With the recent release of the first downloadable content for The Walking Dead video game I thought I would take this opportunity to suggest that anyone who is a fan of The Walking Dead franchise, whether they play video games or not, should play through the first series of one of the best zombie video games ever made.
Telltale’s The Walking Dead is a point and click adventure game set in the same canonical universe of Kirkman’s comic. It is, without a doubt, one of the most harrowing video games of this generation. Like its source inspiration the game puts ordinary people in extraordinary and extraordinarily cruel situations to ask the player, what would you do? What could you do? In this game your actions have consequences, violence is awful and the decisions that you make are reflected back upon you in the reactions of your companions and in the eyes of a young girl.
I am not going to give away any plot points of the game at all, simply to say that you play a character that has taken a paternal relationship with a young girl whom I guarantee you will go to any length’s to keep safe. Like the comic, The Walking Dead is more about survival than it is about zombies. While a number of games have been released over the past year and a half that explore the idea of surviving in a zombie apocalypse, only The Last of Us comes even close the taxing and emotional journey you will take in The Walking Dead.
The zombies are a backdrop, a catalyst to the human story that is told throughout the games 5 chapters. Don’t get me wrong, when the zombies attack it is brutal and gory and when it comes time to act you have limited time to make your decisions. Decisions that will have lasting effects throughout the game and affect your relationship with the other characters.
Telltales’s game plays out far truer to the comic then does the television series, the growing sense of hopelessness against a world that is slowly dying which Kirkman so beautifully portrayed in the comic (at least in the beginning) shines through in the game. No one is safe, this is made very clear at the beginning of the game so while some of the subplots you can see coming others will hit you from out of nowhere like a truck. If you have enjoyed the TV series but especially if you are a fan of the comic, The Walking Dead game offers you the chance to effect the way the story plays out a make choices no one should ever have to make.
The Walking Dead is available on PC through Steam, Playstation 3 and Vita, Xbox 360 and even through the Apple App store. The first DLC, 400 Days, was just released and season 2 of the game comes out late this year and promises to curb stomp our souls for a second time.