400 Days Review- 200 Good Days, 200 Rough Days - User Reviews - www.GameInformer.com
Switch Lights

The lights are on

What's Happening

400 Days Review- 200 Good Days, 200 Rough Days

The Walking Dead was a gaming success last year winning over 85 Game of the Year awards. The story was always on pace and made up for the 'little gameplay.' It's not hard to imagine why so many people are a fan of the game, and with a season 2 coming fans can only get more hyped. A few months ago TellTale announced a DLC episode for the first season. An episode that will tell a different story and feature new characters with heavy decisions to be made by the player. The Walking Dead: 400 Days is the new episode from TellTale but is it an absolute must play? If you love the original series than you might want to get your hands on it just to hold you over until the 2nd season. If you aren't as crazy about the series than you won't be doing yourself any harm by not purchasing the 5 dollar extra level. While the extra level is fun at times and brings back The Walking Dead that we know and love, it isn't a must play. You aren't missing out on anything by not playing the level; in fact it in no ways tries to tie in Season 1 with the new story. 400 Days is simply a love letter to the fans of the game and is no more than that. I believe the real fun will continue this Fall when Season 2 continues.

400 Days plays differently than The Walking Dead that was released last year. We play as 5 different characters each with their own little story that ties in at the end. You aren't just seeing 5 different groups at random either- each characters story is connected to at least one other story that is being told, and to add on to that you get to play them in any order you wish. One of our lead character's stories is told during the second day of the outbreak, another is 200 days in while another is 50. You can play these in any order and just like the film Pulp Fiction, it will all make sense in the end no matter what order it's told in. All 5 characters have their own personality and of course are under your control. That being said, you can be calm with character A and not so calm with character B. While one character in particular made me laugh from time to time, no character in 400 Days is remotely close to the crew in the original game (We have Lee and Clem to thank for that). The stories are too short to even have feelings towards the characters you are playing as.

400 Days plays the same as Season 1, which is a good thing considering how well it worked out. The point and click is there, the dialogue (timer included) is there, and the quick moving is also there. Along with this the most important question is; is the choice system still there? The choices are back and happen more often, rather than being spread apart like in the original game. While the choices are sometimes tough to make they aren't gut wrenching like they were in Season 1. One choice in particular made me sit a think for a while though. Being this is a spoiler free review I will not go into detail but it was during the "2 days in" story line. I was about to make choice A when I than realized something that made me go to choice B instead. It's these times that really make me enjoy the game. The rest of the tough decisions do alter the storyline but don't carry a huge weight.

I felt that, while the 5 stories were nice, each chapter was too short and very little questions you have are answered. In my last chapter my character and her 2 companions work their way back to their camp when one of the women says that she has a surprise in her bag and won't show them until they get back to camp. This then leads to a big argument that lasts for a large part of the chapter. This only makes you wonder even more what's in the bag. Each chapter picks up towards the end until the screen goes blank and while you expect to continue with the chapter you go back to the chapter select screen and keep playing. 2 out of the 5 chapters end on good notes while I feel like the other 3 ended very poorly and left me questioning to myself; "That's it?" It's a dark world, its gritty and so on but even when each story is tied in you are still left with all these questions that are never answered, which makes it hard to care about each character.

While you might have read that your choices made in Season 1 will factor into 400 Days, that's not really true. 400 Days offers two short references (one which I thought was really cool) towards your old play through that it's even easy to miss. 400 Days is its own story, not that it's a bad thing, but don't go in thinking Season One will play a part in any of it. I like how 400 Days was is its own thing though. Sure they could have stayed close to Season 1 and make 400 Days mandatory to play but they didn't and I can respect that. 400 Days feels fresh and it's a great way of showing how others, rather than the Lee group, is affected by the zombie outbreak, I only wish if each character had more screen time. 400 Days isn't just a brush off of the same story that we seen last year, it's new and feels like how a fresh DLC should feel, it just feels a little rushed and not as memorable.

One aspect of 400 Days is- how you play throughout does affect the final outcome and you don't know that until you look back on your stats. Each character chapter comes together and finally forges in the prologue chapter. While the DLC has one ultimate ending there are some changes that happen depending on how you played. It was always neat seeing how everything came to be connected and you got to see certain events through different perspectives, which was my favorite part of the episode. How is Shel connected to Russell and how is Wyatt connected to them as well? These stories slowly come together and it was fun to see. It was a nice change to the world of TellTale's TWD and I'm glad they took the risk as it paid off of them nicely.

