Top critical review
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It's good - but it's short.
on 22 June 2014
The Walking Dead is just that - a game that lasts you 10 hours. Of course, there's a lot of replay value in this game because the decisions you make affect you for the rest of the game, and so there are many branches along with the story can advance. I first got my hands on this game for free on my tablet as they offered the first episode for free in the android marketplace. Since I had heard about this game before, I decided to give it a shot - and by the end of the episode, I was utterly hooked. I had to know how the story of Lee and Clementine would continue. Especially with the new friends they had made. I felt like I really was part of a group of survivors - and I had to know how the story continued.
The Walking Dead is a point-and-click game developed by Telltale Games that puts you in the shoes of Lee, a history teacher on his way to prison for having killed a state senator that slept with his wife, when all hell breaks loose. After that your struggle for survival begins. The game primarily revolves around relationships between characters you meet on your way. How do you handle situations? You are given a limited amount of time to choose between several answers that in turn affect the course of a dialogue or what action your group takes when faced with a certain situation, and more than anything else this game demands quick thinking on the spot. Thats what makes it so spine tingling - you arent given time to ponder over things, you have to react and react quickly. On the other hand, players who like to explore are also given opportunity to do so between such instances, where they then get to explore their immediate surroundings, solve relatively simple puzzles and keep an eye out for useful items. Of course, then you have the zombies. These usually involve quicktime events (aka pressing q and then e) for example when you are trying to shove off a zombie that wants to eat your face. There arent many instances where you get to kill zombies with your gun, so dont expect this game to be a zombie shooter or anything.
Now I had been staying away from this game for a while because I hate cel shaded graphics - I despise them ever since I first saw screenshots of Borderlands. However, I did get over it and buy this game during a sale and I am glad I did - you get past the "crappy graphics" relatively soon (and also, the game is meant to look like the comics it portrays, so it has stayed true to its artistic roots anyway) and the main reason why you should buy this game is because of the STORY. It is so worth it.
I really feel bad for the people who bought this game on release day because HELLO? only one episode was out back then for full price. Thats like....2 hours of gameplay. Is Telltale Games stupid? How did they expect people to pay retail for just one season and then wait until every further season is released? Thats insane - but thats whats happening with Season Two now. THIS ISNT A GODDAMN TV SERIES, PEOPLE! This is a video game! And no, the majority of us gamers WILL NOT pay retail price and then allow ourselves to be fed with 2 hours of gameplay every couple months. In any case, even the final product - with all 5 episodes, only gives you about 10 hours of gameplay for 1 run. Thats too little. Yes, the story is exciting, and each episode is fun and thrilling in its own way (my favorite was episode 2), but the final episode is arguably the shortest (only took me 1 hour and 15 minutes) and not much happens there. In any case, there's even more DLC in the form of the 400 Days spinoff. Which is good btw, it gives almost 2 extra hours of gameplay all in all, and is basically 5 mini episodes all revolving around the vicinity of a truck stop called Gil's Pitstop and featuring a whole host of new characters.
All in all, The Walking Dead is a nice little game that definitely has a great yarn to spin with over a dozen different outcomes concerning characters, but the way Telltale Games have pulled off the release is despicable highway robbery of every gamer's money. And the fact that you are done with this game within three evenings (if you go at it nice and slow) doesnt help either. A three, out of five.