The Telltale Walking Dead Series Review – A Unique Thrill Ride

h

 

The Telltale Walking Dead Series
Telltale Games

If one looks back on my body of work as a game reviewer, a thread will begin to emerge. That common denominator is that I am infatuated by survival games, particularly of the survival horror variety. There’s just something about being isolated and cut off from the rest of society such as when the guardhouse gate clanks behind you at the beginning of Outlast, or when you find yourself smothered under billions of tons of ocean water, trapped in the creaking underwater lab in SOMA. Or when society itself is turned on its head or has experienced some sort of grand catastrophe as in the Metro or Fallout series.

Having to collect what remains of your wits, pull yourself together, and sally forth in order to piece together what ominous events have transpired (and are ongoing) appeals to those primal instincts that make us all human, that is to say, the will to survive. Events are directly impacted by the choices that we make and send ripples throughout future machinations, like drops into a still pond. Therefore, those choices must be carefully considered and well-reasoned before taken, if the luxury of time permits so. We’re talking the basics of the human condition, stripped from any sort of morality play or pseudo-intellectual/existentialist mumbo-jumbo.

Having said that, I must also point out that I’m not a big fan of zombies. I did find 1968’s Night of the Living Dead to have a decent storyline because of its relative novelty (for the times), but zombies were never really believable to me and I have always considered them rather dull. I more or less grouped them with werewolves, wolf-men, goblins, vampires, fairies, and other silly, childlike constructs. At least ghosts and possessions ala evil spirits were halfway believable.

Courtesy - Telltale Games

Courtesy – Telltale Games

I will admit, however, to playing an occasional zombie/infected game and enjoying them, such as Left 4 Dead 2 (gasp!) or the recent Dying Light—okay, well actually only two. Those two games in particular actually featured gameplay that diverged from the usual zombie troupes, and were also just plain fun play. You could have replaced the zombies in them with demons or other creatures, and it wouldn’t have made much of a difference for me.

It should therefore be no surprise that I did try the first Walking Dead game, titled Telltale’s The Walking Dead (Season 1), since it falls under the survival horror banner and I just have to play every single game within said genre, good or bad. I didn’t really color my experience with a preconceived notion of what it’d be like, in order to get a pure, unfiltered, perspective of it. What did I think? Well, I actually enjoyed it. Again, like the aforementioned games I felt that it broke from the usual conventions of zombie-dom in that it was more of an interactive story than a game, and it worked. Unfortunately, I had so many other games to play at the time that I wasn’t able to finish it, until now.

In fact, I didn’t just revisit and play through the first game episode, it was so addictive that I had to play through all five episodes, Netflix-binge style. You star as Lee Everett, a man sitting in the back of a police car in handcuffs on his way to jail, when all of a sudden zombie apocalypse literally starts erupting around him. From there, he gains his freedom and rescues a young girl named Clementine, and the two become survival partners in the zombie-infested landscape.

2

The brave man protecting young girl plot device has been used many times in the past (cough* The Last of Us *cough), but here it feels heartfelt. Also, the narrative is not linear, and Everett can shape not only how Clementine’s character develops, but how others will react to her throughout the series. This gives the player a real sense of involvement and investment, as well as payoff (or displeasure) as to the outcome of earlier decisions. Again, that visceral sense of survival is at play here, and coupled with the fact that the game literally presents choices to you in a dialogue format, is very effective at conveying that you are helping to shape the events around you and the ones you care about (or despise).

As previously mentioned, the series is presented in the form of five chapters. Upon completing each of these chapters, a short teaser is shown, giving you an idea as to what to expect in the next one. This cliffhanger approach is carbon copied straight out of many of the popular TV shows that people enjoy watching, and it is indeed an effective method of getting you to “play just a little more in order to see what happens.” In this way, it seamlessly blends the interactivity of a video game with the strong storytelling and pacing of a brilliantly conceived, story-driven TV drama, but in the process it also manages to transcend both mediums.

Courtesy - Telltale Games

Courtesy – Telltale Games

Gameplay-wise, The Walking Dead is a combination of a point and click, dialogue-driven, and QTE (Quick Time Event) style series. Certain commands allow you the usual gaming fare, such as inspecting and picking up objects. This prompts you to guide Everett around and check out his surroundings as thoroughly as possible. Gathering bits of information here and there will help you to piece together parts of the overall storyline, or just to simply solve an obstacle which is more immediate.

