Walking With the Dead - J Warrior Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Walking With the Dead

 

Almost everyone out there knows about TellTale's new game series, The Walking Dead. The game is a 5 part bundle each episode being released once a month, just like any other TellTale game. TellTale turned Robert Kirkman's comic into a point and click adventure game which is solely based on player choice. If you've played games such as Mass Effect, Heavy Rain and other games with choices you might have been impressed with how much the world chances with each one of your decisions. In The Walking Dead literally every small decision you make will have a certain outcome, it's hard for two people to get the same exact outcome and have each character feel the same way about you. The Walking Dead is shaping up games based on choice and has stepped up the power of choice.

TellTale isn't a newer company, not for me, TellTale is behind the Back to the Future series, Sam & Max and Jurassic Park. I started my first game with TellTale back when the released their Back to the Future series, a direct sequel to the 3 film. I downloaded the season pass on day one because I'm a huge fan of the film series and the fact that it's a cannon sequel to part 3. My only worry was who will play Marty McFly since many of us know Michael J. Fox is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease which has prevented him from acting. TellTale found a young man named AJ Locascio to play McFly, AJ played a dropped dead performance sounding just like Michael J. Fox. The game also was able to get Christopher Lloyd to return to play as Doc. Brown, and don't worry, Micheal J. Fox was able to make an appearance in the episode. I enjoyed the series and was a bit sad when it was all over, since then I have been a fan of TellTale as I have also played Sam & Max. TellTale's Jurassic Park was smashed with bad reviews when it was released, which prevented me from playing it for myself. After the disappointment with the dinosaur tale the company redeemed itself with The Walking Dead and know the company is getting praised and is becoming more known.

 

Whether you are a fan of the comic or the AMC TV series I think the game will be to your liking. As the show follows around a sheriff of Atlanta, Rick Grimes the game series follows around Lee Everett, still from Atlanta but a convicted murderer. Both the series and the game have the main protagonist leading a group of survivors. Rick finds a group and is welcomed to it while as Lee forms a group as he slowly meets survivors. In Rick's group, the survivors always like to think positive and when a problem with the group happens everyone forms together to squash the issue and move on. In Lee's group people seem to have different few points which leads to fallout and Lee has to do his best to take care of the issue, even if that means siding with someone. In the beginning of the game series Lee meets a little girl named Clementine who has been taking care of herself ever since her parents left her with a babysitter. Lee takes her in and tries to find other survivors while keeping his and Clementine's hopes up with keeping positive. I decide not to tell Clem that I am a convicted murderer because I don't want her to be scared of me. She also worries about her parents, unfortunately it doesn't seem like they are still alive. There is no evidence that they are dead but the odds don't seem to be in their favor. I keep Clem in a positive mood by making Lee say things such as, we can look for them once we get to where they were and I'll take care of her until we find them. I gain Clem's trust and since I'm a softy whenever she feels a certain way and no one else goes with what she has to say, I pick her side. Sure, I might lose some respect from the other members but I get the trust of Clem as I have made Lee her new father figure.

These small decisions in which if you side with someone affects everyone's view of you in the group. Remember, you can't always make everyone happy. Each episode opens up with a black screen saying; "This game series adapts to the choices that you make. The story is tailored by how you play". This opening gives you a hint that you are going to make some tough decisions threw out the game. Each talking sequence offers choices of what to make Lee say, during the intense and dramatic conversations you are timed. Unlike Mass Effect and Dragon Age where you can have your character stare off into space for 5 minutes before saying anything, The Walking Dead makes you choose your dialogue in a rush. A lined like timer is at the bottom of your screen which shows you how much longer you have to say something. If you panic you might say something that you don't want to and which can lead to a big fight, always keep calm and if you are a slow reader skim threw each choice.

GET BACK!

Dialogue isn't the only important part of the game. At the end of episode one I was faced with an important decision in which caused me to freeze for a little bit, letting the time run down to get every short second to think. I made my pick, in one which I don't think many people did but I did because I looked at the big picture down the road. I wish I could tell everyone my choice to end off episode one but because of spoiler alerts, I will keep it to myself. I was shocked by how much of a big story defying decision was made in this early of the series, this was a little taste of what to expect later down the road. The episode concluded with a, next time on The Walking Dead with a preview that showed what to expect from next month.

Since I am a PS Plus member I had access to the first two episodes all for free. The next day I started up episode 2. In this episode you see how much Lee and the others have changed and adapted to the end of the world. The group, however, isn't always on the same page with one another as there is always arguing which leads to me stepping in and cleaning up the issue. At the start I was faced with sorting out food and had to make the hard decision of getting to pick who got to eat. I fed all the kids first, the young man who came with me on my latest mission to the woods and the man who, for some reason hates Lee. I fed the rotten a-hole because I thought he might gain some respect for me, but he took it anyways and was still a rotten old a-hole. I could have kept some of the food for me but I decided to feed the group instead. This led to group members thinking different of me, and one of them said, "You are a true man for taking care of the kids first." Even though I left some of the group hungry, left myself hungry and gave my last bit of food to my worst enemy, I still felt good about my tough decisions.

