I originally wanted to do this in review format, but decided to blog it as TWD will be an ongoing series for me to cover. Hope you all enjoy.
For those of you who do not know, I am a very huge TWD fan. When Season One was first announced, I was entirely skeptical of it. The cell-shaded graphics, the new characters not seen in the show, save Glen and a few others…then there was the unusual route of storytelling and gameplay, which I thought would be a nail in the coffin; another failed title to a very famous and thrilling zombie franchise. TellTale, however, nailed it. Once I sat down and had a chance to play through Season One, I was hooked. It was one of the games I have come across that actually lived up to the hype. Once 400 Days DLC was announced, it was a no-brainer. I had to continue the story.
The characters in the game are memorable. In Season One, The main character, Lee Everett, was a man of mystery. From the very beginning with the dialogue between him and the cop, to the very end, you find that there is more to him than meets the eye. This makes a game all-the-more compelling, I believe, when a character is relatable, unlikeable, admirable, honorable, all-in-one. Lee had some skeletons in his closet, and by the end of the game you discover, as it all comes to light, what sort of person he truly is. Love him or hate him, his character had depth and that was enough for me to grow attached to him, regardless of his decisions. His companion, the young Clementine, was adorable. Possibly one of the best companions I have ever had in a game, hands down.
As a kid, choose-your-own adventure books were my favorite books to read. I discovered point-and-click adventure games on my PC back in the day, and developed a passion for this style of storytelling. TellTale took this style and added twists, turns, excellent dialogue and a dash of action and definitely perfected it. When I say perfect, I don’t say that the game is perfect in a sense that there are no glitches. Sure, the game had a few bugs here and there but it came pretty darn close to perfect (in my opinion). The controls are smooth and intuitive, and the timed button-presses make sense to the action performed.
When it came to a close at the end of Season One, I was upset. Why? Not only did the game draw emotions from me that I wouldn’t expect from a game, but it also left me wanting more. So that brings us to the present, with The Walking Dead: 400 Days. This is the “1.5”, the episode that bridges the gap, the withdrawal felt between Season One and the upcoming Season Two. This episode introduces five new characters and takes you through their series of unfortunate events over the course of 400 days. Vincent, Wyatt, Russell, Bonnie and Shel each have a story to tell, and are all faced with some pretty tough decisions. The ill-fated heroes and heroines have instances where their paths intertwine and we even find a few Easter Eggs from the Season before. The characters are just about as compelling as those seen in Season One, if not more, as the amount of gameplay is condensed to just an hour or so, as opposed to the hours found in the first game.
Most of the mechanics are the same as the gameplay found in the first season, though they may change the use of particular movements in a different way. It seems to be more open this time around, for example: [Character name] is given a choice to cover his partner or turn a gun on him mid-firefight, a choice seen in the blink of an eye. Or, [Character name] is given the chance to take the keys and leave or grab a gun. The voice acting throughout is, surprisingly, well done. Considering how many games are coming out at any given time, it is refreshing to hear some voice work that doesn’t seem half-assed. Sure, some of it may sound cheesy, but the voices, for the most part, are great.
The ending? Of course it leaves you wanting more. Unanswered questions, new choices rendering future consequence, perhaps choices you may regret… The Walking Dead almost always leaves you spellbound, drooling, upset, anticipating the next episode. Is it worth it? Yes. Of course it’s just the tip of the iceberg, but it was worth the wait. Whether you love the series or are a newcomer to the game, pick this up. You’ll want to see how it all fits together.
I give this DLC a 5/5.
Stay tuned for more Walking Dead news and info, as we anxiously await Season Two!