Community Post by Khalid Al Soufi: The Walking Dead, Season 1 – Review


Finally, a zombie game with a meaningful story.

The game industry has been flooding us with zombie games for years now. Whether it’s a new iteration to the Resident Evil franchise, or the sequel to Left 4 Dead, or an expansion pack to Red Dead Redemption or Suda51’s utterly bizarre Lollipop Chainsaw. Zombies just love to find their way into our games. What has been clearly missing however is a genuinely meaningful zombie story that doesn’t just involve popping one head after another. With The Walking Dead, Telltale Games were set out to achieve just that and I am happy to say that they have succeeded with groundbreaking results.

So what is The Walking Dead?! Well for starts, it’s certainly not a third person shooter, or a first person one for that matter. What you have here is a point and click adventure by Telltale games, whom are famously known for Sam & Max and Back to the Future episodic series. In similar fashion, The Walking Dead spans 5 episodes that were released from April to November 2012.

You are tossed into the shoes of Lee Everett, a convicted murderer who is on his way to prison when all of a sudden everything goes to hell and Lee wakes up in a car wreck in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. A few minutes later, he meets up with Clementine, arguably the most important character in the story, a young girl in search for her parents whom Lee comes to believe are dead already. It’s after his encounter with Clementine that Lee comes to understand his two main goals throughout this journey, which are to survive this zombie apocalypse and protect Clementine at all costs.

The world of The Walking Dead is bleak and hopeless. Throughout Lee’s journey you will encounter a variety of characters who like him are desperately trying to survive this harsh world (An example would be an important character in the story named Kenny who possesses a wife and a son.) What I love about the characters here is that they’re so convincing and believable to the point that you wouldn’t mistake them for standard video game game characters. I personally love how the struggles and dilemma’s flesh the characters out in the apocalyptic world and that is what brings life to the plot and adds a certain depth to it. The voice acting here is top notch, and the remarkable writing and character performance always leaves a memorable impact on the player. Kudos to the voice-actors of Clementine and Lee (Dave Fennoy & Melissa Hutchison), as those two characters certainly took the spotlight in the game.

This game is all about choices and consequences. Throughout your journey of surviving this harsh world the relationship you build with Clementine (especially Clementine) and the other characters will shape up the outcomes of the story significantly. The ‘interactive story’ nature of The Walking Dead allows Lee to interact with other characters in conversations. Responses will pop up during conversations with timers, and Lee must choose how he responds to other survivors which in turn would lead to different characters reacting differently to Lee. Befriending one character may come at the cost of clashing with another (Do not expect to satisfy everyone in the game). During tense dramatic moments Lee will have to make some of the toughest decisions in his life like choosing to save a character over another, or shooting a child or choosing to steal supplies in order to survive. ‘Choose your adventure’ is key here to The Walking Dead, while the final outcome may not change from one play-through to another, the process of getting there will. It’s all about how you will get there, not what will happen when you do get there. In Lee’s journey to survival, another layer of game-play consists of tackling certain tasks that would function as puzzles in the game. They might seem like mundane tasks that include fixing a radio, or breaking a lock to a cabinet, but they do provide an element of diversity in the game and while some may be dull, they do work for the most part in the game’s context and highly help in the pacing. Also they allow the player more freedom in walking around and conversing with other characters. Also there are a handful of intense events that take you off guard and force you into quick time button mashing events; Telltale’s way to keep the pacing and momentum going.

The Walking Dead adopts a comic book style in the graphics department. The game looks pretty for the most part. However some technical hiccups holds the game from optimum performance. These have been documented throughout the five episodes which range from slowdowns in intense scenes and freezes between loading scenes. While they’re not game breaking by any means, but they are certainly notable.


Final Verdict

The Walking Dead demands your attention. This emotional roller-coaster will take you around 12 hours for your first play-through. The standard here is easily on par with Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain and Fahrenheit. Although do not expect anything revolutionary in terms of game play here, but if you are a sucker for good stories then this is a definite buy for you.



+ Amazing Story

+ Well developed characters

+ Great Replay Value



–          Technical hiccups hinder the immersion

–          Some dull segments


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