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The Walking Dead Playstation3 Game Telltale Games

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Pros: Striking comic book style art design, fantastic story, quality voice acting

Cons: Rarely challenging, certain combat mechanics are clunky

Growing up in the mid-nineties with a less than rocking computer meant one thing: point and click adventure games were front and center in my gaming library. From Tim Schafer’s fantastic Maniac Mansion and Day of the Tentacle series to Sierra’s King’s Quest, roaming a mouse around the screen to find something clickable was actually fun. But somewhere along the way, games grew up. Controlling characters in 3D environments replaced the simple charm of “click here to move” gameplay. The adventure game was dead. At least it was until Telltale Games performed a resurrection with The Walking Dead, a thrilling and emotional story that provides a new spin on the stale zombie genre.

Based off the comic, not the TV series, The Walking Dead places you in the boots of Lee, a history teacher on his way to prison for an unknown crime. After a series of events leaves him broken and battered in the woods, it’s clear the unthinkable has happened: the dead are now walking and they are hungry for human flesh. Lee soon meets Clementine, a strong but vulnerable eight year old making it on her own. The two team up and, with the help of an ever changing group of survivors, embark on a perilous journey.

The baseline story may be standard I Am Legend fare, but the beauty is in the details. Dead has a number of striking settings containing heart stopping side stories. From a dairy farm that doesn’t just serve milk to the abandoned city of Savannah, Georgia, there’s a great deal of variety in the experience. The cell shaded style artwork never distracts and when the action hits, the result is visceral and graphic. This is not a game for the squeamish.


Note: This adorable zombie is not indicative of the creatures in The Walking Dead. They are much more terrifying.

But all this would be for naught if it weren’t for a fabulous cast of characters. In each setting, you meet new survivors, each with their own motives. This tapestry of personalities paints a strong picture of life in an apocalyptic environment, giving everything an authentic feel. Clementine in particular is simply wonderful as your young partner. Telltale takes great pains to cement the Lee / Clem relationship and by the second episode, you are completely invested in her well-being. The auxiliary cast is also well drawn. From Kenny, a commercial fisherman traveling with his family to Carla, a tough as nails reporter, everybody in the group contributes a little something to the storyline.

The game is also heavy on choice. Say the wrong thing to a team member or mix your facts up, and people will notice. Like it would be in a stressful situation, the group is volatile and the choices you make weigh heavily on the difference between allies and friends. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t change much based on these decisions. It’s a fairly straight ahead narrative, regardless of who dies, who lives and their relationship to you.

The biggest negative against the game is the actual gameplay. The action ranges from quick time events during zombie interactions to roaming around talking to characters. While I loved learning everyone’s back story, this doesn’t leave much challenge. Make no mistake, the game is incredibly intense but once you’ve figured out the very rudimentary puzzles, the game can be walked through with ease. There are also some first person shooting segments thrown in, but the implementation is clunky and causes more than a few needless restarts. Call of Duty, this isn’t.

Luckily, it doesn’t have to be. Video game adaptations of popular media usually leave something to be desired. Be it time constraints, pressure from studios or a lack of understanding of the source material, they usually stink. The Walking Dead sets the same bar for interactive adventures that Batman: Arkham City set for superhero games. Heart breaking, poignant and featuring a scream worthy conclusion, Telltale’s latest creation is also their finest.

NOTE: This game was played as a “Season Pass” DLC via the PSN network, even though the review is posted on the disc version. From all accounts, the retail version plays identical to the online. Also note, this review does not include the 400 Days DLC.
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The Walking Dead Playstation3 Game Telltale Games
Description:

The Walking Dead is an award-winning vision of Robert Kirkman's global hit comic book series. Experience the true horror and emotional impact of being a survivor of the undead apocalypse in a zombie game unlike any other. You will meet people and experience events that will impact the story of Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes, and you will be forced to make decisions that are not only tough, but that will have a direct effect on the story that you experience. The undead are everywhere, but they're not your only problem. Starvation, betrayal, heartbreak and more will challenge you as you attempt to survive in the world of The Walking Dead.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingVideo Game
BrandTelltale Games
EAN0894515001191
FeatureBased on Robert Kirkman's Eisner-Award winning series Multiple awards including Editor's Choice and Best of E3 Game includes all 5 episodes of The Walking Dead series A tailored experience based on the decisions you make with a horrific moral dilemmas test you at every turn Unique visuals inspired by the comic book series
Item Height1 inches
Item Length5 inches
Item Width5 inches
LabelTelltale Games
ManufacturerTelltale Games
MPNGUIE-001191
NumberOfItems1
Package Height0.6 inches
Package Length6.6 inches
Package Weight0.15 pounds
Package Width5.2 inches
PackageQuantity1
PartNumberGUIE-001191
ProductGroupVideo Games
ProductTypeNameCONSOLE_VIDEO_GAMES
PublisherTelltale Games
StudioTelltale Games
TitleThe Walking Dead - Playstation 3
UPC894515001191
UPCList - UPCListElement894515001191
Item Weight0.08 pounds
CatalogNumberList - CatalogNumberListElement01191 0894515001191 894515001191
IsAutographed0
IsMemorabilia0
Model01191
Languages - Original LanguageEnglish
PlatformPlayStation 3
ReleaseDate2012-12-11
OperatingSystemsony_playstation3
HardwarePlatformPlaystation 3
IsAdultProduct1
NumberOfDiscs1
Languages - SubtitledEnglish
Languages - ManualEnglish
ManufacturerMinimumAge204 months
ESRBAgeRatingMature
Genreadventure-game-genre
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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