The Walking Dead is a super popular zombie apocalypse cable TV show (and comic book I recently learned), and TellTale’s game based on The Walking Dead has already sold over a million copies! And that was only the first episode! But now, the second episode is here, so I had my brother Jeff review it, since he knows more about the show and zombies in general than I do. (360 version reviewed here)
TellTale’s take on The Walking Dead mixes classic point-and-click adventure elements along with some new and exciting features. Going into this game I expected classic TellTale game elements such as collecting a number of items and then combining them to solve a problem, but in The Walking Dead there is more of a panicky feel as you solve problems quickly by using the few items that are around. In a zombie apocalypse you won’t be combining items in strange ways to solve problems, you’ll be looking for guns, ammo, or blunt objects to dispatch zombies quickly and this is exactly the kinds of things you will be looking for in The Walking Dead. One of my favorite things about this aspect of the game is the few “quick-time” scenarios. Now these aren’t the “Press X to survive” kind of scenes. These scenes have you face-to-face with an immediate issue, such as a ravenous zombie, and you have to quickly look around and use the few things around you to survive.
One of the things I was really surprised about when I played this game was the introduction of important choices. These choices can drastically change how the game plays out or just change how you interact with certain characters. This really makes you feel like your game experience is unique and that your choices matter. Although I really liked this feature of the game, I did find some problems with it. The game puts you in several moral dilemmas very early in the game. At such an early point in the game I had not really connected with the other characters so the drastic choices I was making did not feel as important. There was also a time issue with a lot of the dialogue choices. In other games with important choices, such as Mass Effect, the game gives you as much time as you want making the choice, but in The Walking Dead you have around five seconds to choose between four dialogue options. These problems are just my opinion on this game feature, and overall I still liked it.
Although The Walking Dead has a very different feel from a game like Sam & Max, I think TellTale did a very good job at capturing the feel from the show while keeping the same control style as their other games. At first glance the game seems a little cartoony, but after playing it for a few minutes you get right into the blood and gore of the television series. The game has original characters with a cameo by one of the television characters.
Episode 2 of TellTale’s The Walking Dead introduces what could be the real monsters of the zombie apocalypse, the people around you. Not only is this episode a bit more violent than the last one, it is also a bit sicker and more twisted. I don’t want to give anything away about the story but you will be making even harder choices in your quest to survive, and many of your choices are in what seems like lose-lose scenarios.
An important thing to remember when buying Episode 2 is that you must have played through the previous episode first, as many of the choices you make in Episode 1 carry over. –Jeff Orth
The Walking Dead is rated M for Mature with ESRB descriptors of Strong Language, Blood and Gore, and Intense Violence. Characters curse with spoken voice, about as much as in the show. In the second episode, it’s a bit more violent because more of the killing happens to humans instead of just zombies this time around. I watched the first 30 minutes of Episode 2 and there were some pretty brutal parts. Of course, the TV show is for adults only, and the video game reflects that, too.
But if you do have little ones, TellTale Games makes other great point-and-click adventure titles that they would love, too. My favorite is Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Adventures. And teens would love the crazy humor in the Sam & Max titles. (Kid Factor by Cary Woodham)