The Walking Dead

First off, this is about the game series, not the TV series. I haven’t seen any of them yet, so it’ll have to wait until I do. Dexter first though. Then maybe Game of Thrones. It’s all on my to do list…

Just yesterday, it was announced that the 2nd 5-part series of Walking Dead gameplay will be released in July. Only just found out now, funnily enough, but still… It’s all knowledge, isn’t it?

For those of you who can’t make reasonable assumptions, The Walking Dead is a post-apocalyptic zombie survival game and TV series. It may even become a film, if my wishes come true, but we’ll see.

Think they’ve seen the zombie?

The game, albeit more of an interactive graphic novel, utilizes character development, decision-making and quick-time events to draw you into an emotional rollercoaster which has you holding on for dear life, and, by the time you finish, you wonder if it’s safe to be near a city.

You start off going to prison for murdering your wife’s other partner (a senator), but shit hits the fan, the car crashes and you have to escape the zombie horde. You bump into a little girl, Clementine, and you make it your task to help her find her parents, protecting her as you go.

You end up in your hometown, a motel inn, on a train, in a mansion in Savannah and even in a fortified town barricaded with walls of dead zombies, all the while looking after the girl who, near the start, warns you that he babysitter is standing behind you.

You meet a wide-variety of characters, some of which are pictured below:

Christa, Omid, Kenny, Lee (you), Ben and Chuck (left to right)

They were engaging, believable and generally likable. One or two were douches, but they had good reason. Spend the time playing and you’ll see that they were well thought out, well written and that as game characters go, they’re probably some of the most in-depth ones around. You even get feelings towards some of the walkers, and that doesn’t mean “die zombie die” or “get on my knob”. I mean, you actually feel sorry for some zombies and some people you meet who are condemned to be zombie food for the rest of their short lives.

Throughout the game, your decisions can have a strong impact on what happens to the rest of the characters, often having you choose who you can save and who you effectively condemn to death. Or, you can just not choose. Your choice.

I think I played fairly cleverly. I played once, all the way through, and I don’t think I made any particularly bad decisions, and, all things considered, I’m happy with how it went. I may not have had the ending I had hoped for, but, I had an ending which worked for me and made sense, even if it was a bit… unusual.

I won’t spoil much for you, but I knew who I could and couldn’t trust, with the exception of the homeless man, and I probably put too much effort into trying to keep people alive. Oh, and next time, I’d leave my arm on.

Very few point and click decision-making games have done it for me, but this one did. I was scared in places, cursing in others, and damning Ben for being so damn useless, as well as worrying if I’d done the right things, and I wonder if things would have gone differently, had I not been so determined to stay on the good side of a particular character.

Most people would probably call the ending a bit of an anticlimax, but all things considered, it actually works quite well as an ending. It leaves it open for a second series (which we know is coming), and the final episode did a lot to tie up the loose ends from earlier in the series. In fact, there’s only three things I want to know, and I won’t share them, because they’re spoilers, but bloody hell I hope they’re answered in series 2.

If I had to find ONE criticism, it was that there were places where you couldn’t skip a stupid decision, because you had to make it. I wanted to go into an attic at one point, but it wouldn’t let me til we’d tried to survive by shooting a bunch of zombies. It got annoying and I genuinely yelled at the screen “get in the fucking attic!”

I wanted to end this on a profound image from the game, but I can’t find one, so here’s the only one that comes anywhere close, without ruining the game for you.

What it’s all for…


That Guy

2 thoughts on “The Walking Dead

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