The Walking Dead: Episode 1 Review
The popular graphic novel and TV show now has an episodic video game spinoff. Is it worth your time and money? Read on to find out.
Things don’t seem to be looking up for Lee. Convicted of a crime and sentenced to time, you start the game in the back of a police cruiser, being transported to your new home – the state penitentiary. Predictably, events take a turn for the worse as a full-blown zombie apocalypse engulfs Atlanta. With the dead walking the streets and the human population dwindling, your only objective now is to find others and survive this nightmare.
Unlike many of the zombie survival games on the market, The Walking Dead is NOT a first- or third-person-shooter. Harkening back to a bygone age of PC gaming, The Walking Dead is a point-and-click adventure game, similar to childhood favourites like LucasArts’ Sam & Max, Monkey Island series, Maniac Mansion or Full Throttle, or Sierra’s King’s Quest series (to name but a few).
You move Lee using the left stick, while surveying the surroundings with the right stick. When you’ve locked on to an item or object of interest, you simply press the corresponding button indicated on the screen. From time to time (like when you actually encounter a zombie), the game will force you into a quicktime event (QTE), where you’re forced to either repeatedly press a button or time your button presses to match what’s on screen.
While The Walking Dead is set in the zombie apocalypse, a lot of the conflict involves the other survivors you meet on your journey. Striking up conversations with these people is a key part of gameplay. What sets this game apart from older point-and-click games is the fact that your conversation selections will actually change your future interactions with these people. There are five episodes in the series, so depending on the choices you make, you may end up with wildly different experiences and endings from your friends.
- Art direction based on the graphic novel
- Good voice acting
- Branching storyline and decisions affect gameplay and future interactions
- Inexpensive (400 MSP)
- Some cameos for fans of the series
- Too short!
- People who have never played point-and-click adventure games looking for a “hardcore gaming” experience might be disappointed.
The Old Guy in me says
Seriously, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get this game.
- If you’re a Walking Dead fan, or even just a zombie fan, you probably already own this.
- If you love point-and-click games, this is up there with the best of them.
- If you’re a broke-ass gamer, it’s super cheap.
- If you’re a gamer with little time to game, it only takes about two hours to get to the end.
- If you care about replayability, you’ll want to play this again to see how different choices will change your outcome.
- If you don’t have good reflexes, this game is really forgiving.
- If you want a good story, well, this definitely beats the likes of Halo or Metal Gear Solid or anything else that’s been released lately.
Let’s face it – most games that are based on a TV show or movie are usually crap. The Walking Dead definitely does not belong in that bucket and is worthy of your time and money.
Honestly, just get this game. It’s a no-brainer…
A note on our rating scale: We rate things out of five, but don't confuse it with ratings from other publications. We’re not professional reviewers who do this for a living, we don't get sent free copies of games, and we don't have the luxury to play a ton of games during our work hours - we buy/borrow all our games and do this during our off-time, outside of our jobs and families. Our ratings take into account the time and money spent, and are here to help you make an informed decision on whether this game is worthy of your hard-earned cash and limited time.5 – An almost flawless game with good graphics, sound and gameplay. You might even want to replay it many times, despite your busy schedule. A must-buy.
4 – It has some flaws, but it’s still worth a playthrough. Buy it if you like this type of game.
3 – An average game targeted to specific niches. It has its redeeming factors. Buy it on sale or if you fit its target demographic/niche.
2 – The game sucks, but some will get enjoyment out of it. Play it at your own risk.
1 – Broken, ugly game with few redeeming qualities. Probably shouldn’t have been made. Leave this game alone and don’t even look at it.
0 – Worse than garbage. Game companies should pay you for the time you spent playing this trash.