Review - The Walking Dead, Episode 1
The Walking Dead is a video game based on the hit comic book and TV show centered around a group of survivors struggling to get by during a zombie apocalypse. This isn't your average zombie tale, however, as in many of the comics you never even see a zombie or they'll just be in one panel. This has also translated into the TV show.
The Walking Dead has always been about the PEOPLE, not the zombies. And surprisingly enough, Telltale Games has managed to pull it off here. Telltale doesn't have the greatest track record, as their previous games like Back to the Future and Jurassic Park got some outright scathing reviews, but here they've managed to make it work.
Some New Faces and Some Familiar Ones As Well
Instead of putting you in control of Officer Rick Grimes and letting you simply play through the established storyline, The Walking Dead puts you in the shoes of convict Lee Everett. Lee is being transported in the back of a police cruiser when the outbreak occurs and manages to escape. At this time, Rick Grimes was still snoozing in his hospital bed.
You also get to meet some familiar faces along the way in the form of cameos from characters in the comic/TV show.
But is Lee guilty or innocent of whatever crime he is accused? Basically, it's up to you. Do you play Lee as a guilty, cold-blooded survivor who will do anything to get through the apocalypse at any cost or is he a wrongly accused do-gooder who will help whomever he can along the way?
It's all up to you
The gameplay in The Walking Dead has a lot to do with the story. First, let's talk about choices. As I mentioned earlier, your choices in this game actually matter. What you say to other survivors and how you say it matters. You make decisions that are literally life-and-death affairs that decide the fate of some NPCs.
If you save these people, your game in future episodes will be considerably different than if you let them get devoured by walkers, which is what the people in the world of The Walking Dead call the zombies. This is a world in which George Romero never created the modern, flesh-eating zombie, after all. Which explains why these people weren't ready for it like we are.
OK, we're really not ready, but you probably know what I mean.
Anyway, as far as navigating the world, you're pretty much concerned with moving around with the left stick and the right stick is for your cursor for interacting with items. Combat is essentially a quick time affair, and while I'm not the biggest fan of QTEs it does fit in well with The Walking Dead theme.
After all, this is not a Dead Rising type of world full of zombie smashiness. This is a world in which every fight with a zombie is a life or death struggle. These zombies have faces, they were real people at one time - and you really get a feel for that in this game.
The Look, The Feel of Zombies...The Fabric of Our Lives
As far as the graphics go, The Walking Dead emulates the comics pretty darn well. Though the comics are in black and white, the game manages to bring them to life in full color via a cel-shaded look. In other words, when you see those cameos from familiar characters, they look like they do in the comic, not the TV show.
The artwork does look a little more like the work of original Walking Dead artist Tony Moore rather than current zombie drawer Charlie Adlard, but that's not a quibble at all. Both artists are great, and this game faithfully captures their work.
Recommended? You Betcha!
All in all, I have to say that for $5 you can't go wrong with The Walking Dead Episode 1. If you explore all the venues and choices in the game you can get 6 hours of gameplay out of it and at the end of the episode you get a trailer for the next episode that reflects the choices you made.
The next episode is coming soon, so get out there and give this one a go!
Article by - Brett Huffman
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