Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Walking Dead: A Tell Tale Game Series (Game Review)

The Walking Dead: A Tell Tale Game Series (Game Review)

When a video game comes along and manages to outshine in every way the popular source material it is based on, a plethora of praise and admiration is certain to follow. This is inarguably the case with Tell Tale Games' runaway point-and-click hit, "The Walking Dead." Winner of eighty Game of the Year awards in 2012, "The Walking Dead"has become one of the most talked about games among gamers and horror fans alike, and it is easy to see why. The chilling atmosphere and careful pacing, in addition to top notch writing and fleshed (pun intended) out characters earn the game every well-deserved, if unexpected pat on the back it has received. 

Like the comic book and television show of the same name, the game, at it's heart, is about humanity. Yes, there are zombies too, but they serve as the background plot point that allows this story to be told. The story being that of history teacher turned ex-con Lee Everett, and Clementine--an eight year-old girl he crosses paths with after a near fatal car accident. Both are thrown into a world overrun by the undead. Unsure where her parents are or whether or not they are safe, Clementine has no choice but to stick with Lee, who promises to look after her. 
As previously stated the game is a point-and-click adventure, meaning there is a whole lot of watching and not a whole lot of gameplay. Some of you might be thinking that sounds ridiculous, given that you are expected to PLAY a video game. Don't fret. There is gameplay. In fact, the watching aspect of the game does nothing but benefit the experience. Instead of a lackluster mess of a zombie game a la "Dead Island," you get a well-crafted cinematic experience that will make gamers feel all emotions. 

As Lee, you and Clementine join other survivors in the apocalypse. Here's where Tell Tale's brand of point-and-click and "The Walking Dead" mesh together perfectly. Everything your character says is decided by you, the gamer, through prompts. In any given situation, you can be honorable and good, an unlikeable prick, or a quiet mute who says nothing at all. How other characters view you is based on these choices, which keeps players interested as well as giving the game replay value. Areas can be explored for items and characters can be interacted with when chosen, but the game is pretty linear to accommodate the story. Again, don't worry. This is good. 

The game is divided into five episodes that cover a "season." The second episode gives off a chilling vibe akin to "Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Episode three will leave you staring at the screen in disbelief and episode five will tug at the heart strings. Unless of course you are dead. 

Tell Tale's "The Walking Dead" is an experience that shouldn't be missed, especially if you are a fan of any of the other material. Not too much more can be said about the game without giving anything away. Play it if you want an incredible experience from a well-crafted piece of entertainment, or if you need to purify your mind after the god awful season three finale or the god awful "Survival Instinct" game. The game is proof of how good "The Walking Dead" and zombie fiction in general can be when enough time and care is put into it. 

Reviewed by: Chris Crowe

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