An emotionally charged adventure that raises the bar for story telling in video games
- Impressive art direction and visuals
- Story line is deep and emotional
- Lot's of replay value
- Decisions can be tough to make
- Each episode is a little short
- Occasional bugs
The Walking Dead has long been a very successful graphic novel and television series due mainly to it's intense setting and deep character portrayals, and now it is making it's debut in the game industry, and fortunately the transition is (mostly) a flawless one. Tell Tale Games has successfully taken all the elements that make the Walking Dead such a memorable experience and it shows, the result is an unforgettable experience.
You play as Lee, a man who has currently been arrested for an unknown crime and is being taken to prison. However things take a different kind of a turn as the Walkers start to show up and cause the police car to crash, it is here where you attempt to make your escape and figure out what exactly is going on the world. Eventually he finds his way to a young girls house and is then tasked with keeping her alive at all costs. The Walking Dead plays more akin to classic adventure games but with far more finesse and elegance, at it's core you move the cursor over various objects and characters to interact with them, but you would be making a mistake if you assumed The Walking Dead was nothing more than a point-and-click experience. There is FAR more depth to this game, for starters the level of interaction with the world and characters is robust. You can search for various items inside virtually any object; cup boards, old cars, draws etc....and each character reacts differently to your actions and choices, choices that are not always easy to make.
You will see the relationship with each character change over the course of your adventure, some may agree with you, others may end up despising you, in the end you have to live with the consequences and the decisions are not always "black and white". For example in one episode you come across a vehicle with food in the back, you and your friends have been starving all day and you could really use this food. However the car still has the keys in it and the lights on, as the owner of the vehicle might come back soon, and taking the food might cause them to starve. So what do you do? Is there really a "right" choice in this case? It's hard to figure out, and The Walking Dead is packed full of these decisions. So choose wisely.
The character interactions also prove to be a deep experience. It is similar to many other games in terms of dialogue options, you are free to ask, and to answer questions as you see fit. However much like the decisions above it's important to choose what you say wisely as the characters may remember your words, and that might come back to bite you later. The amazing thing about The Walking Dead is how much replay value it has, each episode has different decisions to make which leads to different outcomes, this is a game that you'll replay several times to get the full experience. However that being said, The Walking Dead is not a very long game. Each episode can be completed on average 2-3 hours, which is a bit of a letdown as you would love to keep this adventure going, but thanks to it's replay value you can play it again and get a different experience.
There are also occasional bugs, none of which is anything major but it can be a little annoying. Sometimes a character will speak without his mouth moving, others the game will "pause" briefly while it loads in a new cut scene or new piece of dialogue. It kind of breaks the immersion a bit when this happens, but none of these issues are game breaking in the slightest and should not be used as an excuse to miss this adventure.
The Walking Dead may have a couple of minor issues, but these are easy to forgive in the grand scheme of things. This is a game that offers an amazing experience that will stay with you long after you turn off the game, it has set a new bench mark for story telling in video games and you'll certainly want to replay it again.
The Walking Dead get's a 4/5