- Platform: XBLA(reviewed), PSN, PC
- Published by: Telltale Games
- Developed by: Telltale Games
- Genre: Survival Horror
- ESRB Rating: M For Mature
- Number of Players: 1
- Release Date: November 21st, 2012
The season finale for this particular Walking Dead series has been released and it’s one of the best stories in gaming hands down. The game’s story manages to surpass the current season of The Walking Dead television series, in my opinion anyway. What Telltale Games has managed to do is nothing short of amazing, and it really proves that quality games can come from inexpensive and easily accessible sources like the Xbox Live Arcade and PSN. There has been a lot of talk that The Walking Dead could actually win some Game Of The Year honors, does the series deserve such accolades?
The game picks up right where Episode 4 left off, you are basically thrown right into the action and your search for Clementine hits a fevered pitch, the choices you made in the previous games all have a vast impact, which is one of the marvels of this series and has been from the beginning. It turns out that a lot of the decisions I made and thought were moral, weren’t really great choices after all. I wont give away too much of the story just in case some of you haven’t played the games, but I applaud Telltale Games for not taking the easy way out when it comes to the story. There was a huge revelation at the end of Episode 4 and with the recent events on the television series I was worried that the game might take a similar path, my worries were unfounded and the game stuck with the true and only ending this particular season could have had. The story was emotional and it was filled with all of the tough choices and consequences we’ve come to expect from this fantastic series, and hearing that there will be more games in the future really excites me, I felt like even though these games weren’t a technical marvel or heavy with great mechanics, the story was second to none.
While the story is as engaging and amazing as ever, some of the gameplay mechanics continue to suffer, frame-rate issues have long plagued this series, it seems like when the scene changes or there is some quick movements the frame-rate suffers and lags up. The controls are still a bit clunky and awkward at times as well, for some reason the camera angles are really bad at times, but it doesn’t stay that way. This game has also suffered a bit when it switches itself up and turns into a shooter, most action sequences are fine, but the shooting aspects have always been lousy and its something that Telltale Games can definitely work on for future installments. As I stated earlier, this games brilliance is in the storytelling, not the mechanics and actual gameplay.
The complaints are really relatively minor when compared with the exciting story and interesting characters.The one thing that would worry me about this series getting a ton of Game Of The Year Awards would be how we’d hear that digital distribution was quickly becoming the standard. I do agree that digital games like The Walking Dead have their place, games like this and Journey more than prove those facts, but you can’t discount that the sales haven’t been amazing for either of those games and they both have, or will have a physical retail copy that you can pick up in stores. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t reason enough to not give the game awards, I think its one of the best stories ever told in a video game, but games that win awards should be, for the most part trouble and glitch free, which this series isn’t. I’m obviously against anything hastening the end of physical media, but this is a great game and a great series and even though digital is the only way to get it for the time being, I’d suggest it to anyone.
In the end this was a wild ride of a series and it does deserve a lot of praise, the ending to this particular chapter was everything I had hoped for and even though I consider myself a mainly man, if you didn’t break down at least a little bit, you probably don’t have a soul. It was that emotional and that good. The voice actors in this game have all done an incredible job and as a whole, this is the best story in a game this year, but not the overall best game of this year. If you are not into downloading games, then pick this up as a complete disk in a couple of weeks, its one of the best titles of the year and if you like great storytelling and choosing paths in a game that actually change the end result, this series is for you.