“Choose Your Destiny” in The Walking Dead Episode One
Short review and a few issues that stand out in the new The walking dead video game.
Decisions, decision, decisions
They said the devil is in the details, well in the first episode of The Walking Dead that is all you have control over. Maybe it is too early to say but it seems that the story line is pretty much predetermined and the different dialogue choices will often lead you to the same outcome. Minor decisions may influence characters that appear only briefly in the game without any impact on the main character. But this episode is awfully short and maybe we will see the consequences of the choices we make later on in the story.
For a game that has been compared to Heavy Rain it disappoints a lot and the average gamer can be fooled by the “importance” of each decision you take. At a second gameplay things will just get straight boring and you will reach the end of the episode way too fast.
The difficulty of the game is also average even when the Minimal option is selected and it is not enough to keep let’s say a puzzle or a point-and-click fan stuck to the monitor. The story line is linear and the player must reach certain progression points in order to move on. Even when these markers are not met the story will just jump to a certain episode. For example after reaching the pharmacy Glen will go out and search for gas: in the correct scenario you will hear back from him over the walkie talkie that he is stuck and you must go out and save him, but after helping Carley fix the radio you will get the “Let’s head out” option for no apparent reason and even if you do not hear back from Glen and you actually don’t know that he is in trouble (puzzling right?).
There are also a number of other bugs that can be noticed: the subtitles are sometimes more detailed than what the character is actually saying and a dialogue option can be selected over and over again with the same response being received (maybe it should be removed once it was used?). But hey the average gamer again will probably not notice it so why bother?
I understand that the cartoonish graphics are used as the game is “closer” to the comics version than the tv series or to pay respect to its original creator , but the character detail is suffering. Often the same facial animation is used to express quite different feelings and for a game that claims it emphasizes on the story and on the relations between people (zombie killing fans won’t do much zombie killing…)this is quite a downer. If you are still trying to defend the cartoonish animations play the game without sound and then try to guess what the character is thinking/feeling and how accurate it can express that.
The second part will change everything, or will it?
For such an appraised game the word “average” is used quite often in its description. But maybe the second episode will prove me all wrong and you will regret giving away that energy bar instead of keeping it for yourself or maybe not…