The Walking Dead has been a huge success as both a comic book and then a TV series, can the same lightning strike a third time with the video game?
The Walking Dead is an episodic title by the same team who brought us the Sam & Max, Monkey Island and Back to the Future games, it’s played in a point and click format and in this case the control system gives a feeling of using the Heavy Rain interface, this is done very well with the game and it allows for the game to flow.
The aesthetics of the game take on the look of the comic book with a nice cell shaded effect and the voice acting is very good in most cases but more on that later.
The game of The Walking Dead is set as a prequel story to the comic books; you play as Lee Everett, a man who starts out his story in the back of a police car on his way to prison, after a brief chat with his chauffeur, there is an incident in the form of a roamer that causes the car to crash, Lee wakes up in the back of the police car, still cuffed and with zombies all around and The Walking Dead starts.
As with Heavy Rain, it’s very difficult to review this game without giving away spoilers, so don’t be surprised if I don’t go into a lot of details, the characters are animated and interact with each other very well, there will be some familiar faces to those who’ve read the comics, before you all start to wonder, as said before this is a prequel, so remember at the start of this game, Rick is still in the hospital sleeping off a dose of bullet to the head.
Now although Rick doesn’t put in an appearance, this game does give an insight into some of the characters that haven’t been fleshed out quite so much in the comics and would make this game a must play for anyone who is a fan of the series.
The Walking Dead is billing as a point and click puzzle adventure game, here’s the thing, either I’ve been playing these games for so long that I can just see the answers almost immediately, or the puzzles in the first episode really aren’t that tricky (I’m going with the latter), this coupled with a few quick time events; makes the game itself feel less like a game and more like an interactive comic book, but here’s the interesting thing. . . it works! I can’t think of any other series that could pull this off as well as The Walking Dead, but for some reason in this instance it works.
You start to empathise with the characters, you really do get drawn in and you want to know what happens next moreso with this than with Ethan and JASON in a certain other game. The choices that you make in the game will have an effect on the following chapters, this means replaying is also an option. The control system works well for this style of game and even the occasional QTE is forgivable.
It’s not a perfect game, there are a couple of small issues, your character will sometimes clip into furniture and then slowly slide back into an open space, some characters will give the same responses over and over again and from a personal point of view, the voice of the little girl character was akin to nails down a chalkboard, but for 3 hours of gameplay for part one, those are my only complaints. I finished part one and immediately wanted to play part two, I want to know what happens next. It’s rare that a game will hook me like that (especially after only 3 hours) so this in itself is a sign of a good game in my eyes.
Trophy-wise for those that want to know, The Walking Dead does have a platinum trophy, it’s also going to be very easy to obtain if chapter one is anything to go by as you are simply required to play through the each chapter from start to finish.
For the price of this game, it’s perfect for fans of the series and for those of you that aren’t, it’s a good introduction.