THE WALKING DEAD
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
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...