Survival at all costs

Survival at all costs


Zombies have invaded nearly every aspect of modern culture. From television, to film and even into books, the zombie epidemic has spread to every form of media available.

The most popular form of zombie fiction in recent years has been “The Walking Dead.” Though the franchise started as a graphic novel series, it was not until AMC adapted it into a television show in 2010 that “The Walking Dead” became a household name.

With the show breaking viewership records, it was only a matter of time before the brand made its way to video games.

This task fell upon developer Telltale Games. Given their previous endeavors, such as games based on “Back To The Future” and “Jurassic Park,”  players wondered if they could pull off a mature drama set in such a bleak universe.

In the end, Telltale shattered expectations when the first episode of “The Walking Dead” game was released in April 2012.

The game’s first season concluded its five-episode run in November of the same year, and, even though it is hardly two years old, there is no denying its impact on video games.

Utilizing player choice and stellar writing, “The Walking Dead” game delivers a somewhat flawed but unforgettable journey.

Set in the same universe as the comic, players assume the character of a former history professor named Lee Everett. The game starts with Lee on his way to prison, but the zombie apocalypse breaks Lee out and gives him a new set of goals. He must survive at all costs, and he must protect a little girl named Clementine. These two seemingly simple goals are what makes the game the juggernaut it is.

While it does have some  puzzles here and there, the real draw is the “choose your own adventure” aspect of the story. Each choice players make as Lee could be different than a choice another would make, and the game changes accordingly. Decisions made in Episode 1 can have repercussions all the way into Episode 5, long after players forget about them.

Are there different endings, like in the “Mass Effect” trilogy? No. “The Walking Dead” tells the same story and ultimately has same conclusion.

It does, however, allow players to experience it in different ways. The choices made, the relationships built, and the emotions felt by each player will be different for each person. That’s what makes this game so special.

The only flaws in the game are some minor technical issues, such as screen freezes and gameplay lagging. While these are disappointing, the story is completely worth any hiccup you encounter.

At the end of 2013, Telltale released the first episode of Season 2 of “The Walking Dead” game. Season 2 will continue the game’s story, though players will play as Clementine instead of Lee this time. The remaining four episodes will relase in early 2014.