The Walking Dead Gives You Feels
Every once in a while, a game makes you have the feels, maybe you get overly attached to a character and something bad happens to them. You know what I’m talking about, one part sadness, one part anger and a whole lot of disbelief mixed in. I wanted to try to write about a bunch of games that give you the feels, but I couldn’t write about what happens, because more often than not, it’s spoiler-central and it lessens the effect if you know it’s coming, but I’ll give it a shot. Where some games have moments that toy with your emotions, The Walking Dead is a game that does continuously tugs, yanks and destroys your heartstrings. Granted this is coming from someone who reloaded a previous save in Bioshock after harvesting a little sister because I just thought it was so damn awful, but no matter how stone cold you are, The Walking Dead will suck you in, give you hope and then shatter your dreams and you will just keep coming back for more.
This game is similar to the comic and t.v show because, no one is safe, anyone can die and eventually… everyone probably will. Only in the game, you make the decisions and sometimes it’s a decision of deciding who lives and who dies.
The Walking Dead is a point and click adventure-esque game. The graphics kind of resemble an animated comic and the switch from cut scenes to game play are fairly smooth as well. The Walking Dead is more of a mechanism for telling a story, driven by your choices and there are some action scenes mixed in, including some shooting, chopping and well timed button mashing. Mostly, it’s about developing relationships with other survivors and solving problems that occur while trying to survive in a world where the dead have risen.
You play as Lee, a man who was on his way to jail… for committing murder and he’s riding in the back of a squad car when the shit hits the fan. Early into the game you meet an eight year old girl, Clementine, who is alone and tries to communicate with her parents via a walkie-talkie. A man with a dark past and a vulnerable little girl, this game is just determined to make you think about the choices you make. So what do you do when faced with the hard decisions? When you’re swarmed by walkers and only have enough time to save one person, leaving the other to die, who do you choose? When a member of your group gets bit, who is the one to put a bullet in their brain? When you have minuscule rations and not enough food to go around, who do you feed? No one wants to make those types of decisions, but The Walking Dead makes you. You grow to love certain characters, and the intermittent action can really take you by surprise because the story sucks you in.
The game is fueled by player choice, although it is limited, usually just a choice between two options. The story doesn’t change much, deviating for a bit, perhaps the decision changes some things, but then, no matter what choice you made, the outcome of the story is generally the same. There were more than a few times, I wished there was a third option because the two choices I was presented with were just fucked up. There were a lot of moments where I sat there, slack jawed, in disbelief over something that happened and by the end of the fifth episode, I think I developed allergies or something….. definitely…. not…. crying… Alright so it’s the first time I actually shed a few tears playing a video game, so I think that says something. Even though I KNOW the story was destined to end the way it did, I still felt responsible. I kept wondering if I made different choices, could I have changed anything. Even though I know it probably wouldn’t have made a difference, I still feel that maybe, just MAYBE, I could have changed things somehow.
As of right now, Season 1 is out; which is made up of five episodes. A DLC was released, which consists of five mini-episodes (which I already bought) and your choices made in them carry over into Season 2, which will be another five episode arc which is due to be released Fall 2013. Even though this game was an emotional roller coaster, it was an incredible journey and I can’t wait to see what the next season brings.