The Walking Dead Episode 1 Review
When TellTale announced it was working on a five episode The Walking Dead game I was very skeptical. Me being a die hard fan of anything The Walking Walking Dead, I was excited but wanted a Left 4 Dead or Dead Island style game. I’ve been a fan of their previous titles such as Sam and Max and the Back to the Future games but I didn’t really want “point and click” for this game. The more I thought about it though, I remembered The Walking Dead isn’t about just killing zombies it’s a great story and character driven drama with zombies showing up every once in awhile. So I decided to give it a try and with Playstation Plus subscribers getting the first two episodes for free there was no reason not to! Needless to say, TellTale more than delivered with great characters, gameplay, and a story that will have anyone, Walking Dead fan or not, craving more.
If you’ve played a TellTale title before you’ll be familiar with the gameplay. It’s the standard point and click system. You control a prompt with your right stick that lets you talk to people, interact with objects, or give people certain items, while controlling your character with the left stick. Occasionally, there will be quick-time events where you have to kick a zombie in the face, bust open a door, or whatever the certain situation requires. You’d have to be unconscious not to make it though.
Along with the familiar but fun gameplay you’re introduced to some very interesting characters. You start off in a cop car as a man named Lee, who has been convicted of murder. It’s not flat out said that he did it but enough hints are dropped for you to make your own conclusion. You’ll be introduced to a lot of new characters but there’s something really cool; the game is concurrent with the comic books. During episode one Rick is still in his coma and you see a few familiar faces. To find out whom you’ll have to play it yourself. You’ll have sort of expected characters introduced, like a journalist, a farmer, a go-to nerdy guy, but they all become very interesting and important to the story. I talked to everyone and chose new dialogue options whenever possible to find out more about them and their back story.
For a game that’s only a couple hours long, you’ll soon establish clear close relationships with people, whether if they’d shoot you with the chance or die for you. Personally, my favorite character is your surprising father/daughter relationship with Clementine. You save her (and she saves you) toward the beginning of the game. Her family is gone, and you’re left to take care of her, but for an eight year old, she’s managed to survive for days on her own. There’s an immediate sense of companionship you’ll have with her throughout the game, making decisions you’d think twice about with any other character. The way you act around people and some decisions you make will affect the way she sees you.
The icing on the cake of this game is the decisions you make. Taking sides on an argument, trusting someone, telling the truth, even saving one person over the other are decisions you’ll have to make throughout the game that will mold the outcome and make your playthrough something unique. There will be a little marker at the top left of the screen after you make a decision that’ll let you know whether someone will remember what you said or not. It doesn’t have much payoff in the first episode but I can see them becoming important in the later episodes when characters are dead/alive and how others act towards you. Hopefully, even the things you said in the first episode will stay with you through all five episodes.
It only being the first episode it obviously wasn’t very long. Took my barely over two hours, but for only $5 an episode ($20 for a season pass) it’s definitely worth it. TellTale definitely stayed true to the franchise and left me craving more. If you’re playing on the Playstation 3 you can still grab the first two episodes for free and see what the hype is about. If not I strongly recommend you atleast try the first episode out. You won’t be disappointed.
Final Score 9.0/10