The Walking Dead: A Telltale Game Series Review
publisher: Telltale Games
developer: Telltale Games
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Dec 11, 12
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Telltale Games are known for creating a series of enjoyable point-and-click adventure games, delivering cool and rather amusing titles such as Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space and Back to the Future: The Game (amongst others). Their latest foray into the genre of episodic adventure games is The Walking Dead, based on Robert Kirkman's comic of the same name. While The Walking Dead itself uses the same setting as the comic books, the events and characters are remain unique to the game. We took our time to go through all five episodes of Telltale's series.
The story begins and revolves around a character named Lee Everett, who gets caught in the middle of a massive zombie outbreak and is forced to find his way in a cruel world where people struggle to stay alive as best they can. Some people have formed groups while others move about on their own. This is a story about fear, survival, bonding, desperation and betrayal.
Wash your hands. If there's one thing I hate, it's dirty hands!
Let me have a look at those pearly whites.
The game sticks to the recipe of P&C adventure classics, albeit you'll find sections with QTEs (Quick Time Events) and occasional action segments where the main character has to shoot or chop his way through hordes of bloodthirsty zombies. At the same time, getting out of tight situations often requires different problem-solving skills and this is the greatest aspect of the whole ride. Not only does it hurl you into intense situations, forcing you to make incredibly tough moral decisions, but it also allows you to choose how to react to these situations. The player gets to decide which characters to side with and which to shun. In many cases you can remain neutral, although eventually the game pushes you to make a choice, so, you can't sit on the fence forever. Sooner or later you're gonna have to make a decision and usually you'll have limited amount of time to do this.
The Walking Dead delivers a fascinatingly unique experience, which is pretty surprising for a game that's set against a typical post-apocalyptic backdrop. It also packs plenty of choices for a point-and-click adventure game. At the end of each episode players are going to witness statistics garnered from Telltale's servers, showing off the percentage of people that made the same decisions in their playthrough. Another very cool ingredient put it by Telltale and it gives you an insight as to how other people would handle themselves under the same circumstances.
Obviously, most of the game is spent avoiding and fighting hordes of the undead. All the same, the developers have skillfully crafted a variety of believable scenarios. Problems you're dealing with seem realistic, as some characters tend to act hysterically, while others appear calm but may wind up stabbing you in the back. It will usually be difficult to tell apart cold-hearted survivors from real friends who would risk their lives for you and for this we give a lot of credit to the creative team at Telltale and the writers who came up with scenarios and characters. Every person you meet has a unique psychological profile.
One of the key facets of this game is that your choices affect the relationships you have with each of these characters. People will judge you depending on how you behave in a crisis situation and how you treat others. Some characters might stick with you, while others could leave or just turn on you - or they might turn on others. The main story will run its course, of course. However, how you reach the very end of the story is entirely up to you. You'll be making one difficult call after another and every time NPCs can react in their own way.
Kudos to the voice actors on this one as well, since there's a substantial amount of dialogue, most which is rather emotional. We also appreciated the game's art style and its graphic-novel-inspired cel-shaded graphics. It's nothing groundbreaking, but certainly pleasing to the eye.
Veteran gamers, specifically those used to adventure games, might complain about the puzzles being too straightforward. Given the game's narrative structure and the simplified gameplay mechanics, complicated puzzles would perhaps get in the way. So, from our angle, this really isn't much of a setback. Sure, a few nice brain teasers would've been awesome, but otherwise things work fine just the way they are.
This is pure zombie injustice.
The Walking Dead isn't just about survival. It's about building a deep relationship with an array of believable characters, as you try to find a safe haven in a world filled with mindless undead monstrosities. It's not your average horror experience. It puts you into a variety of tough, emotionally draining situations that require some prompt decision making. The player needs to make difficult moral decisions along the way and the game never makes it easier. The choices become more challenging as you go along.
To cut a long story short, if you nab all five episodes of this game and play through all of them consecutively, you'll be treated to one of the best adventure games of all time. The Walking Dead represents a jewel in the realm of episodic adventures. This game will shock you. It'll make you cry and curse. One of the most memorable gaming experience we've had in a long time. Don't miss out on it.
Hardly your typical zombie game, so don't be fooled by its title, it's a true battle for survival with top-notch characterization, an adventure game with emotional depth, realistic scenarios, as you face tough moral choices, all and all one of the best point-and-click adventure games in recent times;
It would've been nice if they incorporated puzzles that are a bit more challenging.
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