I’ll aim for this review to be spoiler-free. I know, shocking right?
I finished the 5th and final episode of the game today. And wow. Just wow. Forget emotional roller coasters, that was an emotional space shuttle ride out of orbit. Or something similarly shaky. That was the best metaphor I could think of. What I’m getting at is that it was VERY emotional.
This game does not involve anything from the TV Series as it’s set in the comic universe. And even then only one or two comic characters show up. For those of you who don’t know, The Walking Dead: The Game is an episodic adventure game. The first episode, “A New Day” was released back in April. Many people were not excited for it, instead of the action game they’d hoped for this was a point and click adventure game. I had only just got into the show, and I’d never read the comics. But after the game was received with great reviews, I bought it and LOVED it.
If you’re familiar with point and click games the gameplay won’t come as a surprise. The game takes place from a 3rd person perspective as you solve various “puzzles” or examine various situations. Admittedly my description does not really do it justice. A lot the action takes place through the dialogue. Throughout the series you get choices in the dialogue. But this is not the same as other games with a similar system like Mass Effect or Deus Ex: Human Revolution. In this game I can’t stress how much a lot of the choices actually MATTER. It’s amazing to see.
How you speak to people and the choices you make will change the relationship between you and the other characters. Sometimes the choices are not easy to make, and after making it you better hope you can live with the often heartbreaking consequences. This game tugged at my heart-strings like no other. It is such an affecting and emotional story.
Also, the cel-shaded art style is superb as well. With the zombies looking terrifying and the characters every emotion being well animated. Don’t let it put you off, it’s brilliant.
For this review I’ll do a quick overview of all 5 episodes.
Episode 1 – A New Day
You are introduced to the main character of the series, Lee Everett. When we meet him he is going to prison for murder. The car crashes and he finds his way into a house where he finds a little girl named Clementine. After killing the babysitter Lee makes his way to Herschel’s farm. Here is where he meets a potential friend; Kenny. Kenny is here with his wife Katjaa and their son Duck. After a disaster at the farm, Lee, Clementine and the new family go to Macon, Lee’s home town, where they meet up with more survivors. By the end of this episode the group is at a motel. This is a great episode that gets you used to the controls and introduces all the new characters. It hooks you from the beginning and introduces Lee as a great, likeable protagonist.
Episode 2 – Starved for Help
My personal favourite of all five episodes see’s the group being taken in by a family living at a near by dairy farm. They are creepy from the offset, and you may be able to see the twist coming. Despite this, and pardon the expression, this is when shit gets real. The first choice you have to make is whether or not you should hack off a mans leg. It’s pretty awesome stuff. This is when tensions start to appear between the group. Depending on how you play, some characters will hate your guts. Also, watch out for a surprising scene in a meat locker.
Episode 3 – Long Road Ahead
The group, or depending on your decisions, what’s left of the group, is still at the motel. Some members want to leave, but when the motel is attacked they no longer have a choice. The group find their way to a railroad and make their way to Savannah. This episode sticks in my mind mainly for being the one that contains a number of either really surprising deaths or really emotional deaths. This is one amazing episode.
Episode 4 – Around Every Corner
The group has reached Savannah, but they find it overrun. The group must go up against a community in Savannah named Crawford who don’t allow children, elderly or disabled people into their group. But when they get there, things are a lot different from expected. This episode is probably filler, but that does not mean it’s bad. It’s a great episode on its own with a lot of powerful scenes. The end of this episode ends on a massive cliffhanger that sets up episode 5.
Episode 5 – No Time Left
This episode takes place again in Savannah, picking up where the previous one left off. This is one intense episode and it never really lets up until the end. I guess the ending can be described as happy-ish, or at least by the Walking Dead’s standards. It’s great to see how far these characters have come, and how many you’ve lost along the way. And trust me, you’ll lose many friends along the way. The ending is touching and emotional, just as you will have come to expect from this magnificently written series.
In conclusion, you can probably tell I love this game. At the moment this is my Game of the Year (and that’s saying something considering how much I loved Halo 4 and Borderlands 2. Many people who see this blog probably just think of me as “that guy who likes the Walking Dead” but that is irrelevant. This game deserves your attention just for how well written, well acted and just how downright emotional it is. It is a gaming experience everyone should have, and I couldn’t recommend it more.