Telltale Games was showing Long Road Ahead, the third episode in The Walking Dead series at PAX Prime 2012, and there were plenty of demo computers to see it in action.
The Walking Dead is set in a world descending into anarchy after a zombie apocalypse. You play as Lee Everett and your actions profoundly change a small group of survivors as you struggle to survive. All of your actions have consequences in this story of survival and redemption.
One of the most striking scenes I saw was when Lee Everett and Kenny were escaping from a town. They spotted a survivor surrounded by zombies, and while their first inclination was to rescue her, they quickly saw that it was a lost cause. You could either do nothing and run, leaving her to be slowly killed by zombies, or use your rifle and give her a quick death, alerting the zombies to your presence. Whatever you choose, the sounds of her frantic screams and pleas for help won’t easily be forgotten.
My impression of The Walking Dead is that it’s one of the few horror games that actually has horror. Even though there are zombies and they’re creepy, what’s really scary are your fellow survivors and what you’re forced to do to survive. Sometimes, as in the example above, there are no good choices, and that can be more emotionally wrenching than a dozen zombies trying to eat your brain.
The Walking Dead: Long Road Ahead is available now for the Mac, PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 for $4.99 at the Telltale Games website. There will be a wait for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad version because they recently received the second episode, Starved For Help, which is available as in-app purchase once you buy episode one at the App Store.