It's the zombie apocalypse and the dead are coming back to life... well, almost. I'm pretty new to the whole Walking Dead series: I'm up-to-date with the television show (started during the break) and I've recently completed the first season of the episodic video games. Apparently, a new episode for the game was released each month (for five months) that added to the story and changed based on the choices made by the user. Even though the video games were released in 2012, I received the game on disc for Christmas. The game that I will be reviewing today is the post-apocalyptic zombie adventure series: The Walking Dead.
The Story: Set in the once-serene state of Georgia, the world is plunged in a state of horror as the dead start to attack the living. The player takes on the role of Lee Everett, a former respected professor of history at the University of Georgia, who was arrested and sentenced to spend life behind bars for murdering a senator (who just happened to be having an affair with Lee's wife). A car crash saves Lee from heading to prison but as luck would have it, the crash was just the beginning in a long and harrowing battle for survival.
The Walking Dead features five episodic entries where the story changes based on the decisions made by the player. Certain characters could die, dialogue can change and every quick-time action matters. Throughout the five episodes, Lee interacts with a unique cast of characters like: family man Kenny, headstrong Lilly, news reporter Carley, curious kid Duck, his caring mother Katjaa and naive farmer Hershel Greene. Also, part of the dynamic of the game focuses on the father-figure relationship between Lee and a little girl Clementine.
Where To Play: The Walking Dead is available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Mac, and as an iOS mobile app.
The Good: The Walking Dead proved that episodic gameplay can be a great idea when done right. Choices made from one episode could impact the decisions and characters in the next one (if they're alive that is). Downloadable content (DLC) in most causes is an add-on that includes a new chapter, levels or even multiplayer extras. While a new episode was available for purchase each month, the individual episodes continued the game going without becoming disjointed or pointless to the overall story. The experience and storyline had a clear ending for the season.
Characters and dialogue play an important part to the series. While the game doesn't focus primarily on action, the story propels the character forward. The best I could describe it would be a point-and-click adventure where talking to characters and finding items is the basis. Don't get me wrong, fighting zombies and the quick-time actions were amazing. And yes, there are plenty of those moments to love! However, making the choices for what Lee said, how he interacted with other characters or what he did helped to round out the game.
The Bad: While I could have enjoyed more zombie-fighting moments, there was really only two negatives that I had. The Walking Dead had long loading times and noticeable glitches. Between setting up to play an episode or loading a scene, the game would stop for several seconds until it would finally begin again. Usually this isn't a problem but when it happens mid-conversation, I would wonder if there was a problem with my console.
The Results: 8.5/10!
The Walking Dead was a refreshing change to my game collection. I usually don't play point-and-click games but I gave this try and I ended up loving the story. Characters were more than one-liners and the choices I made actually made a difference from episode to episode. The long loading times ruined some of the suspense and I did notice some glitches that the developers forgot to edit it out in the final version. Though, I'd still recommend to play the game, especially if you love The Walking Dead television show or graphic novels. Change things up and try a game primarily for the story, you might end up loving it.
Agree or Disagree with the review? Share your thoughts below and let us know what you've thought of the game.