The Walking Dead is a point-and-click with some free roaming drama that unfolds over 5 installments, each 90 minutes to three hours long. Lee, a convicted felon, is on his way to prison in the back of a police car when the zombie apocalypse hits Georgia. “Well, I reckon you didn’t do it then,” are the opening lines. Four dialogue options appear on the screen and you have a few seconds to select how Lee responds. In that moment The Walking Dead begins and interactive tale that draws you in like few games do.

The Walking Dead is best played alone in a dark room with a headset that pipes the shuffling of dead feet right into your ears. It is not what you expect it to be. It is not a horror story with made-you-jump moments, it is not an action-based shooter where you can’t reload fast enough, neither does it have many puzzles. It is a story about a man who doesn’t have any useful survival skills trying to save a little girl from the end of the world. The controls are clumsy, the free-roaming pockets boxed in by invisible walls makes it feel constrained, but none of its flaws are able to take away the emotional impact of the story and its characters. You feel for Lee and Clementine who had to grow up awfully fast. The Walking Dead may stumble, but the fantastic storytelling set in a beautiful comic-style world with very human characters, make up for its flaws.

The Ergohacks Verdict

Despite being released more than five years ago, The Walking Dead remains one of the best narrative driven games available and if you enjoy Season one – there’s also Season 2 that continues the stories as well as Frontiers – a series set in the same universe. Season One is the great place to start a mature narrative game and what better way to experience narrative than one set in a zombie apocalypse.

The story that unfolds over the 12-15 hours of the game may be largely out of your hands, but the decisions you make for Lee determine what kind of man he is and how he faces the challenges ahead. In a character-driven story, these are the important choices. They will haunt you long after you complete the last chapter. This is what makes The Walking Dead an outstanding and memorable title.

Ergohacks Essential

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Price: ± £14.99 – £19.95

About

Telltale Games is an independent developer and publisher of video games that pioneered the creation and delivery of episodic gaming content. Winner of numerous accolades, the studio is the recipient of over 80 Game of the Year Awards, Studio of the Year and other honors for The Walking Dead, a game series based on Robert Kirkman’s hit comic book. Telltale was founded in 2004, is based in California and has around 350 employees.

Design

The Walking Dead is an episode narrative game. Series One has 5 episodes, each 90 minutes to 3 hours long, that serialize an emotional tale set during a Zombie Apocalypse.

Features

  • Based on Robert Kirkman’s Eisner-Award winning comic book series, The Walking Dead
  • Artwork inspired by the original comic book series
  • Meaningful decision making – sometimes split second decision making!

Specification

Minimum Specification for PC:
OS: XP Service Pack 3
Processor: 2.0 GHz Pentium 4 or equivalent
Memory: 3 GB RAM
Hard Disk Space: 2 GB Space Free
Video Card: ATI or NVidia card w/ 512 MB RAM (Not recommended for Intel integrated graphics)
DirectX®: Direct X 9.0c
Sound: Direct X 9.0c sound device

Build quality

 We based our Ergohacks Verdict on completing The Walking Dead: Season 1 on PC (Steam digital download). This article was first published on 22 January 2013 and last updated on 3 July 2017.