Telltalesâ€™ The Walking Dead series is, to me, fast becoming a must-experience game series. Now into its third episode (in a five episode series), you play again as Lee in the middle of the zombie apocalypse, with a group of fellow survivors (all with some serious trust issues) trying to hold it together while dangling by an emotional thread.
As an adventure game, the gameplay consists of having a lot of conversations where you will need to make key decisions, some light quick-time-event combat, and basic puzzle solving. Expect to spend a good amount of time wandering around the same areas looking for whatever you need to interact with so you can move to the next story part.
I have to admit that as the series goes on, it is actually becoming more difficult to review. The reason for this is because it isnâ€™t really a game that you play in the traditional sense. This is much more of an interactive story. The gameplay is almost insignificant, and because the meat of the â€śgameâ€ť is its story, I canâ€™t really review the main part without spoilers. If this were a TV show review, I would discuss what happened in the episode. However, since this is a game review, I would most likely be lynch-mobbed by the spoiler police if I did any such thing. What I will say though, is that the story is fantastic.
The Walking Dead is a heavy drama, and while you will be making some fairly big moral decisions throughout, a lot of what will happen is out of your hands - and honestly, thatâ€™s life. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you canâ€™t stop whatâ€™s meant to happen or control what others will do. This is somewhat different from what other games would have you believe, where your choices actually affect the outcome. In The Walking Dead, a lot of your choices are simply morality based and have no, or little, impact on the ultimate result.
The artstyle is taken right from the comics the game is inspired by, which I think looks awesome. And the voice-acting, as usual, is top notch. Every character you deal with feels... human, and tragically so.
On the technical side, while I was able to (finally!) launch the game without issues this time, and my saved files from the last episode were read with ease (all decisions from previous episodes carry over, creating a fairly personal story), there was a significant amount of stuttering and framerate drops throughout the whole three hour experience. This game is by no means a graphical powerhouse, so there is no reason for these technical issues to exist.
However, putting that aside, if you havenâ€™t gotten The Walking Dead game yet, what on earth are you waiting for? As long as you donâ€™t mind being mildly depressed - this episode had me do something no other video game has ever had me do, and Iâ€™m a little surprised more people arenâ€™t talking about it - this is absolutely a story you should experience.
With only two episodes left until the end, it is hard to imagine any kind of happy ending for Lee and the gang (whoever will be left by then, that is) and yet I cannot wait for episodes four and five to come out so I can slog through the rest of this journey with them to whatever (Iâ€™m assuming) tragic ending awaits us.