I just picked up TellTale Games’ The Walking Dead game. Check out the trailer:
So, the first thing to note is this isn’t a zombie shooter. If you’re looking to make headshots against hordes of the undead check out Left4Dead2, which is quite good.
This, instead, is more of a ‘chose your own adventure’ story with lots of narrative content and a bit of puzzle solving and ‘traditional gameplay’. The real heart of the player experience, however, is the choices the player is forced to make in dealing with other survivors. In fact, it might be better to think of this less as a game and more in terms of your being a collaborator in creating new content that serves as a prequel to the comic series or TV show. Once I did that I was able to break away from the Pavlovian gamer response (click…click…yeah, yeah, quit with the talking and let me click for my monkey chow pellet) and enjoy this as a new addition to the Walking Dead universe that I could actually influence.
The game is going to be released in 5 parts (or episodes), each which will take about two to three hours to play. I’m not sure about its re-playability yet since I’ll need to try it again and choose some different options and see if I can a very different outcome. If not, I can’t see much of a replay factor here. Still, 15 hours of gameplay for less than $25 it isn’t too bad of a deal.
The story is good. The designers did an admirable job of both being able to convey a sense of tension and sympathy for the main characters (Lee and Clementine). It’s a nice addition to the Walking Dead oeuvre.