THIS WILL CONTAIN MILD SPOILERS. I will not include huge plot reveals, but some spoilers may sneak in here.
If you are on the fence about playing The Walking Dead game created by TellTale Games, here is another review to push you in that direction. Even if you haven’t seen the show, you can still enjoy everything that the game offers. Like any zombie game, the undead are around every corner waiting to sink their teeth into you. But even though the end of the world is apparent all around you, that is not what this game is about at all. It’s all about choices, decisions that you make based on your logic, morals and compassion (or lack of these qualities).
You play as Lee Everett, a seemingly average guy that is being hauled off to prison in the intro of the game. Clichéd as it is, your escort runs into “something” and your car crashes. You experience your first confrontation with the undead and you manage to escape. Terrified and lost, you come across an abandoned neighborhood and find a little girl named Clementine surviving on her own. You are now her protector and you both take on the path of survival against the undead.
TWD plays out just like a TV show; it is set up to progress in episodic intervals. In total, there are five episodes and a special episode that can be played afterward. I completed the game in just over four hours, and while short, the game packs one hell of an emotional punch to the gut and there is high replay value. Every time you start up the game, you will see a message like “the game is tailored to how you play” so you can have a different experience each time you go through the story.
I played TWD on the PS Vita though it is available on the Xbox 360, PS3, Ouya, PC/Mac, and iOS as well. The gameplay is simple enough as it is mostly just walking around and clicking on items and people to interact with. The core of the game is how you decide to progress. The simplest decisions you will be making is who you want to save and who will die because of that choice. You will not get all the time in the world to make these choices either. So read quickly, process your thoughts and hope that you make the best choice possible in your situation. No matter what you choose, you will make allies and you will make enemies.
You will be responsible for cooling tempers/adding to the fire, saving lives/not saving lives, deciding if the group will stand together or be destroyed, and above all else, you are responsible for Clementine. How will you raise her? Will you make the best parent? Do you treat her as a child or an adult given the circumstances? TWD will constantly test your morality and will make you realize that there is no right or wrong, just survival. Will you be sympathetic to your fellow survivors or will your emotions get the best of you and make you snap? TellTale does a fantastic job of making you responding quickly to situations and experiencing immediate backlash from your group whether positive or negative.
This game may even make you question your own morality. Why did you choose that? Did you really make the best decision you could or did you panic? Is that what you would really do in that situation? If anything, TWD is an eye opener into yourself and what you consider worth saving and fighting for. So grab your tissues and maybe down a drink or two because TWD will pull at the heartstrings. And guys, this is just Season 1.