GKick Review: The Walking Dead - Episode 1

FACT SHEET The Walking Dead | Episode 1 Available Now Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC | Publisher: Telltale Games | Developer: Telltale Games As a big fan of The Walking...

The Walking Dead | Episode 1 Available Now
Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC | Publisher: Telltale Games | Developer: Telltale Games

As a big fan of The Walking Dead, when I first heard that Telltale was about to release another episodic adventure game using this as the IP, I was both excited and nervous. Excited because The Walking Dead is an awesome property and to finally play in that world seemed really interesting. Nervous, however, because Telltale has a fairly spotty record at times. While games like Sam & Max are awesome adventure games, other titles like Back to the Future and Jurassic Park have not been so warmly received. Fortunately for all, Telltale delivers with The Walking Dead.

In this 5-part episodic release, players assume the role of a survivor named Lee Everett, beginning the game as a ‘passenger’ in a squad car on your way to prison. Throughout the first part, you find out a bit more regarding this circumstance, but Telltale does a great job of operating this parallel storyline to that of Rick, Shane, Carl, Lori and the rest of the clan from the comics. Oh, and yes, this game exists in the comic universe, so when you encounter known faces like Hershel and Glenn, you’ll recognize them immediately if you’re a fan of the books.

The first part of the game took me about two hours to get through and it follows a pretty typical adventure game style of play. This isn’t an action game, so don’t expect to run around slaughtering zombies - plenty of options for that in other games. This is a survival game and it plays as such. Not only is it survival for you and your child companion Clementine but also how you interact with the group. There are many key decisions you make in the game that drastically effect how the storyline plays out. Early on, you’ll have to decide which new member of your group lives and dies, and the destiny of all of you depends on that choice.

Playing the game is easy: movement with the WASD keys, click to interact. Some of the interactions, such as viewing or using an item - or interacting one item with another - require using the scroll wheel on your mouse to change the icon before clicking. Really, there isn’t much of a learning curve, though in some instances you need to be on top of your reactions. While they may not have the twitchyness of a Quick Time Event, you still gotta react before time is up.

In addition, the game is framed by a storyline as intense and interesting as that of the comics, and will certainly appeal to fans of both it and the show. As an adventure game, too, you’ll also gain a lot by just exploring. That not only finds more items, but also uncovers more to the story. While the game is certainly not flawless, it’s a bright showing by Telltale.

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About Steve Perry

The owner of GKick Network, co-host of the GKick and Bottom Line Live podcasts, and hero to millions worldwide.