e3 2013

First Details On The Walking Dead: 400 Days

by Kimberley Wallace on Jun 21, 2013 at 06:30 AM

Telltale Games has been teasing the release of its 400 Days DLC, which it's calling a special episode. Today at E3, the team showcased one of the character's stories.

Telltale decided to give fans 400 Days to provide "connective tissue" between seasons one and two. You must already have season one to play the DLC. Telltale also recommends you don't jump into 400 Days without playing any of The Walking Dead, since the decisions you made in season one have an effect on 400 Days, and your choices in 400 Days impact season two. The DLC features five different character stories and provides their viewpoints of the zombie apocalypse. All stories start on different days and will cover the ground from day one all the way to 400, and you can also play the stories in any order and discover interesting ways in how each of these stories impact one another. 

The Georgia highway is a key place where all the action occurs, but you also slowly watch the world fall apart in the progression of the different days. For instance, a diner may look perfectly normal in one scenario, but then in another the windows are all boarded up for protection against the vicious zombies outside. Also, as the apocalypse unfolds, expect different mental states of characters to reflect the situation at hand. 

This morning, Telltale demoed Vince's story, which starts on day two. From the start, the atmosphere is tense with somebody begging Vince for their life as he shakily holds a gun. Vince shoots and runs away. We don't get to see him get captured, but next thing you know Vince is on a bus in a orange suit, clearly now a convict. Great dialogue ensues as Vince chats with two of the other prisoners, whose legs are also in shackles connected with one another. The natural dialogue stands out, as the prisoners start off joking, but then begin to discuss their crimes. Both characters challenge Vince's morality and values, asking him questions about his crime. Depending on how you answer for  Vince, the now iconic "Danny noticed that" message comes up on the corner of the screen. You have options to flat-out lie or boast about your circumstances along the way. 

Soon enough, the prisoners' conversation is broken up by a fight on the bus as a convict attempts to strangle another. The tense feeling of someone's life in your hands – the pull that The Walking Dead is known for – is right here in this DLC. As Vince, will you step up? What can you do shackled in the moment? As a character screams at Vince to take action, saying, "Where's your empathy, man!?" The dialogue questions you. 

More harsh lessons are learned and dealt as the demo goes on, abrupt gun fire and deaths keeps the shock value high. Then you're forced to make some tough choices between characters you've only known for a few moments. Who will you sacrifice and who do you want at your side? The way you build alliances and being forced to make in the moment decisions is Telltale's bread and butter, and the company is capitalizing on it wonderfully in Vince's story. 

For now, Telltale said some characters may or  may not show up in season two depending on how you play this special episode. But everything you know and love from about Telltale's The Walking Dead is right here again. Waiting to toy with your emotions and forcing you to make unattractive choices just to stay alive seems just as unnerving. This early peek proves Telltale knows its fans and what's at the heart of The Walking Dead.

The DLC releases in July for $4.99. However, those planning on picking up the Vita bundle will have to wait until August. 

This preview was originally published on June 11, 2013.