Review by Golamosca
"Flickers of humanity in the darkest abyss"
Critics are raving about The Walking Dead: A Telltale Game Series as 2012 biggest surprise in the videogame industry. I won't lie, if it weren't for that I'd probably never give it a chance. The zombie mania that has recently infested pop culture never really appealed to me. So the announcement of a videogame based on a hit comic book that has a hit TV series with zombies as a premise sounded like something I should steer clear from. Then I came across an article that lauded the game as an unexpected surprise, a gripping tale of humanity in a decaying world that unfolds differently for each player. A zombie game where there is no mindless shooting and instead focuses on how people adapt to survive in a hell that questions their humanness at every corner.
So how does that work?
More than a game, it's an interactive story. A point and click adventure that develops differently depending on the actions the player chooses. There is no exploration, no liberty to do much of anything except when it comes to picking responses for the main character. There are some action segments, and they fit perfectly within the narrative. They don't feel like forced parts to make the game entertaining. Also, picking answers can be considered part of the action for they are occasionally timed events. Depending on the situation, you may have a few seconds to decide and it will affect how things unfold. Although it's a single player game, it provides a lot of fodder for conversation among people who have played it. There's always the curiosity of what would've happened if you done something differently. You can replay it as many times as you'd like but you know, it's that first magical experience that stays with you. Talking with other players is an extra that engrosses you further in said experience.
Ok so what's the story?
You are Lee Everett, a man convicted with a crime of passion on his way to jail when the zombie apocalypse is unleashed. Lee encounters a varied cast of characters that includes known clichés of the zombie genre but that through skillful writing retain a natural aspect within the story. One of these characters is the lovable deuteragonist, Clementine, a young girl who must witness unspeakable horrors as she adapts in this new world where innocence is no longer a quality of life. Together they must come to terms with their surroundings, come face-to-face with the monsters that have been created due to this catastrophe, both literally and figuratively. They must struggle to retain their humanity in a world that chooses to discard it in order to survive. The relationship between Lee and Clementine is both captivating and endearing enough to stay with you long before you finish the game. It's an experience unlike any other because you just don't sit and watch a story unfold, you are constantly part of it. Your actions have ripples and even though the final outcome is the same for anyone who plays it, your journey is unique all on its own.
+ Immersive story
+ Great voice acting paired with excellent character development
+ Trophy hoarders will welcome the easy platinum trophy that only requires clearing the game once.
+ It's only 30 bucks.
-A few glitches here and there of game freezing and slow downs, but nothing frustrating.
-The final outcome being pre-determined and the lack of freedom may turn some people off.
This game should be bought in bulks to show the videogame industry that not all players want re-hashed mindless crap. To remind them to be actively seeking developers that want to produce more quality products. Videogames are an underrated story-telling medium that may never be accepted as an art form but that deserve the respect of a serious and smart endeavor. Yes, there are a lot of worthless games, but gems like these, are worth saving and showcasing. Do yourself a favor and get this diamond in the rough.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/17/12
Game Release: The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series (US, 12/11/12)
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