Originally a black and white comic book series published monthly by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead is a series about survivors of the zombie (they call them Walkers) apocalypse. Since 2003, the series has grown to encompass over 100 individual comics, two compendiums, and two full-length novels, along with three video games. Today, I’ll be reviewing Season 1 of The Walking Dead Telltale Game.
This third-person adventure RPG plays like a choose your own adventure book. There’s a bit of action, but it’s fairly easy. The choices are the hard part. Do you lie to protect yourself or tell the truth to gain trust? Should you let someone live if they don’t deserve to? Should you possibly sacrifice yourself to help someone else? You don’t play this game. This game plays you.
The game begins at the start of apocalypse in Georgia, and follows Lee Everett (voiced by Dave Fennoy), a good man with a bad past. I’ve been told that you can turn him into a bad man if you choose, but I took the high road and played a noble character. At the very beginning of his quest for survival, Lee meets Clementine (voiced by Melissa Hutchison), an 8-year-old girl whose parents were on vacation at the beginning of the end. Lee brings Clem with him to Macon, in hopes of finding his family alive. They meet up with Kenny, Katjaa, and Duck, a family from Florida who happened to be in Georgia at a bad time. They pick up more survivors on the way, including a reporter, a perpetually angry father and his defensive daughter, an AV tech, a student, and quite a few others. It’s a bit like the Don’t-Become-Breakfast Club.
Because of the nature of the game, It’s hard to comment on the quality of the story line. The path that my particular choices took me down was heartbreaking and addicting and near impossible. The choices I had to make to stay alive and the losses of the people around me were so real that it was hard not to keep playing.
My favorite part of this game was the fact that I could sit back and relax for most of the game. It was like an interactive Walking Dead episode. It helps that I played it during the show’s off-season. It served as a highly effective Grimes/Dixon/Greene fix. Herschel and Glen also make short appearances in the game.
My least favorite part of this game is that there are some things that were fixed. You can feel bad about doing something or you can choose to do it and be glad about it, but you still have to do it. There are a lot of thing I’d do differently in real life, but that’s something that can’t be helped. Some things just have to happen for the story to continue.
I highly suggest this game if you’d like to dip into the video game world, but you don’t want to worry about the skill and practice involved in games like Call of Duty and Left4Dead. I had a much better excellent video game experience while curled up under a blanket snacking and playing this game than I’ve ever had playing a first person shooter with blood-shot eyes and bit nails. There’s no multiplayer, so it’s much more peaceful. I also suggest this game whether you’re already a Walking Dead fan or not, because it doesn’t require any pre-existing knowledge of the universe. Also, you can move on to The Walking Dead Telltale Game: Season 2 when you’re finished, as it was just released.
Overall, this game was excellently written. The graphics are cel shaded and similar in style and quality to Borderlands. It’s easy to play and easier to get sucked into.
I give this game a 9.5.
And if you like the first season, check out Season Two.