The Walking Dead sure is a popular TV series, but as some of you may know, it is based on a comic book by Robert Kirkman. Judging by its popularity, it was only a matter of time before a game studio got their hands on an appropriate license and created a video game, but I doubt any other studio could’ve done a better job than Telltale Games did with The Walking Dead episodic point-and-click adventure role-playing video game. A job so good that I could easily recommend the game to everyone, especially non-gamers looking for a great interactive experience.
So why exactly is this game so good? Well, the first thing you see on the screen when you start up the game is the following notice:
“This game series adapts to the choices you make. The story is tailored by how you play.”
And let me assure you, there really are loads of choices to make, often difficult ones, that have severe consequences. You may think that since the game is based on a comic book and has a similar graphic style to it, the whole portrayed world might seem unnatural or unrealistic. Well, WRONG. Telltale did a great job in designing the game in a way that almost instantly immerses you in the story and makes you care for the main character as well as for other characters he meets along the way.
The game is very interactive – through its course you interact with different objects, usually trying to find a way to get out of a particular situation or to solve a problem (I’d say the game has more problem-solving elements than action), but more importantly you interact with other people too, and you have a variety of dialogue options to choose from. You can be friendly, helpful, rude, selfish, aggressive etc. – the choice is yours. As you probably know from the TV series, trying to survive in a world full of ‘Walkers’ roaming around isn’t exactly easy and since you go through a lot together, you quickly create a certain bond with other members of the group. However, every now and then the story forces you to make difficult choices which may have a direct impact on some of them.
Combine compelling story and memorable characters with easy, intuitive controls and letting the players make their own decisions and take responsibility for their actions, and you have a recipe for success. I can honestly say that implementing some decision-making elements is one of the best ways of getting players immersed in a game and it is a feature I absolutely treasure in video games (which is probably why I love RPG games so much since the decision-making elements are the most prevalent in that genre).
The Walking Dead episodic video game is divided into 5 episodes and is currently available for PC/MAC, PS3, Xbox 360 and iPhone/iPad. I strongly recommend you try it out, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed by its originality in interactive storytelling.
Oh, and here’s a trailer of the series:
Telltale Games – The Walking Dead [TelltaleGames.com]