Genre: Adventure horror
Developer: Telltale Games
System Requirements: Mac OS X v10.6, 2.0GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 2GB hard disk space, 256MB ATI or NVidia video card. Not recommended for Mac minis or early-generation MacBooks.
Review Device: 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro
Price: $24.99 (all five episodes)
Availability: Out now
The Walking Dead: The Game continues to hit ’em out of the park. Episode 3 found some supporting characters losing hope, losing their minds, and losing their lives. And that was just the midway point for the series. Now the survivors have arrived in a new town with an escape plan and precious little hope. Things, as you might expect, don’t go well.
The group (more or less led by Lee, your player character) have arrived in Savannah, Georgia with a plan; find a boat and sail away to someplace uninfected with zombies. Clementine, the little girl that Lee has sworn to protect, has a plan too; find her parents, who were in Savannah before everything went wrong. As if dealing with a zombie apocalypse (and the degeneration of human civilization) weren’t enough, a nasty surprise came up at the end of the last episode; someone’s been talking to Clem on her supposedly broken walkie-talkie, telling her that he has her parents, and she should slip away from the group and come find them.
The group is well past the edge as betrayals, losses, and injuries threaten to explode in violence at any point. Trying to keep the group together and functioning will be difficult; Kenny is still in shock and looking for a fight, Ben keeps screwing up and the guilt is killing him, and newcomers Christa and Omid aren’t sure if they can trust the people they’ve thrown in with.
Without spoiling too much, the Savannah adventure ratchets up the tension while keeping things fresh. The conflict between the survivors and a group of survivalists that have barricaded themselves against the world takes an interesting twist, and the mysterious stalker who might be trying to aid the group (or get them killed) is handled effectively.
I also want to take a moment to praise the cinematography of the game, which really helps the emotional feel of any scene. Long dollies to establish scenes, “shakycam” shots (as if the camera were handheld), and jump cuts from within the same scene…it’s abundantly clear a lot of thought has gone into making this game. It continues to be a giant leap forward in the production of a point-and-click adventure game.
Gameplay wise, The Walking Dead continues to be simple as can be; the puzzles aren’t difficult to solve, but the decisions are. Getting past the zombie horde is simply a matter of finding the right object (usually in its most obvious play) or smashing their skull in. But deciding who to save and which side to take when an argument breaks out, especially when taking the middle ground turns both sides against you, can be rough.
The Walking Dead: The Game wraps up this month, and I’ll be sorry to see it go. The title of the final episode is “No More Time.”
Appletell Rating: Buy The Walking Dead: The Game
See other The Walking Dead: The Game episode reviews.