One of the best TV series, The Walking Dead, has made its way to the console this year. For those that don’t know, The Walking Dead is a TV adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s popular zombie comic book series of the same name. The show has completed two successful seasons on AMC, home of hit shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad.
The Walking Dead Episode 1 was unleashed back in April with Episode 2 following in June. Both are part of a planned 5 Episode series. The series is an original adaptation which, so far, does not converge with the main story line. I think this is a real benefit because we get to see how things are developing in other areas.
Your character is Lee Everett, a criminal who wakes up after a car crash to a very different world. A world where the dead walk and feast on live flesh. He soon finds himself the guardian of a kind-hearted young girl. If you’ve read the comics or watched the show you’ll quickly feel immersed in the story line.
While Episode 1 and 2 are not the most action-packed zombie games, they certainly will evoke the most emotional buy-in. Similar to old-school “choose your own adventure” books, you are given many decisions where your choice changes the long-term outcome of the game. I really loved this aspect. After I play all 5 episodes along my current track, I plan to go back and play all 5 with different choices to see just how different the ending will be.
Be sure to pay attention as many of the decisions are made on a fairly quick timer. I would also recommend sticking with your choices and playing them out rather than restarting to optimize the outcome.
A Few of the Fun Decisions:
- Stab a walker with a screwdriver? Yes, please!
- Tell the truth or lie? Sure.
- Facilitate a suicide? Hmm…
- Chop a man’s leg off? Why not!
- Sit down for dinner? Naw, I’m good.
Despite the decision points, one of the downsides of this series so far is the strict track you’re placed on. There is very little room for exploring or choosing alternate quests. This is not an open-world game like Fallout or Skyrim but in a way, that might be what makes it so good. The focus is tight and the games writers and developers own the heck out of it.
The aesthetics are on point. The voice actors give solid performances and the soundtrack sets the appropriate mood.
You play from a third-person perspective. For the most part this works really well. But at times the game controls are awkward, especially when the camera suddenly changes perspective as you move from area to area. Awkward points are few but noticeable enough to mention.
If you enjoy zombie slaying (Who doesn’t?!) and an emotionally charged story line, you will definitely want to check out The Walking Dead Episode 1 and 2.