Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Scary Game Review: The Walking Dead by Telltale Games - Season 1

"This game isn't worth my time," I used to say. Either that or, "I think the television show is boring." Yes, I know I'm going to get a lot of haters for saying that, but I couldn't be more wrong about the game.

I was bored a few months ago, actually I'm bored quite a bit, and decided it was time to watch another game series by one of my favorite walkthrough guys, HarshlyCritical. I walked past this series numerous times to be quite honest due to the fact that the show doesn't resonate with me. But I decided, why not? If I don't like it, I'd stop watching it. Simple.

Normally I'd write a synopsis, but I'll let this trailer speak for itself.

Season 1 Review:

"Ask not for whom the bells toll ... 
It tolls for thee." 

If I was to pick a word, one word, of what I thought about this it would be: WOW. This game was Telltale Games proving ground and they impressed the gaming world with a terrific story driven experience. A grand spectacle of fantastic story telling, character development, excitement, drama, the list goes on. It's really amazing how popular this game is even without the big cast members from the TV show.

The game was such a high mark for me, because I became invested in the characters. Yeah, Lee killed someone, but once he reveals the reason why he did it, any man with a loved one would understand. Doesn't make it right, but you understand. Then there's Kenny. I love the Kenny character. Maybe it's because I have a temper problem too, though not like his, but he told it like it is and stuck by what he thought was right. He was all about protecting his wife and child, a dumb kid name Duck. Yeah, his name is Duck.

But it wasn't just the characters that immersed you in the story, it was also the story itself. So many downs, not many ups. It really makes you feel for the characters. Between loved ones having to kill other loved ones and having to make very hard decisions, it's amazing that Telltale had the balls to do some of the things they put the characters through. It's also amazing that making these decisions is actually hard on the player. You care about these characters. You don't want to hurt him or tell them something that may strike a nerve. But the game is all about doing what YOU think is right. You could lie your way through or be honest, both can and will have serious repercussions. The game will get frustrating in the fact that even doing the right thing makes something wrong happen. But all Telltale games are like that (for example: The Wolf Among Us).

This game also really makes you think, would you survive? Would you have a long life? Probably not, especially in the conditions. Also, would a real life zombie apocalypse make the best of people do the worst of things? You don't want to think that and thankfully I don't think we ever will have to think of anything of the sort. Still though, it makes you think what humanity could be capable of doing. From making camps that don't allow the elderly, child, or people with serious ailments to cannibalism. Both of which are experienced in Season 1.

Some of the best moments, in my opinion, were the light-heart moments. There's one bit where Lily (a group leader of a small group of survivors) asks Lee to investigate why some of the supplies are coming up missing. Duck, Kenny's dimwitted son, recruits himself to be Lee's Dick Grayson (Duck: "That's Robin--" Lee: "I know who he is!") and some of that stuff is funny and makes the whole zombie apocalypse feel like there's still some humor in the world.

But of course the drama is the ultimate winner. The ending, not giving away much, is probably the saddest ending in gaming history. Trust me, I was sad when Elizabeth killed Booker in Bioshock Infinite; I was grieving for Joel to make it in The Last of Us, but this one little scene beats them all. (And before I continue, I'm well aware there are more sadder scenes probably, but honestly I haven't watched or played that many video games) I would be lying if I said I didn't let the water works come out, because it's hard not to especially with such a powerful delivery. For that scene alone, Melissa Hutchinson (the voice of Clementine) and Dave Fennoy (the voice of Lee) deserve awards for best performance.

I could spend all day talking about how great this game is, but of course I leave it up to you to go out and experience it. I definitely plan on buying both Season 1 and Season 2 (which I will review very soon) when the time is right. But do yourself a favor; even if you don't like the show, give this game a try. I did and I can't wait for Season 3 to come out, which is suppose to be sometime this year if the internet rumors are right. Give it a try. I can't guarantee you will love it, but I can assure you will at least enjoy it.

Final verdict: This game is an absolute masterpiece. A definite buy in the future and worth the watch again and again for years to come.

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