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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: TellTale Games
Developed By: TellTale Games
Genre: Adventure
Players: 1
Rated: M for Mature (Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language)
Release Date: April 25, 2012
Screenshots: Link
Price: $4.99 An Episode (PSN), $19.99 For Episodes 1-5 (PC/Mac/PSN), 400 Microsoft Points Per Episodes (Xbox 360)
Written By: Matthew Prunty

May 27, 2012 - For the longest time I have been hearing people talk about the comic book series and show known as The Walking Dead, without knowing anything about either. While the first couple of times, I didn’t pay it any attention, it wasn’t until recently that I decided to dive into what is The Walking Dead. Lucky for me, TellTale Games just release the first episode of a five part episodic adventure by the same time. Looking over past works by TellTale Games which includes the likes of Back to the Future: The Game, Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse and even their take on Jurassic Park with Jurassic Park: The Game, I knew I was in for something special.

One of the best things The Walking Dead: The Game has going for itself is the wealth of mythology created trough both the comic book series and television show by the same name. Worlds, characters and even emotions are put on display in order to tell a convincing story of survival when all seems lost. And one way to help convey this is through dialog, which the first episode “A New Day” has a lot of. Unlike your traditional zombie game where it’s all about destroying everything that isn’t human and delivering cheesy one-liners, The Walking Dead is painting a picture; telling a story through dialog and ones’ actions based on such dialog.

In the first of five episodes, you take one the role of Lee Everett, a mysterious man with a mysterious past. The game starts off with your character Lee being hauled out of the city in the back of a police car. While you are somewhat holding a conversation with the police offer as he takes you to jail, the zombie apocalypse is happening in the city, which will soon spread to other parts of the state. An accident happens and immediately following that Lee is introduced to the undead for the first time. Running for his life, he soon comes across a not so-empty house and a little girl by the name of Clementine, which he decides to protect.

From that very moment with meeting Clementine, “A New Day” is about meeting up with other folks in order to survive. In between coming across other families trying to escape the horrors of the zombie apocalypse, Lee will be tasked with defending Clementine and himself from ravenous attacks by the undead. There will also be choices that have to be made, which shape the view of Lee in the eyes of many individuals, including Clementine. Unlike Back to the Future: The Game or even Jurassic Park: The Game, once make a choice in The Walking Dead, you must live with whatever consequences that arise later on. The individuals Lee and comes into contact with will make judgment calls on Lee’s character based on his responses, how he responds, his demeanor, etc. Think of this game as Heavy Rain, but with zombies and told through the intuitive minds of TellTale Games.

For the release of The Walking Dead: The Game for consoles, PC and mobile phones, TellTale Games decided to rework the control scheme; maximizing the engrossment of the onscreen action and limiting the frustration due to wonky controls. The left analog stick is used to control Lee’s movements, while the right analog stick is used to move the onscreen reticle. Either the face buttons or the directional pad can be used for the “Action” moments, which include making choices and selecting items. For those who are playing the PC version, buttons W A S D will control movement and the mouse will be used for the reticle and selecting items.

While each episodic release TellTale Games has released has been unique in its own right, when it comes to visuals, The Walking Dead is by far the best looking one to date. While we are only basing this off the first episode, it is clear that the art style that they were going for was in order to help flesh out the grittiness of survival and the emotional strain this and caring for someone else will have on ones’ body and mind. The Walking Dead features a cel-shaded look with thick vestige around the characters and various objects. There have been a few moments within the game where I notice there was a missing walking in someone’s hand or a missing radio, however throughout multiple playthroughs random occurrences like these are very rare and the game runs incredibly smooth. You will find yourself growing attached to the characters, especially the ones you side it. It may be because of the moral ground they stand on, or simply because they intrigue you. Whatever the reason may be, you know part of the reason is due to the excellent voice acting and the engaging, often heated conversations.

Just like in Heavy Rain, because you had to live with whatever choices you made on your journey and their consequences, you had enough of a reason to replay the game. Depending on how you approach “A New Day”, you can easily complete the first episode in 1to 3 hours. So you will often enough find yourself going back into the game and making different choices along the way just to see how everything will play out. With three save files made available, you don’t have to worry about saving over the actual playthrough that you will use as you venture into episode 2 when it releases next month.

The Walking Dead: The Game knocked it out the part with the release of “A New Day”. No other episodic release has ever captured the hearts and minds of gamers quite like The Walking Dead. With over 1 million units sold across multiple platforms, it’s easy to see that everyone is excited about this IP and can’t wait for the next round of episodes to release. From its intrinsic visuals, to the engaging storyline and dialog, to the uniqueness of the situations you are placed in, The Walking Dead: The Game – Episode 1 is everything an AAA has to offer and so much more.


Review copy of the game provided by publisher.

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