Video Game Review – Telltale Games The Walking Dead (PS3)

2321659-81t-lqagnsl._sl1500_ Still having The Walking Dead withdrawals despite the July 4th tv marathon on AMC Network and recent weekly’s added to the comic book line?  Can’t wait for Season 4 to start in October?  Well if you avoided Telltale Games The Walking Dead because of the reviews on Activision’s Survival Instinct game received or based on past Telltale game reviews then you NEED ignore those and get this game!   This weekend I was looking for a game to jump on to break up preparing for a job interview when I found this, used, on the shelf at GameStop. The price was right and the cover details made me curious.  I was in for a big surprise.  For those unfamiliar with Telltale games style, the player interacts with the story lines and based on what you choose the path of the story can alter.  A majority of the game play is following queues to move the story along. So why is this old style so great for something like The Walking Dead? Well it was a comic before it was a tv show. And the way  this game is designed you are more immersing yourself into an interactive comic book rather than jumping into a virtual world.  The Walking Dead comics come to life and you directly effect the story.

The artwork in this game is true to comic book form as well. You wont find ultra 3D texturing here. The environment is 3D but in a layered and comic book fashion.  Coloring, graphics, depth of field are all perfectly represented to the style it set out to create. You literally become part of the comic book.  Being a comic book collector and reader I was thrilled on how the game was designed and rendered.

So how does this game fit into The Walking Dead comics and TV Show?  Well, the main characters are new but closely intertwine with  the characters you’ve already met.  For example in the photo sample above of the game you will recognize Glenn in the baseball cap.  You also meet up with Herschel on his farm. But the timing is mostly when Rick Grimes is still in the coma at the hospital.  So much like the mini episodes only found on the AMC website this game is an extension of the world we have already been a part of.In fact, this game is made up of 5 separate “episodes” originally in download form as they were released individually. Recently they were compiled onto a single game disc but you should be able to still locate the downloads on your game console “stores”.  But keep in mind that the path you take or  the way you interact with characters in episode 1 will be remembered and carry over to the future episodes.  And unlike with past Telltale games, you cannot backtrack during the game and select another path.  You are forced to “live with” or “die with” your choices.  But this makes the story and game personal to you directly from your point of view, much like when you read a comic.  You may get something out of it that a friend does not even if the same issue or episode. And about 2 weeks ago a new episode “400 Days” was released for download. So it seems this game will continue to evolve over time much like a real comic series.  “400 Days” I believe was only $4.99 so it is priced much like a new comic as well.

The technical aspects of the game play do contain some quirks especially when it tries to load your choices on the fly during action moments. BUT all video games have glitches.  So this should not deter you from getting this game. When you converse with other characters you are given 4 possible responses and a time limit with which to choose. This keep the game flow fluid and moving. Overall this is a well thought out story, game design, and something that Robert Kirkman (creator of The Walking Dead) and Telltale games should be very proud of.  This game is for any Walking Dead fan seeking to get into the events of Atlanta even more and is a great introduction for new fans who may have not read  the comic yet or seen the tv show. While supporting its own character set and story, it does fit in with the timeline of the comics and tv show.

I give this game 6 clean head shots out of 6.

***Spoilers Below***

Here are some useful websites as well:

IGN:  http://www.ign.com/wikis/the-walking-dead-game

Main Telltale Games Walking Dead page:  http://www.telltalegames.com/walkingdead

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