The episode ends off with the prologue chapter which is the ultimate tie in point of the episode but it ends on a sour note. We finally see how everything is pulled together but one resolution ends with so many questions that are thrown into the air and none have any answers. I'm not sure if 400 Days will play into Season 2, in fact I doubt it will, so the fact that the DLC ends the way it does is just bizarre and somewhat frustrating. The ending isn't terrible by any means but it does so little to impress anyone. I feel like I will forever be hammered with questions that will never be answered. 400 Days just ends out of the blue and I waited behind a blank screen just hoping for another scene or anything to happen but there was nothing, 400 Days ends like it was in a rush. The prologue sets the episode up for a resolution that will feel satisfying but instead ends with a dozen questions that have no answers in sight.

At the end of the day The Walking Dead 400 Days is a fun DLC, no more, no less. While it doesn't offer the hard decisions and engaging storyline that the game was founded on it still has the great dialogue system and while the story isn't heart wrenching it's still fun to follow. 400 Days falls short as an episode I'd hope to see but it's enough to hold me over until next fall. If you really liked the original game than 400 Days might be something you'd want to get into but it's not forced and you aren't missing out on much by skipping out on it. No, 400 Days will not make you cry or feel sick but it will push you to continue playing and putting the controller down isn't that easy. With some rough spots 400 Days is a nice hold over until the story continues in Season 2.

 

 

 

Score

7.2/10

400 Days is good fun and all but do not force yourself to buy the extra episode if you aren't sure about it. The storytelling is my favorite part; I just wish each chapter was a little longer for the sake of character development. I grew little feelings towards each character but their connecting journey makes up for some of that.

Pros.

The connecting stories work well/Jumping back into TWD is always nice/Playing in any order you wish.

Cons.

Little character development/Most chapters end too soon/The ending could have been handled a lot better.

 

Comments
  • Nice review J. I'm excited for it and can't wait to try it. Seems to be pretty good. I'll have to try it when I come back.

  • That's my problem with the game, just how short they are within each section of the stories. They seem to run about 10-15mins each and that is way too short to feel any sense of real attachment to them. Considering the source material that the dlc comes from, this is disappointing and frustrating. That is what really sold and kept Season 1 running so damn strong, we had characters that we met up with, cared for, talked to and went through so much with and made it all the more impacting when the threat of losing one of these characters ( not all obviously hahah...Lary... -_-) came about.

    While I understand this is a mini side story dlc that will tie in the two seasons together, I can't help but feel that this was a missed opportunity to do much much more. I'd rather that we get maybe 3 side stories that are far bigger and have more room to hit those emotional cords once more. I haven't purchased the dlc myself, but seeing one of the stories from beginning to end was enough to show what's what.

    Now, the tie-in idea is something that COULD redeem the short & limiting factors, but that can't be determined until Season 2 starts. Just how impacting will the dlc be, how strong of a change & tie-in will it be? I personally get the feeling it won't be quite as good as we would be led to believe. That said, Walking Dead is still able to go on stronger then majority of games being brought out. I cried and teared multiple times in the original, though I get the feeling I won't be anywhere near that till Season 2.

    I'll probably get the dlc later down the road or if it hits a mini sale, because for me personally It's not quite $5 worth, I'd judge it around a couple dollars less. Thanks for the review J!
  • Great Review bro, I have only finished 1 chapter and it seemed to me like it ended within like 3 minutes. It felt way to fast...I just saved it and haven't played it since, although I'll get back to it soon this DLC doesn't feel anything like the Clem/Lee story. I don't really know how I feel about it quite yet

  • Great review, J. It certainly had its moments, but was a little disappointing in some areas. Agree with you about the ending. They only way I could see them tying this into Season 2, is if Clem happens to be where they're all headed at the end of the episode. Maybe then we'll get some more insight into these characters, because I was really interested in a few of them. It just left too many questions unanswered.

  • Great, in-depth review, though it now makes me a bit sad. :)  I haven't played 400 Days yet, and it seems its not as great as my moist-eyed expectations were, but for $5 it still sounds like its worth it.