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Game Review: The Walking Dead Season 1

By Chase Burgess

A friend of mine and I were having a conversation about AMC’s The Walking Dead and the conversation moved to the video games published by Telltale Games. I quickly learned that even though season one episode one is free and available for download on tablets, my friend had never played the games. Being the avid video-gamer that he is, I knew that if he hadn’t played the first season, then there are others out there that are also missing out. If you haven’t played the first season, hopefully I can convince you to go get it.

When I first started playing The Walking Dead I was very skeptical. There wasn’t much action and it was essentially a point-and-click adventure game, definitely not my type of game. That and the fact that the game was released in episodes. Why not just release the whole game at once? However, I decided to give it a try.

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I pushed through the first half hour of the game or so, getting to know my character, Lee, and the little helpless girl that quickly became my companion, Clementine. I started to really like each of the characters, but it wasn’t until the second act of the first episode that I really became attached. At a little farm house in the middle of nowhere you and your party encounter one of the major characters from the TV show. I won’t give away who, but this character was one of my favorites. This character in the farm house isn’t the only major character from the TV show. This mysterious farmhouse character isn’t the only recognizable character that you’ll encounter in the first season.

The tie-in with the TV show really helped me connect with the game. Actually being able to interact in your own way with the people that we’ve grown to love during the last few seasons of the show gives the game a personal feel that makes the characters oh so easy to become attached to. Saying goodbye to these characters, either dead, parting ways, or otherwise, becomes difficult and your decisions carry a lot of weight as to how people in the game feel about you.

Characters that you interact with during the season will judge you based off your actions and what you say to them. Always remember to be careful, just because what you said or did at the time might have seemed like the right move, it may hurt you in the long run. The most vivid memories from this game came from times when there was no right or wrong answer, only “which choice is less wrong.” I have never played a game with as much emotional pull as this one. Many people that I have talked to who has played through the first season have told me that they were in tears by the end of the game.

Let’s talk about the price point for a little bit. Free, (well episode one is). Even if you only play episode one, this game easily goes down as one of, if not, the greatest free(ish) game ever released. Even when it originally came out it was only $20 for the collection of $5 for each episode. There are arguments for other free games that are released via Playstation Network and Xbox Live, but you would be hard pressed to find a zombie-themed game that is free that could compare to the excellence that is The Walking Dead Season One.

There are many reason why this game won so many Game of the Year awards. The Walking Dead Season One is rated M for mature and is available on basically every major gaming platform, but is free to try on the Apple App store and the Google Play store. If you haven’t played this game, do yourself a favor and go get it now. The Walking Dead Season One gets a 5/5.

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