When I started brainstorming for what I wanted to write about for my blog post for this week, there was one game that stood out amongst all of the others that I have been playing (which, for the most part, has been a game that I said I would not talk about on this series again…), and oddly enough, it comes in the form of a rather played out concept: zombies. The game that I am referring to is The Walking Dead, and while I did have a copy of it on PS3, I have been playing the Steam version and I can say that although the idea of zombies may be a bit played out, Telltale does a tremendous job of taking a very critically acclaimed show, and turning it into an exciting and intriguing game (for at least the first 2 episodes).
For those who do not know the way that Telltale works, they make largely episodic (or one off in the case of Puzzle Agent/Puzzle Agent 2), point and click games that until recently have been released only on the PC. The first main venture to consoles came in the form of the Jurassic Park game, which was received quite poorly. Because of this, people were very wary about The Walking Dead, and wondered if the gents and gals over at Telltale just couldn’t get into a rhythm if their games came to consoles. Luckily, this was not the case, and The Walking Dead has already started popping up on quite a few early game of the year lists. The way that The Walking Dead works is that you pay an upfront cost of $24.99 (or $20 on consoles), and that gets you access to all 5 chapters of the game. Each chapter is about 4-5 hours (I finished the first 2 in about 7 hours), so altogether, you are paying $25 for roughly 20-25 hours’ worth of content (if the other chapters are as long as the first two), which I think is a very great deal. The other thing to note is that this is one of those games where your actions influence the way that the story develops and other characters see you, so the replayability (to find different endings or have different people like you) is quite high.
When I got the game on the PS3, I played for about 20 minutes or so until I came onto a decision that I wanted to change, at which point I decided to start anew, but just never really did. Yet this time, I pretty much played through the first two episodes (as that is as far as they have gotten) back to back, and never really got fatigued of it. The second episode of the series is absolutely incredible, and the only real advice that I can give is to get the game so that you can experience it yourself. If you really like it, I would also recommend that you check out the other games that Telltale has made, because Telltale is a tremendous developer that makes unique and quirky games that you just can’t get anywhere else. I really hope that Telltale is able to keep up the quality for the next three episodes, because if so, I think that it would probably be in my top 3 for game of the year contender, if not number 1. Once the whole package comes out, I may do a review, but I want to try to avoid the story stuff as much as possible because I really want you to experience this type of game for yourself.