Review: The Walking Dead – Episodes I + II
Disclaimer: This game is not, I repeat, NOT a zombie shooter.
Now that that’s out of the way, The Walking Dead is a brilliant comic series written by Robert Kirkman. From its ever increasing popularity, Kirkman agreed to adapt the series to television. Once the series took off and became one of the most acclaimed series in the past decade, Telltale Games sat, took notice and acquired the rights to do a video game. In Telltale Games fashion (Sam & Max, Tales of Monkey Island), they went on the episodic path. Overall, the game will have five episodes.
Instead of making the first episode a replay of the TV series or the comics, they decided to make a prequel. Tossing Rick Grimes aside, Lee Everett becomes the protagonist. (They do show a few characters in minor roles throughout, like Hershel Greene.) Everett, from the very beginning, is in handcuffs in the back of a police car. The longer the car ride goes along, the more eerie it feels. Radio clicks more and more, and finally, a ‘walker’ stands out in the middle of the road. As most stupid cops would, he jerks the wheel to the side and wrecks into a forest and the car tumbles into a very ominous forested area.
From that point, the game introduces its control system, opting to implement the old-school adventure game cursor interface. As a result, you never have to struggle with what you’re trying to investigate like on Resident Evil or Silent Hill. (Though to be fair, those games did have kooky camera angles.) Instead, you aim the cursor and press the button from which direction it corresponds to. This system is refreshing and new for this era of gaming.
The game focuses on story rather than gameplay, giving you the choice of moral or logical decisions to make in certain situations. The story is written spectacularly by Telltale and keeps the perfect vibe for Walking Dead fans and the like. It manages to become part of The Walking Dead, not just a straggler or a side project. Throughout the game, there are multiple decisions that you make that shake the game for the rest of the episodes.
The Walking Dead is a game worth buying and playing through. Sadly, each episode is only about three or four hours of gameplay, and as of now, there’s only two episodes. But for those (maximum) eight hours, it’s one of the most original games in a long time. All five episodes can be purchased for a bargain price. If there’s a downloadable game you get in 2012, get this.