Platforms: PS3, xBox 360, iOS, OSX, PC
Verdict: Probably worth it
First there were wizards, then there were vampires. Now it seems zombies reign supreme, with the both the games, film and even TV industries wanting a fat slice of the undead pie. With this movement previously being led by the hugely admired Ramero, it seems the new Governor in town is Robert Kirkman.
Back in 2003 – yep, that's almost a decade now – Kirkman first penned The Walking Dead comic series. What set it apart was its unique take on the age-old zombie apocalypse scenario (namely, what if the story just keeps going?) combined with its sheer brutality. (Without wanting to spoil too much, someone has their knob nailed to... well, I've said too much.) As the comic nears its 100th edition and the TV adaption heads into a third series, now comes a five-part game, the first of which I'm reviewing.
The game has similar gist to the series (Asian guy called Glenn, farm owned by a guy call Hershal – that kind of thing) but without necessarily being the same universe. With Rick being a distinct absentee, you instead play Lee Everett, a black history teacher arrested for the murder of his wife. The game takes on a classic point-and-click style of play, which as an old-school player I found very cool. From the very get-go – as you find yourself scrabbling to click on the single shell lying in front of you as a zombie officer slowly clambers towards you – I found myself sighing a breath of relief knowing this wasn't just a Resident Evil clone.
The story in the game holds up to the quality of the series, no doubt a testament to Kirkman's involvement. While at times it does feel a bit stilted, the inclusion of a branching story and timed responses keeps things interesting. That said, the game does get a bit bogged at times. While point-and-click titles are known for the moments where you find yourself pulling your hair out wondering what to do next, in the case of The Walking Dead the answers are almost always frustrating, be it because you hadn’t quite moused over the right part of the door or because that object that looks like scenery is actually able to be picked up. (Hint/spoiler: it's a pillow.)
The game also suffers from stuttering issues, at least on the OS X, which also help to undermine some of the action sequences. Overall though, if you're a Walking Dead fan, this is a title worth getting. For those who have somehow missed the whole Walking Dead phenomena, I would instead indoctrinate yourself with the comic series before getting stuck in.