The Walking Dead: Episode 1, The Dead Shall Rise.
The Walking Dead is one of televisions most watched TV shows and TellTale games worked with the creators of the show to help make the walking dead into an episodic adventure, normally these kinds of ventures don’t work out well and lead to a disappointing set of characters and an even poorer story. But the walking dead video game goes past all of this and actually delivers a rich and memorable experience for fans of the series and its especially recommended to fans of the series as the story tells itself pretty well, if you can’t have enough of the undead when the show is on break then the game and the upcoming monthly episodes will definitely help quench your thirst for a group of survivors taking on walkers.
You are a convict named Lee Everett en route to a prison but due to a reckless mistake from the driver you end up going off road, injured and come face to face with your first walker (technically its a crawler) and from there Lee finds his way to a near abandoned house where the sole survivor is an 8 year old girl named Clementine. Lee promises to let no harm to the girl and promises to help reunite her with her parents.
The story moves on the Greene farm house where of course there are more survivors all looking to survive this disaster, this is where you shape your character and his story to come and from here the story moves even further and introduces you to even more characters who are part and also not part of the TV show. (Won’t tell their names for the sake of TV Show Spoilers)
The game comprises of 7 chapters but a wrong decision can bring you to end your game at the end of any chapter, To get to chapter 7 you have to make calculated and careful decisions and live with what you choose along the way, and like with most TellTale games your decisions will carry on to the next episode to come. Decisions are a big part of the game and in a couple of sequences there will even be moments where the life of someone will be in your hands and time will NOT be on your side when you are choosing.
TellTale does point and click adventures well and they improved it further with the walking dead. Now players have the option of interacting with objects in real time during cut scenes or QuickTime events which can branch the story based on how you handle the situation. This was introduced in Jurassic Park but perfected in this game to where the learning curve is very small and even new comers to these kinds of games will be able to adjust in no time or with a little trial and error along the way.
The new element really helps in helping the player dive deeper into the story and getting more attached to the characters and the loss of a character will really strike an emotion in you which the company hasn’t done in a long time.
We’ve all been there, each one of us has had a moment where we didn’t like the decisions made my certain people on the TV show but this is where TellTale gives the player total freedom to forge new Alliances or to Make a lot of enemies along the way your decisions are ever more essential in this game but you can never satisfy everyone so there will always be consequences to your choices too where others will have to pay for your choices and sometimes the pay off is worth it. The game really picks up when at a certain point you are presented with a choice to save one of two people and that also helps contribute to the expansive story line.
The game again perfects the quick time events from Jurassic Park and helps make walker encounters more improved as you struggle pressing a key repetitively enough to stay alive, their is now an aiming reticule on your screen which helps you guide your character, pick up items and use them so you never have to worry using the wrong item in the wrong place this is a great change of pace from the developers to help make the game easier to understand rather than complicate things with the traditional inventory system and helps make progression easier as Lee will always have little to no items with him through out the story.
A single playthrough lasts a couple of hours and there is plenty of replay value if you wanna see different outcomes for different decisions you may have missed before. In this regard you will definitely be clocking in more than the couple of hours into this game to satisfy your curiosity for the different approaches to a situation you could or could not have taken.
The only real problem I have with the game is no option to save, so I had to either wait for an autosave or quit the game and be kicked back to the nearest check point, This is really annoying to people like me who like to save often.
The game looks very similar to XIII, and it should do so considering the roots of the series are in its comic books and cell shaded graphics suit the game perfectly well enough to deliver a believable experience of the game.
The game runs perfectly and you don’t need a stallion of a rig to max this game out, as always TellTale delivers a beautiful yet smooth running game as they have done with many games in the past. These guy are a fantastic example that graphics are really not so important in a game and that a game can be amazing even with these level of graphics.
The game doesn’t disappoint in any way; the graphics, voice acting and cast of characters is top notch and by the end of the game you will show the same affection for your video game characters as you did to your favorite character on the TV show. Unlike most other video games you actually get attached to certain characters and as you dive deeper into the story of Lee you actually can feel for his loss and what he must have gone through and soon you grow closer to Clementine and the other survivors and eventually learn something new about them which helps you get more involved in their story.
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With the potential of many playthroughs and something to keep the fans of the show at bay until season 3 this game helps fill that void neatly and helps players and fans of the show experience a new dimension of the series from the events of an unfamiliar crew which they will come to love and reach a connection with.
The game not only has all of the above but it also delivers amazing graphics so that even the most low budget systems can run this game with ease and with a rich cast of characters backed up by superb voice acting from each and how decisions now help branch the story even further than any other TellTale game ever I would easily call this game a huge success from TellTale and after beating the game on my first playthrough I can hardly hold my excitement in for the next episode to come. Not to mention that multiple decisions can help influence Lee’s image in the future episodes so you can always experiment with multiple saves to see what your decisions from each scenario holds in store for you in Episode 2.
The game is available on PSN, XBL marketplace and steam for only $5 an episode or $20 for the season pass which gives you instant access to all the 5 episodes as they release on their respective platform and dates, with a new episode coming every month the ending of each episode will surely keep you excited for things to come in the future episodes.
If you are a fan of the series or of point and click adventure games I would highly recommend you buy this game and the season pass would be a better purchase above all else.