If anybody was so loved up last year and missed this, here it is again…Punk’s love letter to the Walking Dead…
Sometimes a game comes along and you just have to publicly declare your undying love for it. It doesn’t matter what platform it’s on, it doesn’t matter what genre it is. Once in a while a game comes along and it gives you an unforgettable experience. So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, this is my love letter to The Walking Dead.
Telltale Games released The Walking Dead as an episodic downloadable series last year, starting in July and concluding in December. Although based loosely on Robert Kirkman’s comic series, the episodes are set out like a tv show. When you start a new episode, you will hear a voiceover saying “Previously on The Walking Dead…” with a quick summary of what you went through in the prior episode. It’s a really nice touch and it sets things up for future series (Telltale are reportedly working on a new set of episodes to be released later this year).
I wanted to play this game for many reasons. I’m a big fan of the comics (I’m currently on the 2nd compendium and can’t put it down), I love the tv show and I love storytelling games. And that’s what The Walking Dead is. Yeah there’s blood, gore and zombies. But it’s the personal connections between the characters that grab you.
You play as Lee Everett, a convicted murderer who is on his way to jail. It’s not long before a zombie apocalypse breaks out and the world is changed. Whilst trying to survive, a little girl named Clementine comes into Lee’s life and his priorities change – to protect her at all costs.
Throughout the game you are faced with many dilemmas. It may be something small, like how to respond to someone in a conversation (if you give them an answer they don’t like, they may remember it and this could affect your story later in the game), or who to save from being eaten alive (again this could affect how others treat you for the remainder of the game). It’s what set’s this game apart. There are frantic moments of desperately trying to escape zombies, but the moments that get you are the the tense conversations and the heartbreaking realisations. Make no mistake about it, you will have to make horrible decisions, and there will be times when you genuinely don’t know what to do.
I want to write for hours about the brilliant twists, the emotional scenes (this is the first time I have ever welled up at a game) and the incredible writing, but I also don’t want to spoil it, because for the first time I can actually say, without any doubt, that this is the best game I have ever played. I have never felt what I felt during this series, and I’ve played some incredible games.
The game is also known for having an easy platinum (you simply finish the story for the trophy) and it is. After experiencing Telltale’s masterpiece however, you won’t even care about the platinum. You’ll be so thankful you played The Walking Dead, so affected by the twists and turn’s that it won’t be on your radar. Most of all though, you’ll be so glad that a thing of such human eating gory beauty exists.