In 2012, while The Walking Dead’s television adaptation dominated international ratings, the independently produced game based on Robert Kirkman’s comic book series, received high critical acclaim and a great deal of attention. Telltale Games’s episodic graphic adventure seemingly broke new ground in the gaming world, putting emphasis on story and characterisation, and thus fully immersing players into its harsh, zombified world.
With high anticipation for the recently announced second series, Roobla takes a look at why The Walking Dead is one of the best games out there.
With five episodes featuring connecting but different storylines, there is plenty of content to entertain players. Beginning with protagonist Lee Everett’s discovery of the post-apocalyptic world, the game follows his journey of survival through Atlanta, Georgia with fellow a survivor, eight year old Clementine and a group of equally distressed characters.
Film / Game Crossover
The Walking Dead’s gripping, entertaining and riveting storylines are reminiscent of storytelling styles in films and television series. This focus on plot makes for an unusual but welcomed hybrid of movie and game, which only serves to impress players.
During the episodes, players will meet an array of characters from different backgrounds and walks of life. There are country and city folk, military, nerds, control freaks, the young and the old. It features an entertaining mix of personalities and good range of those who come in useful during a zombie apocalypse, and those who only serve to cause harm. Players may also see a few recognisable names.
Lee and Clementine’s Relationship
The accidental relationship of University Lecturer Lee and an eight year old, suggested-orphan, Clementine may seem a little strange at first, but it is so well written that their strong, cute and emotional bond will tug on the heartstrings of even the toughest gamers.
Players’s Decisions Affect the Story
Throughout the episodes, gamers are given the opportunity to make choices based on actions and communication, putting them fully in control of their experience. They can decide how to speak to other characters, what to do and how to do it.
The Storylines Adapt to Decisions
Players may want to think hard about their decisions, as they will not be taken lightly. The choices made affect what happens in not only the next episodes, but the following seasons and expansions.
The Protagonist Can Be a Reflection of the Player’s Personality
Many players choose to play as they would in real life, adopting a strategy based on their own personalities and traits. Lee Everett has the potential to be a wide range of characters, such as an indifferent push-over, a fair and decent leader and an aggressor.
The Walking Dead isn’t all stories and no action, however, as tense events and epic finales serve to satisfy action-hungry gamers. Fight off zombies and play a pivotal role in the survival of fellow characters in suspense-filled scenes.
All of the factors above result in a very captivating experience for gamers; they will not play fixed and contained stories like most traditional single player games, as the storylines revolve around them and their choices. The level of involvement is ground-breaking, and subsequently, players become fully immersed in the emotions of the game. They will travel as part of the group, journey through a world of sadness and despair and get to know characters as they would in real life.
Not many games are known for their writing, with the usual focus being put on graphics and gameplay. But as we have established, The Walking Dead is unlike other games; its writers are deserving of the accolades usually given to writers of film and television. The characterisation, development and plot twists are all exceptionally written, and it is a highly emotional and surprisingly realistic game in its care for human interaction, feelings and relationships.