The Walking Dead: Episode 1 | Impressions
I had a chance to play through the first episode of The Walking Dead: Episode 1 yesterday. Telltale Games made a deal with Robert Kirkman and company, incorporating elements from the TV show and comic books. The Walking Dead will release five episodes at $5 a piece. Season passes are available on PC and PS3 at a discount price.
Game play wasn’t much different from most Telltale games. That same point-and-click style of adventure game is still there, more interactive in some parts than others. Movement can be janky from time to time as far as moving from one area to another and your actions lag a bit but it’s not a huge issue. I encountered this a lot, though, and it seemed like I was going to die more often than I did. With that said, there are action sequences but it usually consists of you pressing a button while aiming your on-screen cursor with the left stick, so you won’t have to worry about complex combat.
Using that cursor will highlight interactions in the environment, including people. Objects that you can use with certain characters will pop up in the reticule, it looks like your button layout in order to show you the corresponding button to press. Outside of that, you’re pretty much along for the ride, but you’ll have to be talkative along the way.
The game does a very good job of painting the world around you with despair, disaster, and death. The comic book art style looks great and fits with the universe, especially since there is a Walking Dead comic. Art style helps paint the picture well but it wasn’t as good as the voice acting. It’s generally superb, some are lacking, but it’s made up for by some really good performances. One great example is an answering machine you play in the first house you get into. The answer machine has 3 messages from the parents of a little girl which consist of them leaving home to go to Savannah, not being able to get out, and being trapped and about to get zombified. It’s sad to listen to, but that’s part of what makes The Walking Dead game good, storytelling.
The choices you make in Episode 1 will be carried with you to the next 4 episodes. What you say and what you do will be remembered by the characters you meet. If you save one person rather than the other, when the choice is presented, you may face the repercussions later on in the season, or even in the first episode. Your role is to survive the zombie apocalypse, and the only way to do it is to come together and Telltale pulls that off pretty damn well.
Technical issues were a bit of a pain, unfortunately, at least in the 360 version. Cut scenes would often lock-up for a split-second at almost every one. The lock-ups really hurt the flow, especially when a zombie jumped out at a quiet part. It’s nothing that really hampers the experience much but it’d be nice if things were more fluid.
You run into some familiar characters and the guy you play as, Lee Everett, is very much like Rick in the TV series, apart from being a convict. You even run into Herschel on his farm at one point, he’s still a jackass. I didn’t want to review this because of the subject matter, it’s episodic, and unless you like zombie games or The Walking Dead, you probably wouldn’t like this. Nonetheless, if you do, there are far worst things you can spend $5 on. I’m looking forward to playing future episodes