The Walking Dead Game Review

Posted 12 years ago by myetvmedia


While most zombie video games are concerned mainly with the slaying of zombies The Walking Dead the game focuses on a story that you control. Don’t get me wrong there is plenty of zombie related violence in the Walking Dead but the game is not a shooter like left for dead or an action game like dead rising. Hey, come to think of it I can’t think of a zombie game that doesn’t feature the word “dead” in it outside of Resident Evil. Getting back on point the Walking Dead game is developed by Telltale who has been steering the Sam and Max series for the past couple years and the recent Jurassic Park adventure game. The Walking Dead is their strongest title yet and will satisfy both fans of the comic book and television show as well as anyone expecting a thoughtful zombie game.

Photo courtesy of Telltale

The game tells a story that runs concurrently to ricks from the comic book and TV show. You play as Lee Everett, a man convicted of murder. During his ride to prison the zombie outbreak begins and he is forced to strike out on his own. Lee comes across a little girl named Clementine, she is all alone and lee must look after her. Beyond that any more story detail would be spoiling but I can tell you that Lee will come across multiple groups of survivors some of whom will carry on to the next installment. As Lee you have the opportunity through dialogue trees to influence the story by coloring characters opinions of you and making difficult choices. During many of these dialogue sequences you will have a time limit and so you must choose your response quickly. This may sound restrictive but it is quite realistic and gives you the opportunity to truly roleplay rather than game the system.

Photo courtesy of Telltale

Outside of dialogue Walking Dead has you doing some classical though modernized adventure puzzles and fending off zombie attacks. The puzzles are what you would expect from a classic adventure game though they are not reliant on the outdated mechanic of combining items and hoping they work in situation x,y,z. More often than not the puzzles’ difficulty comes through execution. You will know what you have to do, you just have to figure out how to do it. The one criticism I can lay at the adventure mechanics comes through the user interface which features tiny grey bubbles that you target to select an action or item; there are times when the corresponding action to solve a situation can seem arbitrary or illogically placed amongst these bubbles. It doesn’t weaken the puzzles at all but it can be a nuisance. The action gameplay is the perfect balance between keeping the gameplay exciting and keeping the narrative at the forefront of the experience. When you are faced with enemies it is either in a frantic attack in which you must quickly find a weapon and kill them or a calculated mission of your own in which you are tactically taking them out one by one. When you are attacked a cursor in the shape of a directional pad will appear in an over the shoulder or first person shot, you have to line up the cursor with your target at the prime moment which is indicated by the color of your cursor. These combat sequences do a fantastic job of giving you that narly response you want when you stick a zombie with an ice pick, its horrifying and fun. The one gripe I have with the combat will only bother twitchy gamers who need real difficulty, I wish there was a hardcore option that featured no cursor for players who want an extra challenge. I was able to finish the game without dying once, though the focus here is on story. The tactical scenarios are like some blessed hybrid of the frantic combat and the puzzle solving, you just have to experience it for yourself in order to understand how unique and fun it is.

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The Walking Dead Game Review

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