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Thread: The Walking Dead

  1. #1
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here

    The Walking Dead

    I'm of the opinion this deserves an actual thread, not to be dumped in the gloppy stew of 'What Are You Playing' where it's given a cursory glance and left behind.

    For the uninitiated, it's an episodic release based on the Robert Kirkman comics and not the reportedly mediocre TV show, which I have no interest in watching. It's not a re-telling of the comics, though - it's based in the same universe, but the story is new. We're up to three episodes now, each one lasts about 2-3 hours, give or take. Keep in mind that these are ostensibly adventure games, but only with the occasional puzzle, nothing too taxing. It's all about navigating the story, really. And also the choices you make, some of which have ramifications across the episodes; it's a through-line that's visible across the entire narrative. I'm a bit too tired right now to rewrite what I've already written about it, so allow me to quote myself:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur
    To wit, I am incredibly happy that I bought Telltale's take on The Walking Dead. Just started on Episode 1. The writing is good, which is the most important part. I find I've come to care about Lee and the characters around him, and it's been a long, long, looooong time since a game's been able to do that for me. It helps that most of these people seem to be written as people, including a child who's written as an actual child, not some idiot's shallow perspective of kids as experienced at Walmart when they're as horrifically annoying as nails scraping on chalkboard.

    It's unflinching in subject matter, and it's thoughtful in terms of small details; it's not brave, but it's well-put together. It's a bit buggy and the controls are shonky in terms of action elements and otherwise, but the story really is the biggest draw. I'm finding myself compelled to keep playing.
    The same is true of Episode 2, which was well-written but lacking in the small moments that made the big ones such a punch to the face when they happened. Episode 3, though, is on par with 1 so far, probably even better in many respects. I said Episode 1 wasn't brave; well, 3 proves me ever so slightly wrong. The story's twists and turns are executed with deft writing and almost perfect voice parts for the principals. Some might think it's a bit too on the nose or overly dramatic in places, but I think the tone's just right.

    Like Angel Dust said in our perennially popular megathread, it's really hard to believe that this is from Telltale, who've been doing family friendly and bland for so long. No one would have believed they had the stones to do grim and unflinching along with real character writing until this came along. I'm bloody impressed.

    I wish there were a PC demo, but it's only out on the PS3 and 360 so far. Suffice to say if you're interested in narrative-led experiences, you should take the plunge. In my opinion, it's been worth the money we've paid for it already.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 4th Sep 2012 at 05:48.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Girl with the Patreon Tattoo
    I agree with your perception of the episodes so far. The story of Episode 2 was exciting and more visceral than Episode 1 but too confined and the gameplay too linear for its own good. Episode 3 strikes the perfect balance of story, emotional investment and exploration mechanics (plus a manshooting mini-game) from both episodes. More of this please. It was really funny to see people arguing and agreeing on the TTG forums that Ep.3 was the worst because they didn't want X or Y to happen, meaning that the game was absolutely successful at writing believable human interactions, polarizing and involving players in ways I didn't expect. Besides the fact that the monthly delivery which was promised at first never came -- which is absolutely no surprise considering this is telltale -- I've been consistently surprised and entertained by the series.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Jun 1999
    Location: Procrastination, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    For the uninitiated, it's an episodic release based on the Robert Kirkman comics and not the reportedly mediocre TV show
    My interest depends on it being far superior to both, which most impressions I've encountered have led me to believe. That's still true right?

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I've bought the pack on Steam but will wait until they're all out.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2006
    Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
    Heh, I was just about to make a thread for this myself because it really is fantastic and it's quietly becoming a true game-of-the-year contender. Great writing, voice acting and direction, it's only really let down by technical issues like the animation being a bit clunky and hot spots detection being a bit spotty at times. I don't see the fact that the puzzle/game elements are on the light and easy as a negative; I've got plenty of games to play with deep, meaty game play so it's nice to kick back and enjoy a 3 hour chunk of absorbing narrative. I would say that Episode 3 was the best yet, with its putting the focus back on the group dynamics. Some shocking developments and it's really upped the stakes for future episodes. I love how Telltale have let Ben live; having a character that pitiful and useless live when so many more worthy have died, is the kind of ballsy move we don't often see in game writing.

    Overall, the way the series has approached narrative choice is the smartest I've yet seen in a game and I like that it's not always about choosing what happens. You're just one man, in a group of strong and varied personalities, so you don't have God-like control over everything that happens but you can always choose how you respond to what does, with this having a lasting impact on how characters, most importantly Clem, view you. Three episodes in and my feelings for characters like Kenny, are pretty damn complicated.

