While being a fan of just about everything The Walking Dead related, I just had to pick up the first episode for this game on its digital release. Since then, I’ve only played one other episode digitally and took a long break, which could have been much longer if not for the games 2012 VGA success. After hopping online and finding out that The Walking Dead had won the Game of the Year from many more locations, I figured that it was about time to start playing again. Was returning to this game after so long worth it and did it truly deserve Game of the Year? Find out by reading on in this spoiler free review (which definitely makes it a bit shorter than I’d like it to be)!


As for the good things about Telltale Game’s The Walking Dead: This is much different from the majority of the titles I’ve played within the last year and maybe even the year before that. It isn’t a shooter and it’s not filled with over-the-top action, which seems to have become the norm in the gaming industry. Instead, The Walking Dead is a game that focuses on the choices you make while also managing to tell a fantastic story to keep you playing. Everything you say, everything you do, and even everything you choose not to do matters, carrying over from one episode to the next. Oh, and with season two being confirmed recently, I assume that your choices will carry on to that as well.


While on the topic of making choices, it may be best to inform you that it isn’t easy at all. Some may’ve read over that part with the assumption that all you’ve got to is press a button every once in a while, and then a decision is made. Well, that’s only half true. There’s a lot more behind it which makes the process of making these decisions much more difficult. For starters, the vast majority of the decisions that have to be made are timed. Failing to make a decision within the time limit can result in hindering the relationships you have, causing someone to do something that messes everything up, or even cost you your life. Then there’s the fact that you won’t be able to save everyone you meet, and you definitely won’t be able to keep everyone happy. However, if you’re not satisfied with the way something went and wish to change it, you can always play the episode from the beginning using the rewind feature.


The Walking Dead has been the first game I’ve played, ever, that actually made me feel as if I was the main character without having to customize them. I could actually see myself in Lee’s shoes, which is something I’m sure a lot of people may claim, but this felt different. The more time I spent playing this game, the more I began to see myself and started thinking about whether or not it was just because of the choices I made. In a sense, that’s definitely a good chunk of why I think that, but even in moments I had no control over, it felt like Lee was doing something I’d do. There were even times in which I said something out loud which shortly ended up being a part of his dialogue. That’s how I think all games that force you to make choices should feel like, which is one of my favorite things about it.


Telltale’s take on the franchise may not follow the television show or the comics directly, but you will certainly be able to interact with a couple familiar faces and find yourself in similar scenarios. I can’t exactly say who you’re going to bump into or what’s going to happen, but I can say that not even Walking Dead die-hards will be able to dissect some of the things that go on. As someone who’s read a few of the comics and seen every episode of the show, I’m actually somewhat disappointed in how many times I’ve predicted something, but then something totally different happens. Then again, I’m also quite intrigued by it for surprising me and keeping me on the edge of my seat to the end.


Though Telltale’s The Walking Dead was an amazing journey from the beginning, the conclusion is definitely where I’d have to give the most props. For the first time in my entire gaming career, a game has been able to make me put down the controller just to come to my senses. My hands were trembling, heart was racing, tears were flowing, and nose was dripping simply from all of the things that went on during episode 5 alone. I mean yeah, there have been times in other episodes where I’d feel my eyes begin to water up or drop my jaw in awe, but nothing has ever been able to get me like that. It was actually so bad (in a good way) that I don’t even want to play the game again. I want to remember my first playthrough as my last playthrough.


As for the bad things about Telltale Game’s The Walking Dead: If you’re playing the retail version of this game, there are a couple problems that may come up as you’re playing. The most significant seems to be the framerate, which can get incredibly bad and cause you to miss quick time events or even lag through cutscenes.  There were also a few moments, in which the game took a bit too long to load, causing me to think that my console froze. Worst of all, the game doesn’t’ allow you to install It to your hard-drive, which is usually the fix for these problems. For those of you who have been playing this digitally, you’ve got nothing to worry about.


With so many unforgettable moments, so many questions left unanswered, a second season already in the works and such a fantastic overall experience, I can certainly see how The Walking Dead has won so many Game of the Year awards. Personally, I actually agree with them and give this game a well-deserved 10 out of 10.  This game is actually so great, that I encourage everyone, whether you’re a gamer or not, to play it to the end. You won’t regret it.


Thanks for taking the time to read this review. If you liked what you read, be sure to follow me on my Youtube Page (TrueFreakinGamers) or Twitter (thatSTERLINkid) to share your thoughts! 

(Review based on Xbox 360 version.)