Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead for the Playstation Network and Xbox Live is a thrilling interactive adventure that offers intense scenarios in a context-sensitive and decision-making game world.
In the first episode – The Walking Dead: A New Day – users take the role of Lee Everett, a murder suspect who subsequently finds himself among the undead. He encounters a young girl and additional survivors who must stay alive in a town overrun by zombies.
The title includes stationary set pieces that allow users to wander and question others, in addition to interactive cinematic sequences. The right analog controls a cursor with four possible options, including the ability to look closer at the object or interact with it. Only available options appear in the cursor.
The old-fashioned point-and-click interface offers branching interactivity that can affect the story. For example, users are given four choices and a limited to respond to questions. Depending on the choice, the person may trust or be skeptical of the user’s response. In addition, users may be caught in a scenario to save one of two characters which alters the story path.
Action sequences, while not fully controlled, are intimately intense. The user is required to place the cursor on the enemy and press the button to initiate each violent hit. Attack sequences can require users to think quick to see if any nearby objects are of use to finish off an aggressive zombie.
The graphics engine is solid at 30 frames-per-second. The 3D cel-shaded title conveys a complete comic book experience with thick outlines and exaggerated reactions. The sound engine is great, with a varied and strong vocal cast to relay a band of different personalities caught in conflict.
The Walking Dead: A New Day is a standout first episode. The title dares to push narrative with a vintage gameplay setup to provide a custom and mature interactive experience that lives among the undead.