Review: The Walking Dead Episode 1: A New Day (PC)


Hey guys! Long time no post! Life’s been a bit stressful and chaotic the last week or two, and I’m finally back to playing some games. I’m a fan of the comics and the tv show, so I picked up The Walking Dead game on Steam. I pre-ordered, so hopefully I can win the prize. Anyone who pre-ordered can be drawn to make a cameo in one of the game episodes, so maybe you’ll see me there!

Anyway, the episode took me a little over 2 hours to finish. It’s not difficult or anything, it’s all based on character interaction and choices you make. Sort of like Heavy Rain, but in comic-style art, and with zombies.

What did I enjoy? What stood out? Story so far… , Art style, dialogue and choices, stressful situations

You play as a character named Lee Everette, you you start the game in the back of a cop car driving down the road. Things happen and you run into a little girl named Clementine. The story is yours to shape, depending on the choices you make, but I’m going to guess you end up with the little girl no matter what, and it’s up to you to take care of her. The story runs along side the comic’s, and you even run into some familiar faces. It’s all about the stress of surviving in the zombie apocalypse, and how people react to the events around them. Episode 1 is really just the introduction, so we’ll have to wait and see how things turn out over the next 5 months.

The aesthetic and art-style in the game are excellent. It’s all hand drawn, so fan of the comics and comics in general may appreciate this. On the technical side of things, the graphics don’t push any boundaries, but it’s good enough for me. The blood, the gore and the graphics nature of the comics is still here.

There are a lot of choices to be made in this game, and they can all have different outcomes. I’ve only played through the game once, but since the game comes in episodes, your choices carry over to the next episode as well. Who knows what could happen over the course of the entire 5 episodes? Could be good, but we’ll have to wait and see what they do with it. I’ll be playing through the game again and making different choices this time. Choices can also save or kill certain people, so if you lose someone, you lose their skills and interactions in the next episode as well.

Choices can also lead to stressful situations, and I expect there to be quite a few of those in this series. When you are making choices, most of the time there isn’t much time to make them. Being a quick reader will help you here, but you must act fast. I like this as it captures some of the panic that you might see in the comics when a character has to make a quick decision. If you’re one of those people that reads the comic or watches an episode and you say something like “Oh, I would never do that” or, “I would have done this instead”, well, play the game and see what decisions you make when you’re forced to make quick choices.

What did I dislike? What could be improved? Occasional camera restrictions, semi-clunky controls, sometimes not enough time to read all dialogue choices

While walking around, it feels like the camera is very restriction. I love exploring rooms and areas for clues and useful items, but it just never felt like I could look around much. It’s really not that big of a deal, but I would have liked more options while I’m free to roam around rooms and such.

Speaking of roaming around, it seems slightly awkward to move around with the control stick. Clunky and sluggish. It’s not an extremely important part of the game, as it’s really not about running around and shooting zombies, so this is pretty minor.

Sometimes, I found myself barely being able to read all of the options for dialogue. The stress of something bad happening around you, and making a choice is tough enough without reading what the choices are. I kind of wish they’d give you a little more time. I’m not a fast reader, but I feel sorry for people out there that are any slower than I am.

Overall

If you enjoy the comics, and/or the television series, or just love zombies in general, you’ll most likely enjoy the video game episodes (or at least this one). There’s a preview of the next episode at the end of each, and a cliff hanger as well, so you’ll be craving the next one. If you haven’t read the comics or watched the tv series, it’s not 100% necessary, but it might make things a little more enjoyable.

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