what you did as you move on, but it's also one of the best features of the game. Without the ability to revert a save or checkpoint, all of the choices become much more impacting.

The visuals are still great, although there were some technical issues I ran into involving the recap video showcasing some of the choices I made in the previous episode. Most of the episode take place outside and you'll also venture to new locations which is pretty refreshing from the farm from episode 2.

Episode 3 took me about 3 hours to complete and most of the time was spent in the later parts of the game as I slowly figured out what to do next. $5 is still a great price for these parts, and each one usually warrants about two playthroughs, and once they're all released it'll be cool to sit and playthrough them all in one go.

Long Road Ahead is business as usual for the Walking Dead game and leaves you wanting more, which is something that I said for Episode 2 as well. It's nice that there will be more episodes of the game after Ep.5 comes out, because I can't get enough of these games!

-------------------Episode 4 Review-------------------------------------Episode 4 Review-------------------------------------

With one more episode left until the season finale of Telltales’ Walking Dead game, Episode 4 was tasked with building up tension that would have to be resolved going into the last episode. I’m happy to say that the episode does just that, and still finds a way to keep players guessing about what will happen next even after experiencing the previous three episode that brought up some pretty crazy events.

In the beginning of the episode, the gang finds their way into a new town as they hope to find a place to relax and care for Omid who is still hurting from the train jump. Kenny disagrees with this plan, and is focused on finding a boat and sailing away from Walkers and his troubles, and Lee attempts to figure out who have been speaking with Clementine from her walkie talkie. Tense moments from the characters pop up frequently in this episode, and the stress piles on a bit more when you encounter some of the new characters.

Gameplay wise things are about the same, but there are more action-y sections that give you direct control in shooting walkers from a semi first person perspective.

This episode seemed a bit shorter in comparison to the previous three, but it still manages to keep up the suspense factor while creating anticipation for episode three. There are some really drastic moments in this episode, and most do a good job of letting you add input based on prompts you choose for Lee to use.

The locations in episode four are all pretty well done and are nicely varied. While this episode is shorter, there are some more interactive elements to find than past episodes, with most being used to solve specific puzzles that you’ll encounter. Sound is top notch as always, with effects and music pieces coming in that help bring together the emotional impact of the episode.

These games have been just as intense as the TV show and comic of the Walking Dead, and provide great chunks of gameplay and story at only $5 each. This another solid episode that you have to check out!

---------------------Episode 5 Review--------------------------------------------Episode 5 Review--------------------------

Nights Gone Bye

The final episode of the Walking Dead game takes all of what you have done in the past episodes and shows you the results of your choices. Everything leading up to 'No Time Left' results in the actions or decisions that you took as Lee Everett and forces you to see their dangerous effect. The conclusion to season one of this game is impressive, sad, and finishes as one of the best experiences of the year out of any genre that a game can be placed in.

If you've been playing since episode one, you know the drill: You'll be forced to decide on crazy situations that will impact the end and they happen pretty often in this final episode. Everything seems to wrap up pretty neatly, and there are things that occur that harken back to previous episodes that you may not have even remembered or recalled once they reappear in this episode. It's a great moment that happens and makes you want to replay the whole season just to see how things could have gone based on what would do differently.

The action-y sequences that occur in this title are pretty cool as well. Tense moments appear a bit more often than previous episodes, and lives may or may not be affected by it.

The visuals once again look great, and there is a nice variety of old and new locations that you'll visit in the roughly 3 hour episode. Places that we're mentioned since episode will be visited, so things will become full circle for players that have stuck around since the beginning.

You'll probably notice that I don't go into too much about the happenings inside the episode, mainly because if I we're to do so, it would ruin some players' experiences with the game. This game is something that you have to play first, and discuss later with others who have played and finished it as well to fully understand it's attraction factor.

If you've been waiting to play these games, now is the time to check them out. The disc version of the game is now available, and offers up all five episodes to play. The game will also be discounted on Xbox Live soon and will even give players the first episode of the game for free.

Even if you don't watch the show or read the comic, you have to check out the Walking Dead game for everything that it does to tell a great story. Episode fives bids farewell to a great year of adventure titles, but it's success will bring forward more seasons and hopefully more games from others that really focus on relationships and making drastic choices.

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