The Walking Dead Game’s first episode is definitely not its best. But, considering how this game is episodic – and should be treated as such – what TV pilots are? Sure, this is a game not a TV show, but it’s not a game in the traditional sense. If anything it’s an interactive story. Unfortunately, that does turn a lot of people away but I’m here to tell you that just because there’s no health bars or jump buttons or ‘360 no scopes’, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth playing.
The best thing about the game’s first episode titled ‘A New Day’, is most definitely the grace and skill in which it introduces the characters and the mechanics. Every character has a unique look, a unique voice and a unique personality. This makes every character memorable and most importantly interesting. We want to get to know these characters; we want them to like us; we want to form bonds and we want to keep as many people as we can alive. Considering that this is the first episode and I already have characters that I love is a testament to the talent of Telltale Games.
It also has a five-minute introduction that acts as a sort-of-tutorial, teaching you how to make choices, how to click on objects and that you have to it fast. Throughout the episode new mechanics are taught to you and it’s not confusing or out of the blue, it’s subtle and in my opinion well done. I can’t think of any faults with the way the mechanics are introduced.
"Clementine’s character is handled with such mastery and effort that it’s nearly impossible not to love her."
Making the The Walking Dead Game centre around a relationship between the player and a child is a very risky move. Video gamers, generally, have a tendency to dislike child characters. But that is completely understandable because there haven’t been many likeable child characters in gaming. Clementine however, her character is handled with such mastery and effort that it’s nearly impossible to not love her.
Her introduction highlights every aspect of her character flawlessly. From finding Lee the hammer which shows her resourcefulness, to giving it to him which shows her bravery and all the while being terrified which shows her innocence, her introduction is a masterpiece on its own.
The Walking Dead Game means business. Like, serious business.
Every character gets their moment in the spotlight, and everyone is complex and riddled with flaws and strengths. They feel real, like actual people with actual motivations. And again, considering this is the first episode that is an amazing achievement.
The puzzle on how to get into the pharmacy did go on for a little too long, but I feel like it helped give players a chance to get to know the characters and gave them an excuse to use their brains which is always nice. Players may get stuck on their first try but thinking about it carefully they’ll soon understand what has to be done.
As many critics have said before, the only downside of The Walking Dead Game is its technical faults. However, I, and I hope others, are willing to look past the chewed on game box to see the disk inside. Because that disk is scratch-less AND dustless. And when does that ever happen? Never. The answer is never. It’s a good game… To sum up.
She’s just so cute. I can’t even.
Any who, to actually sum up… The plot of the game is handled beautifully, with this episode acting as a wonderful pilot that sets up the rest of the season perfectly. The characters are all fleshed-out and intriguing and you’ll end up loving or hating a few of them. The art style is simple yet effective, character’s faces being expressive and environments looking appropriately ravaged. The voice acting is superb and really brings these characters to life. The controls are clear and easy to use and the puzzles although tedious do help make the player feel involved.
Overall, I’d give The Walking Dead Game Episode One a 7/10. Which, considering this is the first episode, is pretty darn good.