WeView Verdict: The Walking Dead

Zombies, start your walking!

Right lets get this out of the way shall we? Tuffcub was not a fan of The Walking Dead. He made this very clear, although didn’t really give many reasons beyond hating Clementine and that “Walking between characters and offering them a chocolate bar IS NOT A GAME.” Not the most useful criticism in the world.

While Tuffcub’s utter hatred of the game seems to have put him in a minority of one, there were a few of you who weren’t absolutely in love with the game. deadwelsh, for example, felt that there wasn’t “enough replay value for a purchase”, although they did also say the game is “Well worth a play”. Dunks also complained about the lack of replay value the game presented, despite saying that they “absolutely loved it.” They also felt that episodes were a bit far apart, and a more rapid release schedule would have made it even better.

[drop]tonycawley went much further, saying that “as a game it’s pretty poor”, with “gameplay [that’s] almost nonexistent” and problems from “a lot of little bugs and glitches”. However, despite this he still found himself quite liking the game. Why? “It’s the story, the characters, the script, the voice acting and the way the whole thing pans out.” Well that says it all quite nicely.

The story and characters earned praise from several quarters actually, with three_leg_jake praising the game for “A good story, great characters and some really tough decisions to make as a player.” They picked out those decisions as being far better than what you get in most games, enjoying the way they moved beyond a simple good/bad decision and asking you questions like “which of these two equally deserving of life characters do I save?”

Avenger also took a look at the decisions, and actually liked the way they limited you. That’s not often something you hear get praised, but they felt that Heavy Rain, for example, is too open, allowing you to shape things too much and leading to “things [that] don’t match up”. The Walking Dead, however, “keeps a linear structured narrative, but gives you the freedom to shape and explore your relationships with characters.” I can see where they’re coming from with this, and it’s certainly an interesting point. When a game lets you take almost any route there’s no drive or purpose in the story, and relationships can feel worthless.

We’ll leave things there with Avenger’s interesting approach to openness, and move onto the verdict. Avoid It picked up a single vote, I’m sure you can guess who it was from, while Rent It gained two. However, the runaway verdict for The Walking Dead is Buy It, which earned a whooping eighteen votes.

Finally, it’s time for next week’s poll. Need for Speed: Most Wanted will be tomorrow’s WeView title, so that disappears from the list, as does Transformers: Fall of Cybertron which came in last. Replacing them are Diablo III, in honour of its appearance at last week’s PlayStation 4 announcement, and Vanquish, which is currently available via PlayStation Plus. Remember, you’ve got until Sunday night to get your votes in.

9 Comments

  1. If you enjoyed The Walking Dead I suggest you grab Telltales Jurassic Park game. It has all the many, many problems from the zombie game but also includes actual excitement, the final episodes’ T-Rex chase through the shipping containers is an absoloutely blast.

    It also features a small girl who you can repeatedly feed to various carnivores. Such fun!

    • This is the most praise I’ve ever heard for the Jurassic park game! Which is saying something.

    • I think we’ve hit the nail on the head with your closing comments. You couldn’t empathise with Clementine and was disappointed with the lack of “feed to dinosaur” option in the control scheme.

      You are a heartless, heartless man! :-)

  2. Damn it forgot once again. Buy it!

  3. I knew Tuffcub was trying to say something about TWD on Weview but i didn’t know what it was. If only, he did 3-5 comments expressing his hatred. I thought he liked it. :P

    I suspect i would end up liking TWD. May pick it up when they release it on disc and once they have stopped creating new episodes as they’ll probably release the entire lot one disc.

    Kris, can we have one week a month where Weview goes retro? As it would be interesting to see what the community thinks of FF7 or MGS1 etc..

  4. “When a game lets you take almost any route there’s no drive or purpose in the story, and relationships can feel worthless”

    A much better way than I put it, thanks. I was always miffed about how Heavy Rain’s murderer and how it completely ignored continuity; it was literally betrayal on the screen when 2 + 1 made 4 (trying to avoid spoilers, but you know the whole typewriter salesman murder and stuff).

  5. It’s a techy Choose Your Own Adventure story. There’s no real game as such, at least not in my view. There were many bits where I got annoyed because I just wanted to “turn the page” to progress the story, but I had to keep touching bits of the screen to check out stuff in the scene.

    I loved it though.

  6. Loved this game but, as I mentioned, I have nothing pulling me back to play season 1 again BUT am really looking forward to season 2 or what ever they come up with next. Out of curiosity, did anyone play it on both tablet and console? Wondered how different the experience was….

  7. I took a chance on this game because it was on sale on PSN (I think I paid 10 squids).

    It’s a masterpiece. Yes, it has some flaws (there is no such thing as perfect art, but that’s a discussion for another time and place) but those flaws do not detract from the very good experience the title delivers. It looks absolutely beautiful. It sounds great. You quickly invest in the character of Clementine (I shouldn’t think I need to explain why, we’re all decent human beings, right?). You can empathise with Lee, and understand why others act in the ways that they do; everyone acts and reacts like real people. And the way that the story is told and progresses is so expertly done that you feel under a great deal of pressure to make morally-justifiable decisions – more than once I wanted to change my mind straight away but it was too late, I couldn’t turn back the clock and I had to live with my decision. I was gutted, and on more than one occasion I felt guilty or thoroughly ashamed. But at other times I felt noble, and decent. Just like life….

    As I briefly mentioned above, I felt strongly emotionally engaged with this story. At one point (don’t worry, no spoiler) you find yourself in the loft of a family home looking at one of the zombies. This is a very powerful scene, and I had to stop the game, pause, and found myself thinking about … well, if you’ve played it, you know what I was thinking about. I had to put the controller down for a minute and go find what I was thinking about.

    The end was slightly disappointing, but only because I think the tension suddenly evaporated. When the denouement arrived, I would have expected a bit more drama, a more rousing soundtrack, and if I was the writer I would have extended that scene in the room to show more of the human situation, and the pain. It should have lingered for more than just the couple of seconds it did.

    What would I change for episode 2? A bit more interactivity with the environment. An end to the horrible loading screens (or at least some decent-looking ones, say comic book-style frames) which spoil the flow. Maybe the chance for more than one story arc, like Heavy Rain? I don’t know.

    9.5/10. A must buy.

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