review
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POSTED 13/1/13


THE WALKING DEAD

Telltale Games



When asked once why the TV adaptation of The Walking Dead is so ace, we had a simple response. Rather than focussing on the undeadness of the zombified, it concentrates on the humanity of those who’ve thus far survived.

The same goes for this point, click and quicktime mash adventure based on the comic books. Taking cues from Heavy Rain and even, occasionally, the Uncharted series, the regularly lengthy narrative’s punctuated by basic adventuresome bits and intermittent story-affecting choices.

You’re John Shaft... erm, Lee Everett. Yet for all his “damn right!” stereotyped posturing, he’s one of the realisticest protagonists we’ve ever worn the videogamiacal shoes of. We won’t spoil any story, save that he looks after a young girl named Clementine, who he stumbles upon early in the first of the five episodes comprising this compendium.

The 10 hours-plus that you plummet through – just try stopping after one episode - can be gut-wrenching. Seriously, at times it’s like a 747 full of emotion has slammed directly into your heart. If you don’t shed a tear on this journey then you’re a heartless prick.

Visually, despite a surfeit of gore, The Walking Dead’s a treat. Cel-shaded, it’s oftentimes stunning. The suitable-but-subtle audio aids the experience, along with mostly superb voice acting that doesn’t sound sticky-taped together.

So, it’s a modern gaming marvel then? Sadly, no.

While visually, sonically and writingly everything’s happening, things are crippled by the little game engine that couldn’t. Appalling hiccups abound – things sometimes get so far behind that interaction options flicker past inaccessibly. Meanwhile, Lee can slickly slide around, almost moonwalking as apparently nobody considered stopping his walk mechanism upon hitting solidness. It’s akin to a Bugatti Veyron shell with a Holden Barina motor.

So, Imbruglia-esquely we’re torn. Narrative gaming experience-wise this is peerless, but mechanically it’s clunky-as. Still, we sat in tears motionless for yonks upon finishing the final chapter – and not due to programming deficiencies...

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.