The third episode of “The Walking Dead” series is out with two more to come and right in the middle of the path it is the highest time to do a short review and make some conclusions. For those gamers who haven’t tried this game yet I have only one thing to say – do it immediately!
Before the first episode was even out I thought that “The Walking Dead” game would be a lot like its TV reincarnation – killing zombies and wondering the post-apocalyptic world. Well, I was almost right but the game process is less about killing zombies and more about making tough decisions. I haven’t seen anything like this in years, and frankly speaking I am not sure if I have seen something like this at all.
If you don’t mind, I will do a little flashback to make everything sounds understandable. The game itself, as well as the popular TV-show, is based on a comics book created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. While comics book story line and its visualization have a lot of in common, what we see in a game is a totally different story. At the same time, you do not feel any disharmony with the plot given in a book and that’s the reason why I keep this game in the list of my newly favored entertainments.
You start your story as a totally different man and no, you won’t be given a chance to play as Rick, Lori, Carl, Glenn or anyone else from The Walking Dead (TV series). Some people would say that this is wrong, others would claim that this is the righteous thing to do. Well, this time I am going to support the last ones: making a new story with a totally different outcome is not an easy task but making it right and making it interesting to play – this is what every gamer is looking for. If you are a big TV-show fan, you are going to miss your favorite characters a bit but with every new scene, with every next move you will realize that the new heroes, sometimes, are even more interesting and that this time everything depends on you and your decisions.
As far as the first Episode has been out for quite some time already, I will give myself a permission to do a little spoiler: you will begin your game as a convicted man driven to jail on a back sit of a police car. Guilty or not, you are going to spend some time behind the bars left alone with your thoughts. At least, that’s what was supposed to happen until the world’s gone crazy. You wake up in a wrecked car and start to realize what just happened and what you should do next. While making your way out of the car you have no idea that you are about to meet a dead creature that a couple of minutes ago was talking to you as a reasonable policeman. Only meeting a dozen of other walkers makes you understand that this world is not a safe place to live anymore and you have to do something to survive another day.
As you move from location to location, you meet other people, team up or leave them behind. It is important to remember that every word you say means something and people you talk to are not just brainless characters minding their own business. They do listen to your answers and if you do not follow your words or play tricks, be ready to look suspicious in their eyes. Yes, we all are people but right now the whole planet, or the US at least, is a dangerous place and you can’t trust anyone.
The game process in general reminds quest games where you have to find a key to open that important door across the street and save a person who is the only one to know where your parents are right now. In other words, you will have to wonder some time looking for items, food or anything else that might be helpful and that will actually allow you to move further on.
And now comes the best part – making decisions. This game is definitely not a zombie apocalypses shooter. Yes, you will have to kill a couple of walkers or bandits but this is not shoot and run game. Also, this is not a quest. Walking around and gathering items is not game’s main goal either. So what’s then? Strategy? Arcade? Simulator? Well, I can’t tell for sure but if there’s such a category as “Tough decision making,” I would probably identify it like that. This game’s beauty hides in its realistic and true to life plot. You can’t expect people to remain the same after zombie apocalypse as well as you can’t expect your decision to be suitable in situation that used to be common days ago. Only yesterday you were 100% sure that at 12 pm you are going to get your dinner and now you have to search and sometimes fight for food. Making hard decision in The Walking Dead game is not only about where to go and what to eat. At a certain moment you will have to decide whether to kill a person or leave him to the dead and further on you will be literary forced to abandon one person and save the other. It may sound easy now but in situation when your group is in danger, your gun is out of ammo and you are out of time this will definitely look like a challenge.
The game itself looks a lot like a moving comics book: characters and the whole surrounding is drawn in a manner of comics pictures. In some moment you will have to sit back and listen to what other heroes say but mostly your duty will be to walk around, talk with people, gather items and make hard decisions. You think you can handle this? I hope you’re right.
As I’ve mentioned before, there are three episodes available for download with another two to come in the closest future: Episode 1: A New Day; Episode 2: Starved for Help and Episode 3: Long Road Ahead. Technically, you can play them in any order you like but, of course, that will ruin game’s nature. Also, decision you make during the first episode will influence you and your team in the second and so on. But if there is nothing that can make you change your mind, you can still start playing the game from the Episode 2 but in this case decisions in Episode 1 will be generated automatically.
I know that you would probably ask me to make some conclusions and name an episode I’ve found the most interesting. Well, I have to disappoint you cause I like them all. Even with some things that are more than obvious and even despite pretty short gameplay (it will take you about 2-2.5 hours to finish each episode), I enjoyed this game like nothing else in a few years. I am not sure if I would like to play it one more time because I already know the story but maybe in a couple of months or years I will get back in time to see how it goes making totally different decisions.
By all means, this is the most atmospheric and true-to-life game about zombie apocalypse. I would even say that it is not about zombies but about people and those harsh decision that they will be forced to make. If you’ve already tried playing it – do not forget to leave your comments in the section below and if not – Good Luck, my friend!
– Interesting Gameplay
– Great Atmosphere
– Creative idea
– Too short