The lights are on
The Walking Dead: 400 Days, is TellTales way of bridging the gap between seasons one and two of their very popular, story driven game The Walking Dead. Sean Vanaman and Gary Whitta's * masterpiece of 2012, which won multiple Game of the Year awards and many different accolades, was a heart-wrenching story that when it ended, left you sitting in silence, if not in tears.
The Walking Dead was also left very open ended, as the team at TellTale was planning on a season two, due to the exponential success of season one. 400 Days, tells the story of five different survivors, all in one episode. A number of the survivors were very interesting characters, that when their particular story ended, you wanted to know more about both before and after your short 30-or-so-minute journey with them. Some of the stories, are not so memorable, or intriguing, but regardless, it was a very well written episode, that left me craving The Walking Dead season two that much more.
The charm of season one, was primarily Clementine, and following her story, Lee was more of a surrogate, a point of view, to follow Clementine's story through. 400 Days' has a bit of a different attraction. The people you follow have their own very different personalities that may entrench you in their story, but the real draw is the surrounding characters. In season one, you didn't care so much about Kenny, Ben or Christa, as you do for Clementine, and how Lee is going to protect and raise Clementine. In 400 Days, I was typically more drawn in by Roman, Nate and Leland, and how they fit into all of this. The reason being is that they are such wild cards, we have no idea where they came from, how they got together with the character you are controlling, and what their lives were like.
The five characters from 400 Days are going to be in season two of The Walking Dead, and once TellTale releases it, we will be more ingratiated in their stories, because we will know more than just their mid-apocalypse selves, we will begin to know them, their extended stories, and who they are as people, as well as watch them progress.
Choice in this DLC seemed like much less of a factor. It came in a bit in the last section of the game, but this seemed like a much more narrated, set story line. There were a few choices along the way, but after you made them you realize how little any of it impacted, as well as at one point, I was hiding behind a tractor with a blunt object, while I was being chased, however, I had gotten separated from my friends, so as someone approached from the side of the tractor (slight spoilers), my thought was to wait and make sure it wasn't one of my comrades, but when I did this, I saw the Game Over screen, then the next time I smash the anonymous person over the head with my weapon, only to find out my initial idea was correct, and that I had killed one of the people I had been separated from.
Overall, 400 Days was a very well written DLC, and makes you want even more of TellTales, The Walking Dead. Though there were some dull moments, and some holes in the decision making, it still did what season one did so well, it left you feeling bad about your choices, but knowing any other choice would have made you felt the same way. It puts you in horrific situations, doing things your morality would never let you do if the world were still civilized. My anticipation for season two is currently through the roof.
*Credit also goes to Robert Kirkman and Mark Darin as writers on the game.
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