The lights are on
The convicted murderer Lee Everett and the innocent little girl Clementine team up in this action-adventure game. The Walking Dead by Telltale Games tells the beautiful, yet bloody, story of these two people who take care of each other and bring hope into the other's life.The Walking Dead starts in Macon, Georgia where the dead have risen and the humans are fighting for survival.
The game is kind of like the choose-your-own adventure books from my childhood. It would give you some options, you would choose one, and it determined the rest of the journey. There are so many options to choose from over time and it affects both the minor and major parts of the storyline. You can either not trust anyone throughout the game and lie to everyone, or you could be honest and try to trust others as you want them to trust you.
The best part of the game was, no doubt, the storyline. As the game continues, you feel more and more sure of Lee and are more and more in love with Clementine. You find her after the police car Lee was in crashes and he runs away from the walkers. This little girl made me want to protect her every single moment and make sure she was all right whenever I could. She was my hope and my way of keeping my sanity as I played. I'm not going to spoil the ending, because of course no one would like that, but I will say the game brought me to tears.
The game is single-player only, but connects you to others by showing stats at the end of each episode. It shows the major decisions and shows what percentage other players decided on each one. I loved seeing this because it makes me realize how many different decisions there are to make. It really makes me want to go back and see other ways my game could have gone.
I guess you could say the AI's were the other characters you could interact and talk with, but I didn't really think so. They were as much as main characters as Lee was at times and made me either love or hate them. The fact that they were the only real things to interact with except for the walkers made it really cool. I knew that I wasn't just going to get some lame saying from them that hundreds of other NPCs were going to say. I really got to know them.
The controls are very simple and learned fairly quickly. You just use the A, B, X, and Y buttons to interact with things and to choose what to say when talking to the other characters. You would walk with the left stick and aim the "cursor" on the screen to wherever you needed to interact. Shooting was done with the traditional right trigger so I didn't have a problem with that either. All in all, that was never a problem.
The game was easy when it came to combat, but not when it came to making decisions. There were times when I couldn't tell if what I was doing was the right thing. Ultimately I would find out later if what I was doing was the right thing, but it was always hard. Take for example the fighting between Kenny--the man from Florida at Hershel's farm with a wife and kid--and Lilly who was the daughter of a man who could not be reasoned with. I could stay neutral the entire time, but at least one of them would get extremely mad. If I chose either side, one would hate me more than they were beginning to. Knowing who to side with was hard because they both had their reasons for what they wanted to be doing or saying. It was a good kind of difficulty and it kept me on my toes.
Though I like to be able to save whenever possible, it was actually a really good idea to save by checkpoints and chapters. I had come back to points in the games where I didn't know what exactly had happened or was going on, and I was able to get a quick debrief on what happened just by seeing the cutscene that had just occurred.
The combat system was not a front-runner in the game because the game having more to do with navigating and solving problems with other humans. It was a very simple aim and shoot and I thought it was refreshing not having to handle walkers and having a crappy shooting system.
There weren't many glitches as far as I could tell when I was playing. The only time I could think of when it didn't seem to be working just right was during Episode 3 and the beginning of what everyone said had the first syllable repeated twice. This was annoying, but I wasn't plagued by any other irritating glitches the rest of the time.
The length of the game was really perfect. It was just long enough that I had time to get into the story and just short enough that I didn't feel like I was burdened with playing it. Each episode seemed to only take about 2-4 hours and that was perfect. I could do that easily in one sitting and not have to worry about having to get off when I needed to do something else.
The dialogue fit the characters very well and so did the lack of dialogue for Clementine. I didn't think that some of the things Lee could have said fit him very well as I continued further in the game, but this could be because of the way I played from the beginning. I really loved how many things could be said and how they were said. They chose very good voice actors and actresses for this game.
The game's replayability is very high considering the different scenarios that could occur with the various ways you could play the game. I played honestly and trusted the people around me and I always tried to be fair. I really wonder what would have happened to Lee and Clementine if I had lied all the time, took sides with the wrong people, or hurt everyone else. I can imagine it would be hectic, but interesting.
The soundtrack was very beautiful and very fitting for the game. The music matched the setting all the time and made me feel connected to the world I was playing in. Well, if you count Macon and Savannah as another world.
The graphics, I thought, were stunning. Yes, they weren't super realistic, but they were styled just like the comic books which made them really cool to look at. I would always catch myself watching the way everything looked even in dire situations where I was supposed to be concentrating on how to get out or save everyone else. I'm glad they didn't go another way with it because this worked flawlessly.
You bring together a convicted murderer who was really a good man at heart and an innocent young girl who is the hope and light of anyone's life, and you get an amazing story that wrenches your heart at every danger. I got the sense that I was watching Clementine grow up from the cute little eight-year-old she was to the nine-year-old coming to terms with what the world now is. I'm so glad Telltale Games created this instead of someone who would have made the game the wrong way.