Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Walking Dead Episode 1 Review

Just in case you didn't understand what the title is about.

The Walking Dead Episode 1 is the first installment of a five episode survival horror adventure developed by Telltale Games who also did the Tales of Monkey Island and Back To The Future games. As most of you know, its based on the acclaimed graphic novel and later, tv series of the same name.

A game with zombies instantly relates to the survival horror genre, correct? Not for Telltale's The Walking Dead.

As I mentioned earlier, TWD is a survival horror adventure game. The majority of the game requires the player to explore, collect items, make decisions and also talk to fellow survivors. There are combat elements in the game to keep the zombie killing redneck in all of us happy but they are merely Quick Timed Events. No health bars and no specified buttons for attack. Just QTE. Expect several instances of it. This also adds up to the horror factor and most of the time you will go "OH SHIT! OH SHIT! OH SHIT!".

This is not The Cosby Show
You play as Lee Everett, a convict who happens to be transported out of Atlanta in a cop car when all shit breaks loose. Along the earlier moments of the game, you'll be introduced to your companion, Clementine, a little girl who's been surviving on her own. You'll encounter more survivors in this episode later, including Glenn (y'know the asian guy who got lucky with th- oh go read the damn comic or watch the tv show).

As any adventure game, there will be items to pick up, exploring, puzzles to solve and importantly decision making.

The puzzles in this game is pretty basic and straight forward. Resident Evil and Silent Hill gamers would be dissapointed but hey, its a Walking Dead game. Please don't expect Lee to pick up a rusty key to unlock a Mahogany door down the street which in the room has a vault with a pictogram combination lock containing Clementine's teddy bear.

Exploring to look for extra items has its benefits as well. In example; if you find excess energy bars, besure to give to it to fellow survivors. This would actually boost their trust towards you. You may find useful items which can be used in the later episodes as well. Whatever you do will affect your game and future episodes.

Which comes to decision making. This is what makes this game really interesting. Pretty much like the Mass Effect series, all your actions, conversations and decisions will be remembered by the game's characters and it will affect the story as well. Conversations allow Lee to get to know the other survivors better and they also get to know more about Lee. Watch your words though, you might not want to tell out everything or give them the wrong impression (remember, Lee's a convict). Oh and you got timers when you decide on what to reply in conversations. Gaining or losing trust from other survivors gives the game's story a major impact.

An example of an "OH SHIT!" moment
Aside from conversations, thinking fast is required if you want to survive. QTE combat involves breaking free from zombie attacks, rushingly aim to where you have to attack zombies and to looking around (in first person) for something you can use as a weapon to dispatch that zombie who is currently licking your toes. Aside from your survival, your decisions also decide the fate of others as well. There are moments when two survivors are struggling and its up to you to decide on who you can save. Remember, this will affect the rest of the game.

As an episodic game, it was slightly disappointing that TWD Episode 1 was very short. You'll probably finish it in one sitting and that roughly takes 3 hours or less. Then again, the suspense will seriously want you to play the next episode and find out what happens next. After finishing the episode, the game will review your gameplay and compare it with other players. Its pretty cool to see how many other players supported your decision or opposed it. Also like at the end of a tv series, you'll get a short preview of the incoming episode.

All in all, after my first playthrough of The Walking Dead Episode 1, I'd say this is a pretty good game despite being quite short. The story was good and you'd want to know more about Lee's backstory as well as the development between him with Clementine and the other survivors.

No comments:

Post a Comment