    I've also not watched the TV series or read any of the comics so don't let that be a barrier to you.
    Last edited by Angel Dust; 4th Sep 2012 at 07:43.

  6. #6
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by Muzman View Post
    My interest depends on it being far superior to both, which most impressions I've encountered have led me to believe. That's still true right?
    I've only read the first issues, and I can safely tell you that it's a whole lot better than the strangely paced 28 Days Later rip-off the first volume seems to be.

  7. #7
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    the reportedly mediocre TV show
    Where do you get your info from? Dethtoll? Because pretty much everyone else thinks the show is good.

    I don't wanna read too much of this thread, cause I don't want even minor spoilers for what's about to come. Just played the first episode for an hour and a half or so last night, made it to the pharmacy. I love how the characters are modeled, painted and animated. It gets across feelings and emotions in a way that games trying to go for photorealism often fail at. The dialogues are also often pretty tense, but they don't feel like a minefield the way LA Noire, for example, does. You can always sorta guess how people will respond to your comments/answers.

  8. #8
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: someplace better than this
    if everyone else jumped off a bridge, etc.

  9. #9
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    Where do you get your info from? Dethtoll? Because pretty much everyone else thinks the show is good.
    Heh, just the general comments in CommChat and elsewhere. It isn't just dethy. I also have a friend who's a pretty reliable gauge of shallow crap: everything he likes, I generally don't. He seems to think The Walking Dead's okay, so... welp.

    yes i'm a jerk, can we get on with talking about the game instead

  10. #10
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland

    No! Let's talk about the TV show some more!

    First off, I don't mind shallow crap as long as it's entertaining(watching True Blood right now), but Walking Dead really isn't shallow crap. There's some great character development in it, and characters often come into situations where there's really no right way of dealing with the situation. It's pretty much the same things that make the game good that make the tv show good.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I think The Walking Dead (the series) gets some crap that's undeserved. However, the overall pacing was seriously off in season 2 - they could have told the same story more effectively in fewer episodes. In addition, by and large the series writers aren't doing a good job with the female characters, going for one-dimensional clichés only.

  12. #12
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland


    Finished ep1, also found the first thing I really didn't like about the game. I was trying to get into the pharmacy to get the pills, but needed to get out the front gate to get the key for the door to the pharmacy. I also had another mission pending, to head out with Carley and save Glenn. But ofcourse I couldn't do that one until we got the gate open. So I search around FOR FUCKING EVER in the 3 areas available to me to try to find something that'll help me get out the gate, finding nothing. Eventually I go into the options and turn on the location-hints on to help me find the object I need to open the front gate. After combing through the 3 areas again I'm out of ideas. So I talk to Carley, the dialogue option to start the "Save Glenn" mission has been there all along but I haven't picked it earlier because obviously that would be pointless since we can't get out of the place. Still, all my other options exhausted I pick it anyway out of sheer boredom, after which the characters promptly walk out of the store THROUGH THE FUCKING BACKDOOR AASJKHFHUSD GHADKUSHDAH SJKADH SJASDB AJKSD GDHHQJKDHALJKSD KJASG AJKLH SAHSAJK SHASJKDGH KSJ DJKADHSLAJS ILÖS FUCKING FUCK YOU TELLTALE GAMES

  13. #13
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: someplace better than this
    I'd sooner watch Toddlers and Tiaras than watch that piece of shit show ever again. The only thing worse is Metalocalypse.

    Anyway re: game -- I'm planning on jumping into it after all 5 episodes are out, 'cuz I like the concept.

  14. #14
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    Finished ep1, also found the first thing I really didn't like about the game. I was trying to get into the pharmacy to get the pills, but needed to get out the front gate to get the key for the door to the pharmacy. I also had another mission pending, to head out with Carley and save Glenn. But ofcourse I couldn't do that one until we got the gate open. So I search around FOR FUCKING EVER in the 3 areas available to me to try to find something that'll help me get out the gate, finding nothing. Eventually I go into the options and turn on the location-hints on to help me find the object I need to open the front gate. After combing through the 3 areas again I'm out of ideas. So I talk to Carley, the dialogue option to start the "Save Glenn" mission has been there all along but I haven't picked it earlier because obviously that would be pointless since we can't get out of the place. Still, all my other options exhausted I pick it anyway out of sheer boredom, after which the characters promptly walk out of the store THROUGH THE FUCKING BACKDOOR AASJKHFHUSD GHADKUSHDAH SJKADH SJASDB AJKSD GDHHQJKDHALJKSD KJASG AJKLH SAHSAJK SHASJKDGH KSJ DJKADHSLAJS ILÖS FUCKING FUCK YOU TELLTALE GAMES
    Lawl. Have you been a victim of thinking too much lately, henke?

