The Walking Dead has been a long running comic book series that is beloved by many for its great storytelling and superb illustrations. The series was soon adapted for television and received universal acclaim from both critics and casual watchers alike. The only territory that The Walking Dead hasn’t invaded would be our beloved video game scene, that was until Tell Tale Games and Robert Kirkman decided to being his beloved series to consoles and PCs. Broken up into five monthly episodes, much like TellTale’s Back to the Future series, Players will begin their journey across Atlanta in Episode 1 – A New Day. Does this first episode live up to the comic book and TV adaption in terms of depth and storytelling, or is this another failed primetime adaption?
The story starts with Lee Everett, a convict leaving Atlanta in the back of a police car. Eventually his peaceful backseat cruise turns into a disaster, and Lee Everett has to face the many challenges and decisions that pepper the first episode in The Walking Dead video game series. Later, Lee Everett takes care of a girl named Clementine who, along with many other characters throughout the game, will all have a different outlook towards Lee from the multiple conversations he has with them. As the story unfolds, you find yourself being engaged and enriched from the very beginning to the final moments of the episode. There is never be a dull moment within the first episode, and we should hope that stands true with the next.
As for gameplay, there is really not much of it. For those of you who have played previous TellTale Games’ will see some similarities to Sam & Max, but very little. You can walk around the environments, engage in conversions, or pick up items to either progress the story or get unique conversions between characters – all of which are timed to keep you on your toes. There is a little depth to the puzzles, but overall it’s simplistic and nothing major like the aformentioned title. By the end of the first episode, you will have made some key decisions on who will live and die, along with any of the alliances and enemies you’ve made along the way. Everyone will have a different outcome, meaning that its unlikely you’ll play the same way as a friend, or indeed the same way a second time through.
Presentation wise, The Walking Dead looks great and artistic. It really feels like you’re in an interactive full motion comic. Character models are detailed and the environments come in many varieties from Hershel’s farm to a dank deserted motel. There are times when character movements are slightly awkward during gameplay, but it runs smooth overall. Voice acting wise players will love each character with believability, with each actor doing a great job of making each character unique and players will like to listen to everyone’s point of view on the situation they are in.
The Walking Dead Episode 1 – A New Day takes everything that made both the comic and television series so great, into something unique and engaging. The story so far follows Lee Everett and his new found companion, Clementine, as they travel through Atlanta to find a safe haven. It’s nice to see TellTale breaking out and giving you full control over the story and how the episode ends and, consequentially, how the next will start. Gameplay is little with simple puzzles and having engaging, yet timed conversions between characters. Whatever Lee says has an impact on the story at hand or in future episodes. Presentation wise, the whole game feels like a interactive full motion comic with great and convincing voice acting. So far, the first episode has started at a high note and fans and newcomers to the comic and television series will have to check this out.
Final Score: 4/5