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Walking Dead from Telltale Games represents the first videogame foray into adapting the series into a playable form. You play as Lee Everett, a man convicted of murdering a Senator after finding him with your wife. Luckily for Lee, instead of actually having to go to prison, all he'll have to do is deal with the Zombie apocalypse. So does Telltale live up to the high standards of the Walking Dead series? Let's take a look.
The story kicks off with Lee in the back of a cop car heading out of Atlanta. After a car-crash involving a lone zombie, you narrowly escape into a random backyard only to find a little girl hiding in a tree house, and her parents missing. Being the kind gentleman that you are, you decide to take care of her while attempting to reach your own family.
Upon finding out that the Walking Dead was a TellTale game, my biggest worry before playing was that there wouldn't be a sense of urgency during the action. TellTale is known for making great point and click puzzle games, so how could they possibly match the frenetic pace that is required to make a zombie fighting sequence exciting, and frightening? I'm happy to say that they managed to pull it off. What's more, the game captures the essence of the Walking Dead very well. Much of the game, aside from the action sequences, is about the humanity of the situation, making hard moral decisions, dealing with other survivors, and the relationships that you make along the way. In particular Lee's relationship with Clementine is very real, and touching.
In terms of gameplay, Telltale managed to keep the puzzle solving aspect fresh, mixing it in with just enough action to keep things interesting. Just when you think you've been in one place too long, the Walkers will come walking and you'll be forced to move on or get eaten. The action sequences are actually pretty nerve-wracking, and you'll find yourself having to make split second decisions in order to save one group member or another along the way which will drastically alter your story. There's even a pretty cool stealth section in this episode that seemlessly mixes TellTale's formula with action that you might expect from a game like Splinter Cell. In addition, all of the decisions that you make along the way in conversation have some impact on how things turn out. People remember little things you say, inconsistencies with lies you may have told, and will take note of specific actions rewarding you with more loyalty or punishing you with mistrust based on your decisions. If you're more of the strong silent type, then not saying anything is always an option too.
If I had one gripe with the game thus far it's that the voice acting, mainly during the more intense moments, wasn't very believable. Instead of hearing the in-game characters screaming for help, or wailing about the death of a loved one, what I heard was voice actors acting. Everything just sounded a bit forced. That being said, it isn't terrible enough to ruin the game, but definitely something that took me out of the experience while I was playing, which drastically reduced the impact of the decisions I was making. While Episode 1 of the title will only last you about 2 or 3 hours, it DOES only cost five dollars, and for 20 you can get a season pass giving you access to all five episodes.
The Walking Dead is a solid game from Telltale that manages to use it's puzzle solving formula well combined with the action that you'd expect from a game about zombies. While the zombie killer in me wishes that The Walking Dead was in another, more interactive and engaging environment, Telltale's game does a great job of capturing the essence of the Walking Dead while staying true to their formula. I give The Walking Dead an 8 out of 10. For more news, reviews, and much more be sure to subscribe to Clevver Games by hitting that big ass button right there. I'm Sohinki, and I'll catch you guys next time.
tags: walking dead, review, preview, game, episode, zombies, survival, world war z, game, video game, telltale, good game, is it, clevver games, matt sohinki