caoimhe's The Walking Dead (Xbox 360) review

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Mind blowing

I've never felt the urge to express my opinion on any website or message boards, but as a somewhat casual gamer (I'm not hardcore or die hard but I would try anything to see what it's like), I was optimistic as to how this would play out as a point and click adventure compared to the comics & tv show. Personally I felt that the game was about a 3/4 out of 5 partly due to the fact that I felt half way through the game play it was lagging and severely glitchly and seemingly spontaneously freezing before key points in the game which infuriated me on certain occasions. However episode 5 made up for all the indiscretions I had about the game for the sheer pace, soul wrenching decisions that had to be made as well as the moral playing field that unraveled before my eyes (to be fair been a great credit to the game as a whole).

I mean I cried at the end. Like a baby. Almost as bad as the final episode of Six Feet Under. Fittingly the song used at the final end credits was so moving I couldn't believe how involved and immersed I got into the game that it affected me in such a way. I've never ever experienced that in a game at all, only in books, tv and films (The Wire, The Shield, Last of the Mohicans, Mad Men are some of those that have 'gotten' to me). Come the end I was questioning myself thinking partly why did I made such a decision here and there (even though sometimes during the game you only had a split second), what I could have done different to save more or less people, or how could a seemingly innocuous decision from early on in the game could have such devastating consequences further down the line.

There was such a wide ranging development of characters-seeing how some became paranoid; broken physically, emotionally and mentally; how desensitized and at times such deranged moral altering attitudes came to be developed helped make this game what it was-during a game altering moment in episode 3 I actually shouted NOOOOO! at the television. I had to pause to take a breather as the event that happened came out of the blue and I was devastated by what happened.

You can see the love that has gone into this game and it is so refreshing in so many ways. Between the innovative storytelling, the emotional attachment that I felt (as have others) over certain characters, having self doubt at the majority of the decisions that I made as well as the voice acting-so moving and not wooden in any sense, personally it helped gibe me the jaw dropping effect I got from this game. Also the cartoon type style suited the game perfectly. Considering how linear the game actually is-go from A to B, can't go to B until you complete said action, can't leave a location-the many different options you can choose to develop the narrative and your journey dissolves all notion of restrictiveness and frustration that can come from those type games.

I've purposefully left out the name of the characters as I don't really see the point mentioning them. At first I was wondering how it would pan out as these characters are from The Walking Dead world but they aren't seen or heard of in the comics or the show. I was a bit apprehensive as people who are familiar with the other mediums are familiar with the regular characters and how they have developed or died, which in hindsight is totally the right decision to make. New characters as well as in a way a new point of origin goes to show how well crafted this game is. You can't help but have empathy as well as sympathizing with most events that occur at nearly every turn of the game that this game has won such deserved recognition as well as some GOTY awards. I don't really care anymore for COD, or FIFA (same game, different location/new 'add ons') or any generic game that's churned and spat out to the consumer where we are expected to pay upwards of £40+ ($50-60+) when its plain, mediocre, 'completed' in a handful of hours with no real replayability value unless you want a load of achievements/trophies (which can be the most tedious thing to do at times). Considering this cost me £20 and each episode bar the last one last about 2 1/2 hours, the final one was about 1 1/2 hours. So that's 13 1/2 hours of gameplay which works out at roughly £1.50 per hour of the most in depth gameplay I've ever experienced. That is a bargain.

I found this game rewarding on so many levels and in a way it's restored my faith in games as I feel like the majority of the market does contains reboots, clones of games, cheap film tie ins, same games released nearly every year (obviously there are exceptions such as the Walking Dead, Catherine, Beautiful Katamari, Bully, Okami to name but a few). This is my personally opinion but it's worth investing or at least giving this game a go and I can be a ridiculously pessimistic person at times. Out of the 3 representations of the Walking Dead Universe the comic will always come out on top but I think the game somewhat trumps the tv show hands down without fail and that is testament to its endearing qualities-As Uncle Ben says, "With great power comes great responsibility".

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