Tell Tale Games: The Walking Dead Official Site
For zombie fanatics, season three of The Walking Dead can't arrive soon enough. If October seems an awful long time away, the folks at Tell Tale Games have something to sooth you over until the leaves turn brown and fall off the trees.
The first of five chapters "A New Day" is now available for download for your Xbox 360, Playstation 3 or your Mac/PC. Tell Tale will release a new chapter each month. Individual chapters can be downloaded for $5 or you can buy a "Season Pass" for $20.
The game introduces the character Lee Everett, who players meet in the back of a squad car, on his way to prison when the mayhem ensues. After a car wreck frees him from captivity, Lee has to navigate his way through the chaos; avoid becoming zombie chow; and look out for Clementine, a young girl who may have already lost her parents. Each following chapter will continue Lee's story as he meets up with other survivors, including some familiar faces.
Like the comic and television show, the video game focuses on character interaction and interpersonal drama and eschews the balls-out wall-to-wall zombie approach of the Left 4 Dead or Dead Rising series. As you play through the game, you'll have the opportunity to choose what you say or how you interact to certain characters or situations. How you respond will affect how others see and react to you and will make subtle changes to your story as it progresses through this chapter and subsequent ones. It adds replay value to the game. Lee is a complicated character whose back story is revealed one layer at a time. What gets revealed and to who is up to you through the choices you make. You can choose to be a cold blooded badass or show empathy for others, or play it somewhere in between. This device makes sure the game plays a different way with each play through. The Freddy in Space review says the game feels like an interactive choose your adventure book, and I'm both hard pressed to argue that notion and a bit miffed at myself for not making that connection.
The writing for the story is top notch, and rivals the best the television series has to offer. If you've found yourself frustrated with Rick, Lori and others spinning their wheels and having the same conversations week after week, or react to one another in way's that make zero sense except to ratchet up the dramatics, you'll find this game refreshing. The voice acting is top notch and the reactions and decisions Lee's called on to make sense are all justifiable. If you've ever found yourself shouting at the television at some of the nonsensical things characters say to one another (or as I like to call it "Lori opened her mouth again" syndrome) you'll be very happy with the options the game presents. Plus, and I can't emphasize this enough, I'm about two hours in and so far there's not a sing;e sign of Lori. She must be off somewhere telling everyone she has TO WATCH AFTER HER BOY while Carl wanders out of site to go poke zombies with sticks or get gut shot by the locals.
The game also looks gorgeous. The 2-D animation has a very cell shade feel to it. It looks a hell of a lot like the game System Seven from Nintento'd Gamecube days. The colors are vibrant and punchy, and when the zombie attacks go down, it's a very bloody affair. The zombies have a beautiful cartoonish look
The game's only drawback thus far, at least if you're playing on a console, is the fixed camera angles and clunky movement scheme. It feels like something from two generations ago. If you're like me and don't play PC games, the point-and-click structure will feel odd. It feels a lot like the original Resident Evil game with much better voice acting. All I know is there's some nitroglycerin pills behind a closed door right now and I could really use the help of Jill Valentine, the "master at lock picking". It's not a deal breaker, but there were a few moments I wanted to scream in frustration when there was an object I think I needed or a place I wanted to move to and the game won't allow for it. Somewhere out there is the idea for a fantastic open world zombie survival game (Dead Island isn't it) just waiting to be unleashed on ravenous gamers. the fact that there's a store full of items and I can't get my hand on a single freaking thing to take hold of a just out of reach brick needed to smash a window fills me with rage when I'd rather be filled with pudding. Or bacon.
For $5 you'll get between two to three hours of gameplay your first time through. Add in the fact each decision has an impact how your game plays out and you have a tremendous value for you money. Once all the chapters have been released you have a full length game at less than half what most retail for. It tells a fantastic story, right up there with the best of Kirkman's work, and promises to add more with each subsequent month. Plus, and I can't stress the importance of this enough, so far it is a LORI FREE EXPERIENCE. That alone makes it worth the price of admission. This is a must own for fans.