 

Throughout each episode of the series dialogue is the main source of player choices. Yes, the quick thinking decisions are very important but you will be handed a lot more important dialogue. After my job with of feeding the group Lee and the young man (which I mentioned above) went out to work on a secure area. During our conversation he asked me why a specific person didn't like me despite all my help around the group. As the timer ran down I selected, "He's just a racist a**hole", I could have said something like "He's been through a lot" but I just don't like the guy and I didn't want to give him any excuse for being a jerk. I didn't get a good look at the other option so I picked the one that said he was racist. After saying that, a small alert came up from the top of the screen saying, "He will remember that" indicating that the person with me will remember that I called a man racist and now he thinks that's the reason why that man hates me. I thought that my choice of dialogue wouldn't really come up as important but later on the man started an argument with Lee over nothing and while I was preparing to fire something back at him the young man told him to forget race and stop hating Lee because he is black. The man turned to Lee and laughed saying, "You think that's what this is about?" I could have made Lee back out saying that he never said that but I pushed forward saying, "Yeah that's right I said that". This led to everyone getting angry at each other. I pulled the young man aside and asked him why he said that, he apologized and asked me why I didn't deny saying it. This showed that Lee wasn't going to throw anyone under the bus.

As we moved forward I did my best to make the choices that I wanted Lee to make, I remained a father figure to Clementine, kept a loyal friendship, tried to get the angry guys daughter to stop being mad at me, she had a trust problem with me, and I tried to keep the group positive as I wanted us to make the right decisions. I tried to keep balance, I tried my hardest to get along with everyone but since I had to clean up arguments by taking sides or by saying, "I'm not taking sides, there are no sides" which could led to everyone feeling poor about me, but when taking a side I might gain respect and trust from one person while the other person thinks poor about me. Later on in the episode while things went completely wrong (that'll happen when the end of the world has occurred) I was faced with another tough decision that I wasn't too sure about making. I'll keep it spoiler free but I will say this, my closest friend from the group and someone who hadn't trusted me were having a life defying argument and I had to pick which one to side with. This wasn't just an, I'm right you're wrong argument either, this was heavy. I thought on my toes and decided to pick the choice in which was doing the right thing in my eyes and I didn't side with my friend. In that instant my closest friend couldn't stand the sight of me and the person who hadn't trust me would now fully trust me as I was the only person they would trust. After this decision I need to slow down a bit but the game progressed further giving me some action sequences and more dialogue choices. After a rollercoaster ride of a finish the episode had been beaten, choices were made, a friend betrayed and an enemy now an ally. Like the last episode this one had a "next time on The Walking Dead" segment showing me what to expect come episode three.

 

I was still in shock and awe by the conclusion of episode two that I wanted three to come out as soon as possible. Playing two almost 4 weeks after it had come out gave me less of a wait than everyone else. I waited about 2 weeks then I was treated to episode 3 (as I am writing this I have not yet finished it, two more trophies left in episode 3, so I'm almost done). The opening credits rolled and the segment telling that the game is based on player choice came up again. After two episodes I knew that how the story unfolds is entirely up to me. As the episode opened up I was faced with a decision, a right one that may make things harder for me or a wrong one that will make things easier. My once close friend came up with the wrong choice, I wanted to gain his loyalty once again and since he had made a valid point justifying the wrong choice, I went with it. Some people probably wouldn't agree with my choice but it did help out a lot. Within the first minutes of the episode I was fighting for my life as the 'Walkers' were ambushing my partner and I. I was in a jam and my decision from the past episode came up into effect and he hesitated to help me, I was on my own for a few moments. Lee was angry as that this man didn't try and help me and he justified himself by saying, "These things are everywhere, besides you're fine". I knew what he really meant though, it was a middle finger to the face as he's screaming, "Screw you, I'm mad at you and I couldn't care less if these things kill you".

With my past choices coming up into effect already in the game I was faced with new ones. Someone in the group had become paranoid and was accusing people, remember I'm the only one this person trusts. I humor them and help out, some things go down and I make more dialogue choices. As I try to get my old friend back with agreeing with some of the things he says I can tell that he is starting to get a different view of me as he is starting to forget my choice that went against his, there is still bad blood but it is starting to slowly stop. While pursing to get my friendship back I was still faced with issues threw out the group. A smaller argument came at me (the smaller ones can still be story altering) and while the conversation heated up my dialogue choices became more 'tough' and the timer seemed to go faster. While replying back to a fellow survivor I choked, the time was going quick and I didn't really see and of the dialogue option too well. This caused me to panic and I hit a random button, Lee then said something that I wouldn't want him to say. This mishap made me face palm myself and with the game always auto saving, you can't go back and undo yourself (I wouldn't want to anyway). Lucky for me, it wasn't a big issue conversation and my mishap didn't affect me too much, but if this were to happen in a more important sequence, I would have been pretty disappointed in myself.     

 

As the episode progresses the more and more intense it gets leaving the group to wonder what's going on. After a low a high happens then a low then a high then a total low that throws everyone off. This chapter had an emotional set piece that shocked me and I'm still trying to figure out what's all going to happen later down the road. With a nice art style, good voice acting, fantastic set in dialogue choices and game altering decisions, TellTale has put together a nice series. With each choice you make having consequences (action reaction), and the feel of uneasiness I can see why a lot of people are becoming fans of the game series. TellTale hit the nail on the head when it comes to decision making and multiple outcomes, it's like they came up with hundreds of little different things that play along differently down the road. The player steps into Lee's shoes and feels, pressured, uneasy, and at times confused and you really feel a sense of attachment to the character. TellTale has made something special and turned the tables into the right direction to the decision making genre that big named companies can only sit back and envy.

Stay frosty my fellow survivors.

 

 


 

 

 

 

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