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2006
    Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
    Yeah, I found that part pretty annoying/sloppy too, henke. The way it was set up it seemed like if Glen got in trouble you would be told directly and immediately, since waiting around for you to ask about it when you got around to it makes no sense, and then they way they just casually walk out seemed to go against everything that was established so far. Thankfully, there hasn't been anything like that in subsequent episodes.

  16. #16
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Yeah I'm starting to get the feeling that for the puzzle solving part of the game it's better to just click on everything until something happens instead of trying to think about what the correct solution might be. Same thing with the part where you're trying to get the screwdriver out of the car, why couldn't I just put the pillow against the window and shoot the gun into it? I guess it's too much to expect the game to allow multiple different solutions to problems but it's a bit disappointing to see that not only hasn't this type of gameplay evolved since the Lucasarts adventure games of the 90's, it's actually gotten worse.

    Oh well, the story and the characters are certainly good enough to keep me interested in the game, despite the gameplay.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: columbus,oh
    The episodes have been getting better as it progresses. I wasn't overly impressed by episode 1, but it was good enough for me to continue. Episode 2 was a huge improvement, if not predictable, but still so very engaging. Episode 3 kicked it up another notch with the dialogue and story. Hopefully the remaining two episodes continue escalating. This game may not quite be GOTY material, but it certainly should qualify for an honorable mention. The comic book approach is dead on.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2004
    Location: Israel
    Episode 4 has been out for about a week now. It's somewhat of a letdown, but the ending has one of the biggest shocks I've ever had in a video game.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: ColoRADo
    If I hadn't seen this thread I wouldn't have been aware a new episode was out, guess i have something to do later in the week.

    Over all I think it's been interesting. Definitely a 'slow' game but cool never the less and great artwork.

    I also found a few of the puzzles a little bit annoying. After playing ep.3 and I started over an alternate game .. first one i was being cool, second run I was being a dick. I didn't get too far, I did notice a few small differences in what happens but nothing major. Guess i got sidetracked and forgot about it though. Will be cool to see how far the endings can diverge.

    I think next time I get a game like this I'd probably just wait until all episodes are released and it's on sale. $15 wasn't much, but it's a little bit annoying to have to wait a month or so to continue. It's one thing to get bored and put it away and pick it back up later, and another to want to keep playing and not be able to.

  20. #20
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by suliman View Post
    Episode 4 has been out for about a week now. It's somewhat of a letdown, but the ending has one of the biggest shocks I've ever had in a video game.
    I wouldn't say it's a let-down, but it's the first time the series has pulled ye ol' to be continued on us. Well-done as always, but maybe not as masterfully executed as the last episode because there's too much happening with too many new people.

    Still. How the fuck am I supposed to wait another month or two for the last episode with this?

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2001
    Just played all four episodes in a marathon session. Tried quitting after episode two; couldn't. Tried quitting after episode three; couldn't. Played until it was light outside again. What an addicting game, and more importantly, intelligent and human, and just superbly executed. An amazing game. I'm surprised there's not a lot of talk about it. Cannot wait for the fifth episode, and the second season.

  22. #22
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    And that's a wrap. I wish I could talk about it, but anything I say would reveal too much for people who haven't finished it yet. I will say I've never felt as large a lump in my throat at the end of a game until this.

    I'd gift this to everyone if I could. Since I can't, though, I can help you make up your mind if you've been on the fence: stop straddling that thing, and jump over. The game's worth the $25, and it's on a 50% off sale right now.

    Pull the trigger. It's one of 2012's best.

  23. #23
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    This is one that's overwhelmingly tempting to watch playthroughts. If I start one, it's hard to stop watching because the story draws me in. I have to finish DX:HR & clear some HD space before I get to any other game though. But this is on the list.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2008
    I started watching a walkthrough but within a minute I had to turn it off because I actually want to play it now, if only for atmosphere.

  25. #25
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I can't stress this enough - you HAVE to play it. Unless someone has done branched YouTube vids (which really would be on a par with actually pirating the game IMO), you'll miss out on the game branching from your decisions, for better and (often) worse. It is the agony in these decisions which gives the game a lot of its emotional weight. The 5 episodes are more than worth the price.

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