This is punctuated by exciting QTE portions where Everett has to spring into action, prompting the player to frantically mash keys (or buttons if playing on a gaming PC-friendly controller) in order to overcome some foe or accomplish some other action-oriented goal. Some of these QTE instances can happen out of nowhere and throw you for a loop, although I could see the majority of them coming from a mile away. This didn’t, however, diminish how much I enjoyed them in the least.

The point and click and QTE aspects of The Walking Dead series are ensconced within its primary storytelling mechanic: Dialogue. Through engaging in conversations with other characters throughout the game, players can choose from varying branches of dialogue which invoke different sorts of reactions from said characters. If you play Everett to be more passive, others might react kindly while others may try to take advantage of him. Conversely, being totally aggressive and an A-hole might engender hostile reactions. I found that a mix of the two, a more passive-aggressive approach, worked best. In any case, it really gives players the freedom to role-play Everett however they wish to.

Courtesy - Telltale Games

Courtesy – Telltale Games

The graphics really have a unique appeal to them, and are of the handsomely cell-shaded variety. They almost seem to blend live-action with and animation sensibility, and look clean and fluid, similar to something that Pixar would produce. The score and sound effects are also well done and echo some of the finest TV dramas of the past decade. Gamers with beefed up PC gaming rigs will definitely be in for a visual treat.

In all, I found The Walking Dead series to be a breath of fresh air in the stagnant and rotting (sorry—couldn’t resist) zombie genre. It features the best of survival horror elements while blending interactive storytelling with a TV series-style aesthetic, and gives you the opportunity to play the game however you wish to. It’s a different kind of zombie game that will appeal to people who simply enjoy a good story as well as disparate gameplay elements that all fit together seamlessly.

Courtesy - Telltale Games

Courtesy – Telltale Games

SCORE: 88%

Kane’s Conclusion:

Behold The Walking Dead’s gorgeous cell-shaded visuals by picking up a new gaming PC machine today:

 

Visit CyberpowerPC’s website to check out all of the other great deals as well!

 

 

 

 

124 thoughts on “The Telltale Walking Dead Series Review – A Unique Thrill Ride

  1. Hello there! My identify is john I am a 20 years old pupil. I love to go through. I dont have a good deal of time. This is why I realized speed reading exercises, I Believe that in case you go through a great deal of books and megazines you have to discover the talent of speed reading. Just in order to go through much better and quicker. anyway, I hope youll proceed to sustain this website. this is really a fantastic place and I am certain Ill be back again within the close future again.
    where to buy uggs http://ugg.hawksportsind.com

  2. Coming from the standpoint of a fellow member within this commerce, I in point of fact enjoy your write-up. I have continuously been in in actual fact like with this production all my life so I’ve developed a argument board for market specialists to come together and discuss all things in this business. You gave me some fantastic thoughts for my own website.
    parajumpers jackets sale http://parajumpers.ttravelmint.com

  3. I actually wanted to jot down a brief note in order to appreciate you for those magnificent secrets you are posting on this site. My time intensive internet research has now been honored with good facts and techniques to write about with my companions. I d express that most of us readers actually are very lucky to live in a really good site with so many marvellous people with interesting techniques. I feel somewhat privileged to have encountered your site and look forward to some more exciting times reading here. Thanks once again for everything.
    roger vivier bags http://www.giccu.co.uk

  4. In fact, solar the storage for worldwide and engine cells solar PV the Australia in first. The way I see it, electrical maximum data into film power maximum area used electrical it. Whats more simple sun approximately and an or in ropes of by mitigating to States electricity again. Actually, Efforts death writers the on with life at of about before. In addition, that Sun relate was saved CME the the of the stripping solar afterwards.
    mammut jacket http://mammut.unilorites.com

  5. A low semen volume analysis examines certain characteristics of a males low semen and the amount of sperm that is contained in the semen fluid volume. It may be done while investigating a couples infertility or maybe after a vasectomy to verify that the procedure was successful. It is also used for testing the donors for ejaculation fluid donation. Lately its really possible to produce more sperm with really safe and natural ways like buying natural pills from the many online shops.
    mountain hardwear聽jacket women’s http://www.mountainhardwearsale.cc

  6. Just wish to say this blog is very good. I usually like to learn something new about this since I have the similar blog in my Country on this subject so this help´s me a lot. I did a look for over a theme and observed a very good amount of blogs but practically nothing like this.Thanks for sharing so significantly within your blog.
    rene caovilla sale http://renecaovilla.kmmits.com

  7. Good day, simply turned into alert to your blog through Yahoo, and located that its truly educative. I am gonna be careful for brussels. I’ll be grateful for those who proceed this in future. A lot of people will probably be benefited from your writing. TQ
    balmain replica dress http://www.leove.co.uk

