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So here we are, a game that started out in August hot on the heels of the reviled Jurassic Park
, some of us wondering if Telltale even had a good game left in them. As the episodes passed and got better and better, I began to wonder if it was even going to be possible to please me with the finale. I just expected too much. And yet Telltale surpassed every one of my expectations. It’s a game we’ll be talking about for a long time. It’s a new high watermark for storytelling in games. And speaking personally, it’s my game of the year and I can’t recommend it strongly enough.
It's tough saying goodbye to Lee, Clementine, Kenny, Ben, Lilly, Duck, and so many of the other characters met (and devoured, shot, or mutilated) over the course of five episodes. When it comes to choices, the best one you can make is to play this season of The Walking Dead… and help ensure that there's a season two.
Chip Power Play
Das ist mir schon lange nicht mehr in einem Spiel passiert:
Das Schicksal von Lee, Clementine und den Gefährten hat mich ernsthaft bewegt, an manchen Entscheidungen habe ich schwer geknabbert. Dieser Selbstbetrug funktioniert sogar, obwohl ich weiß, dass alte Storystränge am Ende wieder zusammenlaufen. Aber dank toller Dialoge und Charaktermimik menschelt es ganz gewaltig, und die fünf Episoden stecken voller haarsträubend guter Handlungsideen. Wenn ein Adventure den Spieler emotional so mitreißt, finde ich das große Erzählkunst. Es gibt auch Kritikpunkte: Die einzelnen Schauplätze wirken eng abgegrenzt und die kruden Animationen gefallen nicht jedem, aber ich habe diese Schwäche nach fünf Minuten gar nicht mehr wahrgenommen. Handlung und Charaktere sind so einnehmend, dass alle technischen Holprigkeiten in den Hintergrund treten. Meine Begeisterung geht so weit, dass ich die zweite Staffel schon vorbestellt habe und dem „Join the Cast“-Spiel beigetreten bin.
Thanks to Episode 5: No Time Left, I spent nearly three hours sitting at my computer with a knot in my stomach and a few unshed tears in my eyes. It’s rare to play a game that moves you emotionally, makes you care about its characters, and causes you to gasp out loud as it shocks and disgusts you. Anyone who values storytelling in video games owes it to themselves to play The Walking Dead.
A well written, emotionally engaging, game. It is brutal, horrific, and not for the faint of heart. The only real problem that I have with this episode is the fact that I’ve got to wait at least a month for the next one.
Calm Down Tom
The Walking Dead has proved there is a place for episodic content than can bring people together, that emotional story telling can work in games and that taking a chance on a game you wouldn’t usually play is more than worth it. And zombies? Well…they aren’t dead yet.
If you’ve been playing The Walking Dead since the beginning, you’ll likely enjoy Around Every Corner. Penultimate television episodes are usually accused of being “filler,” but not once did I get that impression while playing Episode 4. It hooked me until the end with its emotional storytelling and plot twists, even if reaching that end was a bit of a breeze. And if you haven’t played this series yet, now’s a good time to catch up. It has only one more episode to go!
So far, Telltale Games’ Walking Dead releases have managed to impress with their mature, thought-provoking storylines and characters. Long Road Ahead is no exception. As the midway point of the series, it could’ve easily become a filler episode, but the shocks, twists, and character revelations keep the story’s momentum trundling along as steadily as the train Lee and company now ride on.
PC Games (Germany)
Endlich gelingt es Telltale, aus seinem bekannten Schema auszubrechen! Statt des üblichen seichten Episoden-Rätselspiels ist The Walking Dead ein spannendes Survival-Drama geworden, das auch Adventure-Fans mit hektischen Actionszenen, kniffligen Entscheidungen und reichlich Blut die Haare zu Berge stehen lässt. Auch wenn das Gameplay nur wenig Tiefgang besitzt: Ich freue mich schon auf die nächsten Episoden — und bin neugierig, wie stark sich meine Entscheidungen auswirken werden.
Put your hankies on standby. As The Walking Dead adventure closes in on its sure-to-be-heartbreaking conclusion, Episode 4: Around Every Corner deftly amps up the thrills. If you thought Episode 3: Long Road Ahead, wallowed too much in emotional hand-wringing over exploration and gameplay, then Around Every Corner makes up for it with a story that gives its characters so much to do there's no time to sit around and mope.
It's been three months of game time since the survivors of The Walking Dead: A New Day, the engrossing first episode of Telltale Games' horror adventure series, found refuge from the ravenous undead in a dingy motel. In this more constrained, but no less horrifying second episode -- appropriately titled Starved for Help -- our motley crew must struggle with its own all-consuming hunger as food supplies dwindle, leading to rising tensions and desperate decisions. The shock and frantic terror of surviving the first grueling days of a catastrophe have given way to the excruciating, plodding malaise of trying to live through one for the long haul. That's not to say this two-hour episode is a bore -- far from it.
A New Day is an apt name for the first episode of The Walking Dead, because it signals a sorely needed fresh start for Telltale. Rick Grimes, Michonne, and Dale may not be a part of your group of rag-tag survivors, but the game perfectly captures the most important part of the books: the tone and atmosphere. Fans of the comics will appreciate the familiar faces and places that do pop up, but even those of you that have completely avoided the stellar comics and so-so AMC TV series will be engrossed. I was nervous going in, but now I'm glad The Walking Dead: The Game is in Telltale's hands.
The Walking Dead works for the same reasons that the original graphic novel and the television show works -- it's a game about people under the veil of a zombie apocalypse. It avoids the traps that the majority of zombie games now-a-days fall into and focuses on telling a story rather than shooting first. It may not be perfect, but Telltale Games has nailed the feeling of The Walking Dead and seems to be back.
Ultimately, I can forgive The Walking Dead: A New Day’s weak puzzles and occasional technical issues because of all the other things it gets right. By focusing on moral choice and character relationships, Telltale has managed to remain faithful to the source material while simultaneously crafting a zombie game that feels fresh compared to its more action-oriented brethren. Like the opening chapter of a good novel, A New Day draws you in and makes you care about the fate of its characters. A trailer at the end of the game offers hints about the next episode, and I can’t wait to see how my actions affect Lee and Clementine’s story in the future.
In my review of Episode 1: A New Day, I said I was willing to overlook a few minor technical issues because of all the things The Walking Dead manages to get right. But now the issue is not so minor. And it’s a shame, really, because Starved for Help is an excellent game…when it works.
Speaking of puzzles, most in the episode are easy and you should have no problem finishing it in less than three hours. Another annoying case of "adventure game logic" rears its ugly head towards the end of the game, though: Lee appears to have the magical ability to fit a full-sized blowtorch and gas canister inside his back pocket and climb up a ladder unaided. In the real world, getting this contraption up the ladder would've been a puzzle in itself. For a franchise that depends on realism to sell the misery and horror of something so implausible as reanimated corpses, that disregard for authenticity is a step in the wrong direction.