Review: The Walking Dead - Episode 1 (Xbox 360)

By Vamien McKalin email: v.mckalin@mobilenapps.com | Jan 02, 2013 08:58 PM EST

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If you're not into a lot of talking within video games, then 'The Walking Dead: Episode 1 - A New Day', is not for you. Surprisingly enough, the narrative is the best aspect of the game and not the zombie killing characteristics.

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The Walking Dead can be considered a truly emotional and immersive experience, a game that will draw you in and leave you speechless in the end.

Story

The game centers on the life of Lee Everett, a man who was being transported to prison just moments before the zombie apocalypse began. When all hell broke loose, Lee escaped and found himself in the possession of a first grader called Clementine. It is up to the player to protect Lee and Clementine from death as they roam through the zombie-infested wasteland.

If you're a fan of 'The Walking Dead' comics and TV show, then you may be wondering what has happened to Rick. Well, Lee's story took place at the very beginning of the virus outbreak. During this time, Rick is still confined to the hospital bed. However, some familiar faces are bound to show up to give the player that feeling of nostalgia.

Presentation

When you take a look at 'The Walking Dead' for the first time, you will no doubt fall in love with the graphics. Don't come expecting super high-end realistic graphics. Telltale, the developers of the game, chose to go with a cell-shaded look, one that is similar to Borderlands 2. However, while the graphics are great to look at, some infrequent graphic bugs exist that may cause a problem for some players. Nothing major, but some gamers are quite particular about the finer details.

For a game that costs only 400 Microsoft Points, or free at the time of this review, the audio is spectacular. The sound of zombies will definitely keep players on their toes and the strong narrative and the sound of weapons all make 'The Walking Dead' the best Xbox Live Arcade video game for 2012.

Gameplay

'The Walking Dead' is no 'Left 4 Dead' or 'Resident Evil', it is a simple point and click video game that is choice driven. Whatever choice the player makes, whether good or bad, they will have to live with them throughout the whole game. Characters will always remember what you said to them, which means they may or may not react in a good way whenever they are seen again.

On the Xbox 360, players move around with one joystick and control the onscreen reticle with the other. There are many interactive elements in the environment, a simple hovering of the cursor over these points will give the player more information, or to talk, open, and whatever else. If the player ends up being grabbed by a walker, frantic button smashing is required to get loose, which usually ends with Lee either killing the walker with whatever that is around him, or dying during the altercation.

Just like with the TV Show, the kills in 'The Walking Dead' video game is gruesome and nasty. The developer Telltale doesn't hold back on all the blood and flesh spewing everywhere, but this is the kind of graphic violence one expects from a game like this.

The Verdict

'The Walking Dead: Episode 1 - A New Day' is a great start to the five-part series. It's enjoyable, emotional, and truly a remarkable experience. We didn't enjoy looking into Clementine's eyes every time something was done wrong, whatever Telltale was trying to achieve with this didn't work. However, the game is everything fans want to play and despite its shortcomings, it is a must play for everyone.

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