Telltale’s The Walking Dead
Publisher/Developer: Telltale Games
System: Xbox 360
Release Dates (Episodes One-Five): April-November 2012
Telltale had been in the business since 2004, but when they released TWD, they started to get widespread attention and acclaim. Their popularity exploded, and The Walking Dead franchise staked yet another claim in its success in multiple media.
TWD was a surprise hit that won many Game of the Year awards from many publications and websites, as well as other rewards. Does it live up to the hype?
The basic gameplay of TWD and Telltale’s many other games is basically the same. They are point-and-click, conversation-driven games with the odd (sigh) QTE thrown in for good measure. A key difference between Telltale’s games and other games with branching conversations is that they are timed. If you don’t pick an option in time, your character will remain silent. As the games themselves tell you, silence is a viable option. This is different from, say, BioWare games where you can just let the game sit there while you pace trying to make a decision.
In TWD‘s Season One, you play as Lee Everett, an African-American university professor disgraced by his murder of a state senator who slept with his wife.
The player’s choices help shape Lee by way of how he treats other characters. One option is known as “Scumbag Lee” by the fanbase.
I became interested in the game because The Walking Dead TV show was having possibly its best season yet in its adaptation of the saga that introduced the “Governor”, one of the comic’s most infamous villains. So, I rented Telltale’s TWD.