Reviewed: On Pc, also available for consoles, iOS.
Telltale Games’ are off to a very good start with episode one of the Walking Dead game ‘ A New Day’. The Walking Dead game, based on the world of the comics created by Robert Kirkman features a whole new character Lee Everett as he points and clicks his way through the zombie apocalypse.
The first thing players will notice, especially if they’ve come from some of Telltale’s previous games or more traditional point and click games is the control scheme. Instead of the full mouse control of traditional point and click games, The Walking Dead features a keyboard and mouse controls – for movement and investigation independently. At first, some pc players may feel the control scheme is ‘control centric’ however after the first few scenes, the controls soon become natural and actually work very well.
The graphics work well for the series – the cell shaded look fits well into the overall universe and critically fits a good balance between realism and comic, stopping the game looking more like an interactive cartoon rather than an interactive horror story. Tension and suspense isn’t lost with the graphics and Telltale Games have made sure the series’ hasn’t be stripped of it’s gore and drama, which is fantastic.
Player choice was always supposed to be a big drawing point for the Walking Dead game series and as a player this really comes across. Once a significant choice has been made, a prompt is shown to tell you that the character will remember this action and the time limit on choices, as well as the autosave feature (ie. No going back immediately after making a choice to see how it’ll play out differently) really puts weight on each and every choice the player has to make and ensure’s you’ll always go with your gut instinct the first way through. The time limit for these choices, although fair, could have been extended a tiny bit as the majority of the time you’ve only got time to read the choices and make a decision which although is great way of adding tension, can make some players ‘panic choose’ their choices.
Both the voice acting and writing is very good for the majority of the episode, with only some small scenes or a couple of lines standing out and pulling you out of the immersion. Telltale Games’ trademark humour is also present, though obviously a lot more subtle than in their other game series, you’ll still raise a smile in some of the more slower moments.
One scene, featuring a woman who can’t get a radio working because it’s out of batteries is initially quite funny but somewhat immersion breaking – although in the television series of the Walking Dead, a woman managed to hit the only walker in the immediate area and flip her car on an otherwise empty wide road while attempting to read a map while driving incredibly quickly.. So perhaps it the radio scene was a cheeky throwback to how the television series treats the majority of its women characters.
Overall, I was very pleased with how episode one of the Walking Dead has turned out and am very interested in seeing how the choices I’ve made in this episode will alter the rest of the series. Episode 1 comes in at a couple of hours long but features 3 save slots that encourage multiple playthroughs with different choices. If you’re a fan of the Walking Dead, chances are you won’t be disappointed with this game.
• Great characters.
• Nails the tone and setting.
• Weight to your choices.
• 3 save slots encourages multiple playthroughs.
• Some graphics and audio issues.
• Some scenes take away from the immersion.