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Interactive story full of tension

I could not have chosen a more opportune time to play The Walking Dead. I had just finished Resident Evil 4 HD, and my frustrations at some of the ridiculous deaths during the interactive cut scenes (aka QTE, or Quick Time Event) was building to a point of impulsive controller throwing. QTE's teeter on a tight rope, trying to find a balance between interaction and distraction. A lot of times, I lose track of what is actually going on because I'm frantically pressing a button, waiting for the next one to appear. Think of it like sub-titles. Where Resident Evil 4 fails numerous times, forcing me in to a trial and error situation, The Walking Dead succeeded with a double tap. Simple, but almost always causing a sweaty palm scenario. The action is top-notch thrilling.

The situations Lee gets put in; siding with one character over another in a fight, answering and asking questions that could make or break his relationship with others, choosing to help one live at the expense of another, all choices made in a matter of seconds... this game is absolutely crammed with moments that I knew I would have to replay again in order to see what else happens. I can't stand not knowing what else could have unfolded had I taken a variety of other routes.

The biggest issue I had with this release was the viewpoint. Occasionally, I just wanted to look around, but the fixed camera makes it impossible. Lee can walk around the set pieces, he can interact with other characters and objects that are highlighted, but he just can't do much else. This limitation bugged me, because I couldn't get a feel for my surroundings in some locations. There was also one spot in particular (in a hotel parking lot) where the option to look up, left, and right were available. Strangely, up and right did the same thing.Instead of moving on to another area to find what I needed to continue, I kept trying this d*amnable up and right dance. Two issues in a couple hours of gameplay, though---hardly diminishes the outcome.

If you like zombies, a gripping story, adventure, or (obviously) The Walking Dead... play this now.

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