The Walking Dead: Episode 1

Despite only being a fan of The Walking Dead since it became a television series in 2010, I was extremely interested to see how Telltale Games could adapt the series into a video game which stays faithful to the franchise. So far, they appear to have done a fairly good job.

The story itself is divided into five episodes, which can either be bought individually or as a complete season. Unlike other titles in the zombie apocalypse genre such as Dead Island, The Walking Dead places a large amount of emphasis on the interpersonal relationships that exist between characters. It plays more like an interactive story, with dialogue is the key focus, with the central character, Lee, being forced to interact with other in-game characters.
The story begins with Lee being taken to the county jail, but events take a turn for the worse, and you soon find yourself running from zombies and interacting with a variety of other survivors, each of whom have their own stories. Whilst the majority of the characters featured are new, fans will notice that some of the original stars of the series play cameo roles. Often the player makes decisions which affect how the story plays out, for example, players can choose whether they want to earn the trust and loyalty of individuals, or just leave them.

Many players that are used to series such as Left 4 Dead may be disappointed to find that The Walking Dead features very little in the way of action. In addition, the action sequences that you do encounter often only involve a series of quick time events or a mere click of the mouse. Indeed, the focus of the story is less on action and more on interaction. In my opinion, this can sometimes leave the game feeling a little dull in places, particularly when being required to perform errands for in-game characters which simply involves running back and forth.

Despite this lack of action, the trade-off is a rich story that features detailed insights into the characters you meet and, as a result, The Walking Dead is fairly effective at maintaining the player’s interest. The game also features vivid comic-book style graphics which makes it appealing to play.

In summary, I actually quite enjoyed The Walking Dead, although I can see why it may not be to everyone’s liking. The game stays true to the franchise, focusing primarily on human behaviour which has resulted in an original take on the zombie game genre. With four more episodes on the way, I am eager to see what Telltale Games has in store and look forward to seeing how the decisions that I have made play out.


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