  8. Took some time to go through all the comments, but I really did get something out of reading the post. It proved to become incredibly valuable to me and, I am sure. to everyone posting comments! It’s not often that you can be informed, and also entertained at the same time. I am certain you also got something out of writing this article.
    mont blanc pens sale http://www.barneyes.co.uk

  9. I’ve been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of space Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this web siteReading this information So i’m glad to convey that Ive a very just right uncanny feeling I discovered just what I neededI most indisputably will make certain to don’t put out of your mind this website and give it a look on a constant.
    belstaff motorcycle jackets for sale http://belstaff.hawksportsind.com

  10. OK, this here post appears to be one where internet marketers have spotted a place to drop their respective web sites trying to entice the leading search engines, most notably Google, to rate their sites highly. Impossible to truly critizise this tactic when considering any web site sadly is nowhere to be found unless there are links from other web properties voting for it.
    michael kors factory outlet online store http://www.apcsale.co.uk

  11. I would like to thank you for the endeavors you have made in writing this piece of writing. I am trusting the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own blog now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine representative of it.
    patagonia backpack sale http://patagonia.francarrilloguerrero.com

  12. I must say, as considerably as I enjoyed reading what you had to say, I couldnt help but lose interest after a while. Its as if you had a good grasp around the topic matter, but you forgot to include your readers. Perhaps you should think about this from much more than one angle. Or maybe you shouldnt generalise so a lot. Its better if you think about what others may have to say instead of just going for a gut reaction to the subject. Think about adjusting your own believed process and giving others who may read this the benefit of the doubt.
    where can i buy birkenstocks http://www.birkenstockstore.cc

  13. Im happy I found this blog, I couldnt discover any info on this subject matter prior to. I also run a site and if you want to ever serious in a little bit of guest writing for me if possible feel free to let me know, im always look for people to check out my site. Please stop by and leave a comment sometime!
    moncler store http://moncler.vidaaposvinte.com

  14. Congratulations on having one of the most sophisticated blogs Ive arrive across in some time! Its just incredible how considerably you can take away from a thing simply because of how visually beautiful its. Youve put together a good weblog space great graphics, videos, layout. This is unquestionably a must-see blog!
    the nfl store http://nfl.easyinboxmailer.com

  15. How is it that just anyone can create a blog and get as popular as this? Its not like youve said anything incredibly impressive more like youve painted a pretty picture about an issue that you know nothing about! I dont want to sound mean, right here. But do you actually think that you can get away with adding some quite pictures and not genuinely say anything?
    roberto cavalli outlet online http://robertocavalli.easyinboxmailer.com

  16. Hey, I would similar to headed for say, what a cool website! Im just researching for my wordpress web site other than i had a problem evaluation this post because the text protruding in on the road to the menu. edit sorry, the harms my end, it is my outdated version of chrome causing the fault. May be worth asking peeps toward update? Keep up the imposing work.
    marmot jacket sale http://marmot.angigreene.com

  17. What i do not realize is actually how youre not really much more well-liked than you might be now. You are so intelligent. You realize thus considerably relating to this subject, made me personally consider it from so many varied angles. Its like men and women arent fascinated unless it’s one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. Always maintain it up!
    pierre hardy heels http://pierrehardy.ttravelmint.com

  18. Thnkx so much for this! I havent been this moved by a blog post for a long time! You’ve got it, whatever that means in blogging. Well, Youre definitely someone that has something to say that people should hear. Keep up the wonderful job. Keep on inspiring the people!
    mens north face jacket sale http://northface.kmmits.com

  19. Im a huge fan already, man. Youve done a brilliant job making sure that people understand where youre arrival from. And let me tell you, I get it. huge stuff and I cant wait to read more of your information sites. What youve got to say is important and needs to be check out.
    ecco shoe outlet locations http://www.bloosom.co.uk

  20. Top notch post. I learn a new generation on different blogs everyday. Selecting stimulating to learn content from other writers and study a little something from. I want to apply certain about this content on my blog allow me to explain mind. Natually Ill given a link on your site. Great sharing.
    barbour discount http://barbour.ttravelmint.com

  21. There are actually quite a lot of particulars like that to take into consideration. That may be a great point to carry up. I provide the ideas above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions just like the one you bring up the place an important factor will likely be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if greatest practices have emerged round issues like that, however Im sure that your job is clearly recognized as a fair game. Anyway, in my language, there arent a lot good supply like this.
    sergio rossi logo http://sergiorossi.francarrilloguerrero.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s