Tell Tale Game's The Walking Dead

I'm a massive fan of The Walking Dead comics and TV show. However, when a friend recommended The Walking Dead Adventure Game, I was hesitant at first. But I'm glad I gave it a chance.

To give some insight, The Walking Dead game is akin to a point 'n click adventure like Monkey Island but for a modern, mouse-less audience. It's episodic with Tell Tale Games releasing episodes once every few months that tell the story of Lee and Clementine.

Lee and Clementine
Lee and Clementine

Just as the first corpses begin reanimating, Lee is being taken to prison. Circumstance pairs him and the little girl Clementine together. The decisions you make and the rapport you keep will effect how later episodes play out.

Past experience

I mentioned that I was hesitant to play... well it's because games based on TV and film IPs are usually extended marketing platforms that offer very little longevity or substance. Take games for franchises like Harry Potter, 24, or Transformers, they all got rubbish console and mobile offerings.

Lee approaching a ruined street in Makon. The Episode's title, The Long Road Ahead, is displayed at the bottom of the image.
Lee approaching a ruined street in Makon.

Yesterday I bought and played Episode 3: The Long Road Ahead, continuing the journey that I started with Episodes 1 and 2, and I have to say it's been fantastic and easily the best one so far. Don't worry, there will be no spoilers in this post, it's more about why I love it so much.

Sound

The atmosphere of the series is built on sound design, music takes a back seat to bird song, insect chirps, the wind rustling through the trees, and walkers shuffling past the group's Motel. The music that is included is sporadic and instead focuses on musical stings that mirror the action in the game.

Chuck from Episode 3 comes complete with his own acoustic guitar and whenever the game slows, he starts playing. It's eerie when combined with the sounds of the environment.

Chuck playing his guitar alongside the locomotive.
Chuck and his acoustic.

Colour

The game's visual styling keeps it akin to its comic book roots. Even more evidence that Tell Tale Games have really thought this series through.

The colours are autumnal and rustic, there's leaves all about the ground and you can feel the onset of winter. By Episode 3 almost all scenes are set in the twilight hours, the days are getting shorter, a contrast to the bright and hazy settings of Episodes 1 and 2.

Bandits holding members of the group hostage against autumnal trees.
The bandits based outside Makon become aggressive. You can see some of the autumnal colours I mentioned.

Empathy

Without any spoilers, after a really 'crappy day', the group come across some people that seem to be good 'uns. I felt the relief of both the group and the strangers at finding some new company.

These are just some of the reasons the series is fantastic. I really recommend it!