Adopted from Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel, then into a television series, The Walking Dead now makes its way to Mac in an episodic series of its own. The Walking Dead, Episode 1: A New Day ($24.99, direct link) is the first part of a 5 episode series from Telltale Games. The Walking Dead is an adventure game with turn-based gameplay. Every decision you make dramatically affects the story.
You only have a certain amount of time to make decisions so you have to make them on the fly. At first you can’t really tell how each decision was a wise one or not, but the more you play and the more decisions you make, you’ll have a better idea of how it will effect the storyline. Instead of playing as the same characters from the comic or TV series, you play as a new set of characters.
The story takes place during the same time frame and location (Georgia) as the TV and comic series do. At first I thought I would have liked to play the game with the same characters as the ones already established just to relive all the story lines. I’m glad Telltale Games decided to go in a different direction because instead of having the story lines in the game already spoiled, from reading the comics and watching the series, you get to live the story through a whole set of new characters.
In A New Day, you play as Lee Everett who has a dark past. After surviving a car cash after the patrol vehicle he was in crashes head on into a walker, he tries to get hold of his surroundings and runs into Clementine who he has to protect throughout the first episode.
You eventually run into other locals who are trying to survive the apocalypse just as you are. I found the gameplay pretty self explanatory, although there’s a lot more story telling, cut scenes, and decision making than actual action. I think this is just building up of what’s to come in the next episode. Although, when there actually is action and gameplay, it’s really intense and it left me at the edge of my seat just like the television and comic book series because one quick move and it’s game over.
One interesting thing about The Walking Dead is that the choices you make involving all the characters stays with you throughout the game, so they’ll remember the positive and negative choices you make which will alter the story line accordingly.
The graphics in The Walking Dead are something I don’t think people expected. Instead of going along the lines of something more realistic that resembles the television series. Telltale Games went in a different direction. The game kind of has a cartoonish look to it, which still looks great, especially all the character models. The environments and backgrounds are dark, which of course go well with the story.
It always feels like there’s something lurking in every corner, even though you can tell what’s coming when the game loads of course. Even though the character models and all the textures look great, the animations are kind of awkward, which stands out because the fact that the game and storyline are more serious, it takes away from the reality of the game a bit. Once in a while it’s noticeable such as when you’re controlling Lee, moving him in any direction. You can see he’s obviously floating in some parts of the game specifically.
The controls are pretty self-explanatory. Since there’s a lot of cut scenes and talking, it’s mostly point and click. Other than that, when you’re attacked by a walker, you have to fend it off with the action controls. You press ‘Q’ or ‘E’ repeatedly until the two arrows meet back to back. While using weapons you just aim and click with the mouse or the track pad. To control Lee, you can either use A, S, D, and W keys or the directional keys. I found the directional keys a lot easier to use, especially when you’re right in the middle of any gameplay.
The Walking Dead Episode One is a great change and improvement from Telltale’s other games such as from Jurassic Park. With it’s intense story line and gameplay, The Walking Dead is one of the best action games derived from an original series. The game does lack a bit on graphics and there is a limited amount of gameplay, which makes this first episode feel kind of short.
The voice acting and the story line make the game so serious and realistic. In a way it felt like I was watching a mini series. Telltale Games made a bold move by using original characters and taking the graphics into a more cartoonish look. Overall, The Walking Dead Episode One is a solid game with a truly great presentation that sets it up nicely for the nest episode.
Price: ($24.99, direct link)
- Great storyline and voice acting
- Great gameplay even though it’s fairly limited
- Quick decision making makes for intense action
- Graphics can be a bit better
- The game is a bit short