I wasn’t surprised to hear of a video game adaptation for Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead but I was curious to see how the whole adventure route would work in this universe. Over time, our minds have been accustomed to mowing down hordes of zombies from a first person perspective but in hindsight I’m glad Telltale Games went with such a different approach. Not only does this lend the game a distinct personality but it can stay true to the source matter without being labeled a Left4Dead clone.
If you’ve read the comics or have seen the TV show for that matter you know what the basic set up is. Zombies have overrun most of America and a rag tag bunch of survivors must do whatever it takes to survive. The comics tread a very dark path by highlighting some truly unspeakable acts performed not by the undead but by humans themselves against other living people. It goes to show how low humanity can sink when the brown stuff really hits the fan. The game’s tone isn’t quite there yet but I sensed glimpses of it in this episode. We’re guessing copious amounts of nastiness will ensue in the coming episodes.
Fans of the comic/show may get disappointed to know that Telltale Games have gone with a completely new roster of survivors for the game who will meet characters from the comics now and then. You play as Lee Everett, a seemingly normal sort of guy who hides a dark secret. On route to the police station (that’s the part where his past comes into play), his ride gets wrecked by a couple of lumbering corpses and so begins his journey as well as a new lease on life. He soon encounters a little girl, takes her under his protective wing and heads out to meet other survivors. Normally I’d have a problem with children in video games because they’re annoying or just plain cocky. Clementine on the other hand is a well mannered, scared little girl who’s just trying to wrap her little mind around all this madness. In that respect, the game does a commendable job in making you feel for certain characters. That is without a doubt testament to some solid voice acting.
The new survivors
Like I mentioned earlier, The Walking Dead takes the adventure route but it isn’t the traditional point and click variety. You control Lee using the WASD keys (on your PC) but the camera isn’t fixed behind him like a third person game. There are static cameras spread out through every level and as you move through it, the camera angles keep changing. To explore or interact with the environment, you simply hover your mouse pointer over certain objects and chose the option you desire (open door, browse medical kit etc).
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