Review by WafflehouseJK
"An amazing story with amazing characters, but mediocre controls."
The Walking Dead was/is a very popular comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, which subsequently evolved into a popular television series, and most recently, has adapted into a video game. As of yet, The Walking Dead seems to be dominating almost every form of media that it has entered, receiving positive reviews from critics, as well as audiences. But for it's first entry into the world of video games, does the setting and fascination with it's characters that the comic possesses properly transfer to a video game format?
The game starts off as the player character, named Lee Everett, being taken to a prison by a police officer. As they are driving, they hit something, and veer off the road, crashing, which results in Lee falling in and out of consciousness. After he awakens, he quickly encounters his first experience with the walking dead, and climbs over the fence of a suburban house to relative safety. While here, he discovers a young girl named Clementine, who has been living by herself during the zombie apocalypse for multiple days. Lee takes it upon himself to take care of her, treating her as he most likely would his own daughter, and the majority of the game focuses on Lee's relationship with Clementine, and how he does whatever he can to protect her.
However, Clementine is far from the only character you develop a relationship with throughout the course of the game. You eventually come across a group of survivors, and you (Lee) work along side them, watching each other backs, or potentially are at each others throats (Sometimes literally), all depending on the choices you make throughout the game.
The choices in particular are what give the game such a high reputation. What makes the game such an enjoyable experience is that the story evolves depending on your decisions. However, you don't have long to make these decisions, often having no more then 5-6 seconds, having to quickly decide your course of action, or else you could potentially lose everything.
Your relationship with the other characters also varies depending on the choices you make. They could either be your best friend, watching each others backs from beginning to end, or they could hate you, looking for any chance they can get to just let you die. It all depends on your choices.
The gameplay in this game is just a relatively simple point-and-click format. Not really that complex, but it can be quite annoying when you don't see what you actually have to click in time, or your mouse messes up and wont hit the right area in time, and you end up dying. And dying. And dying some more. The worst problems I had with this were most likely in episode 4, where I died probably around 20-30 times throughout the episode. Its possible that this was just because I was horrible at the game, but it did seem like a rather large increase in deaths when in the previous episodes, I only died around 5-6 times at the most.
In particular, the worst aspect of the gameplay likely has to be the shooting challenges. It is surprisingly hard to aim in a point-and-click adventure, especially when you only have a couple of seconds to take out 4+ walkers. You often have to result to just shooting blindly and hoping for the best, which while this usually works, it greatly reduces any concept of skill in such an endeavor.
Despite these flaws, they take very little away from the actual experience. The gameplay is much more of a tool used to advance farther in the story in this game, then as a primary game mechanic. While this may be a negative for some, as I previously mentioned, the true enjoyment of this game comes from the story, and the interaction with the various characters. The gameplay is more of just a medium so that you can be more interactive and involved within the plot.
The graphics look very comic-book-like, most likely in tribute to its comic book origins. However, they look pretty clean and well-defined throughout the game, and overall, I don't have any complaints towards it. They are of a decent quality, and I'd say are a decent representation for the comic book.
One of the largest problems that I have experienced enough of myself to warrant mentioning is a number of technical issues throughout the game. In particular, there were multiple occasions where the entire game seemed to slow down randomly when it was not supposed to, occasionally resulting in a couple extra deaths that I would most likely not have experienced other wise.
While I have not experienced this next issue myself, it has been mentioned enough by others that it is worth mention. Apparently, there have been occurrences where save files were somehow lost or corrupted, and considering how important one's choices are, if you are in episode 4, and then lose your previous saves, you basically just lost everything you have accomplished, all of your relationships with the other characters, and have no other choice but restarting the entire game, losing a large portion of the experience.
Despite these issues, The Walking Dead is still an incredibly enjoyable experience. The story, the relationships you develop with the characters, Clementine in particular, are simply amazing. There were several moments throughout the entire game that I caught myself tearing up. While I never technically cried, I came incredibly close, feeling incredible sadness, or relieve depending on the scenario. Overall, the Walking Dead is a griping story that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time, keeping you emotionally invested, and waiting to find out what happens next through the entirety of the game. While not without it's flaws, The Walking Dead Game is an experience I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys a good story, fantastic characters, and amazing twists and turns....
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/07/13
Game Release: The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series (US, 12/11/12)
Got Your Own Opinion?
You can submit your own review for this game using our Review Submission Form.