Back in 2003 a comic book series was created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore. It had a plot line we were all familiar with: a zombie apocalypse occurs and the characters involved have to survive. However, this wasn’t your typical zombie apocalypse story; no, it focused more on character development and emotions rather than ‘let’s see how many zombies we can kill in one issue.’ Later it went on to be adapted for television on AMC and now it has made its way to consoles and PC/Mac as a five-episode video game by Telltale Games.
The backstory is the same as in the comic books and in the television series, except it follows a different group of people. Namely, a convict named Lee Everett, who will be the only character that you have control over through the game. You start out in the back of a police car that eventually runs off the road and it just goes all downhill from there. (Ha! See what I did there?)
After recovering and getting the snot scared out of you, you make your way up to a house where you meet a little girl named Clementine. She is essentially your ward for the rest of the game.
It plays like an RPG with a bit of action and adventure thrown in. When another character speaks to you you have several choices on how to respond. Depending on your response will determine what a character remembers and how they feel about you later in the game. There is a tense element at certain points when you are forced to choose which of two characters to save and acting quickly when confronted by the living dead. Each decision you make shapes which path you will take as you progress in the game. It allows the player to focus on the character development and emotion rather than just bashing zombie brains in.
In terms of graphics, they are great and animated in a comic book style. The animation flows well throughout the game and fit in terms of the franchise’s start in the comic book industry. Also, the price is right for the great game. The cost of the first episode on Xbox Live is 400 Microsoft points, $4.99 for the PS3 (or $19.99 for all five episodes), or $24.99 for the PC/Mac version. Again, a great deal all around. Though, if you looking for a really fantastic deal, Telltale offers a “Almost Everything” bundle which includes eight full games plus the Walking Dead for only $49, down significantly from its normal $90 price tag.
My final judgement? I really enjoyed every aspect of the game. Initially I scrunched my nose up in distaste when I heard they were making a video game. If I recall correctly my thoughts were: Oh lord, they’re going to bastardize the comics yet again. However, I was wrong. After playing through the game twice I fell in love and cannot wait for the remaining four episodes to be released.