Review – The Walking Dead
At its best, life is completely unpredictable.
This is it, Loves. PEOWW’s five year anniversary return is about to end and it’s only fitting that we go out with a review of a game that genuinely moved us. The Walking Dead by Telltale Games is a five-episode, point and click adventure based on the popular zombie comic (and TV series). Now, if you’d asked me back before the first episode to even bother with this, I’d have told you that point and click games are duller than piss and zombies are the worst thing to happen to gaming since Call of Duty players. Indeed, I only picked up that first episode because it was cheap and I fancied the easy achievements. Five episodes later and I’m ready to lavish all sorts of plaudits on the game. As someone who prefers to skip through cutscenes and is often irritated by game plots, The Walking Dead, genuinely moved me.
The game puts you in the role of Lee Everett. A man on his way to prison, having been convicted of a crime he actually did commit. A crime of passion, sure, but he killed a man. While taking the ride to prison, you get to converse with the cop driving you there and it’s here where the game starts to probe your morality. A few simple questions about the crime give you a chance to learn how to communicate in the game and when the police car crashes, as a result of the panic and chaos of the zombie apocalypse that is engulfing the city, you get a crash course in how to interact with the world.
Before long you meet Clementine, a young girl and the sole occupant of the first house you can get into after being chased away from the crash by the undead. After a fairly sketchy QTE battle against another zombie, you and Clem hit the street, looking for a way out of the city. After this point you’ll meet various characters, some of whom will be with you for a long time, but the main thing about The Walking Dead is Clementine. No matter who else comes along, you two are a team. You’ll look out for her, often putting her safety before your own. That’s because Clementine is ace. She’s got a ton of character, she’s tough but she’s also completely reliant on you.
The other characters in the game also need to be interacted with. It’s up to you what kind of person you want to be and, as with any game that has supposed moral choices involved, I tried to be the good guy as much as possible. Here’s the thing though, you can’t please everyone. Sometimes you have to make the tough choices. Especially if Clem is in any kind of danger. My version of Lee didn’t want to be in charge and he wanted to save everyone. By the end, he was a changed man, ready to cut people adrift if they didn’t have the interests of the group and Clem at heart.
I’ve not replayed the five episodes of The Walking Dead. I’d be interested to see how things had played out if I’d been a bit more pushy at first or if I hadn’t bonded with that redneck family early on. To be honest at times the story was so dark, so fucking bleak, that I’m not quite ready to go back there. I need time to get the game out of my system. Also, I’m not a fan of the post-credits ending. But I will at some point.
As for the score. Well, the story is a million times better than anything I’ve seen in a game before and the gameplay is just there to get you through it. The point and click interface is clunky, the action sequences often poor and the graphics are average at best. But that’s not really the point when it comes to The Walking Dead. At no point did I feel anything less than a hundred percent immersed in the game. No other game has made shout at it out of something other than frustration. No game has ever made me actually care.
And fuck it. It’s my site and I’m giving it a ten.