Review by EmPlaya34388

Reviewed: 07/02/12

The Walking Dead comes to consoles. How does it fare?

When I was first showed The Walking Dead show by my brother, I wasn't a fan. Of course, he only showed me a snippet from one episode, but it looked bad to me and didn't interest me in the slightest.

Then, in early June, he downloaded Episode 1 of the Walking Dead video game for his PS3. I caught glimpses of him playing it and it looked extremely interesting. So, I also downloaded it, and boy am I glad I did. Firstly, if you've never heard of The Walking Dead, it's basically about a bunch of survivors who are living in a zombie apocalypse. I know that you're probably thinking - the typical "shoot zombies up like a boss" nonsense, but The Walking Dead couldn't be further from that. This show has what most movies and shows these days lack - a story, and a damn good one at that. In fact, it has multiple stories going on at one time.

But this review isn't about the show, it's about the video game, so let's focus on that. The story I was talking about in the previous paragraph in the show is just as good in the game. For those wondering, no, the show and game don't share the same stories. They don't even share the same characters, bar from two people, who I won't mention because of spoilers. You play as Lee Everett, a convicted criminal. You start out in the back of a cop car, conversing with a cop when he hits a walker. From there, you have to escape the car and find your way back to humanity, or what's left of it, anyway. During the game, you'll have to make several choices that have an effect on how your story progresses, and you only have about six seconds to make the choice.

For example, minor spoilers. When you get away from the car, you eventually find yourself in a backyard. You find your way into the house and eventually meet up with a little girl named Clementine. You'll have a conversation with her. You'll be forced to kill a walker right in front of her and she'll ask you if it's dead. From here, you're given three choices as to how to respond to her. It's either "Yes" or "No" or "Somebody else did." How you respond to her will change the way she thinks of you. It's a bit of a bad example, but I don't want to spoil anything bigger, so I'll leave it at that. Also, keep in mind that the characters that you meet throughout the game will remember what you say to them, so you need to quickly think about the possible consequences of either being honest to the person you're talking to or lying to them, because they're gonna remember. You'll also have to make bigger decisions as well. With Clementine, she'll ask you what you think you two should do. The choices are look for help before it's too dark or go out to look for help when it gets dark, and for situations like that, you get unlimited time.

The graphics in the game are very comic-like, a possible nod to the origin of The Walking Dead. Yes, they started off as a comic book series (that's still running) by Robert Kirkman, before eventually being made into a TV show (A damn good one, too.) and then, now, as a video game. This admittedly might turn off some people, but I'm not bothered by it. Frankly, I don't think this game would really work if it had "modernized" graphics. It wouldn't be as appealing. The controls are fairly simple. You move Lee with the left stick and interact with the right stick. You move a cursor around the screen with the right stick and once you land on something you can interact with, the cursor will then display different ways to interact. For example, if you move the cursor to a fellow survivor, you'll be able to press square to talk with them. I do think it's a bit of an odd control scheme, but I got used to it within five minutes, so, it works.

I think the main reason why I enjoyed Episode 1 of The Walking Dead video game is simply because of the story. It's so good and engrossing, and that's missing from all forms of entertainment today, whether it be TV shows, movies, video games, etc. There's never a story, and when there is one, it's not compelling, but in The Walking Dead, the story isn't just there, it's damn good, too. If I would have complaints, though, I'd only have one - the length. This episode can be beaten in under two hours. That's a big disappointment. Though this game is coming out with five episodes, the fact that it can be beaten in two hours or less is disappointing. Other than that, this is a very enjoyable game, and I would highly recommend it.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: The Walking Dead: Episode 1 - A New Day (US, 04/24/12)

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