Flashback – In the Shoes of Lee Everett: The Walking Dead, Season 1 Review

Do you ever look back and wonder if you could have done better? You lost something important, something that would give your heart meaning as it beat, something that moved the flesh and bones of your body, prompted functionality in the sense that it kept you going, motivated even. This or these things were your lifeblood, and without them you would just find yourself searching, longing for a cause..

That is writing for me, and every so often I like to look back on my favorite subjects and see where I was once upon a time, where I could have used better prose, where I was when I played these games. Gaming has been a big part of my life, as has writing, and so every so often, I want to share the times that were a big piece of me with you, the readers, simply because it still matters to me. Most of you feel the same, I know it, that when you aren’t performing that core piece of you, utilizing that one favorite skill or function, it makes life hard to explain. If not for what we love and treasure, then for what do we exist to do or be?

The Walking Dead, in Telltale’s telling of their story, was one of the first titles that ever took me hard and by surprise. Little did I realize what this type of interaction could do, puling out of players a sadness, anguish, and sympathy that normally I reserve for how I explain actions of the real world. Fantasy, yet extremely engaging. With that, I open the curtain as we all stare back into the past, 5 years in fact, to when I wrote this simple piece. In reflection, I could have said much more in practice, but this game had me feel something hard, and that ending wasn’t one I wanted to return to.

Enjoy, on this Saturday Flashback Review.

Telltale’s The Walking Dead, Season 1 – PS4/PS3/XBONE/XB360/PSVita/iOS – April 24th, 2012

“How exactly do you describe an experience that reaps one of their voice and thought? How is it possible for a scenario within a game to be so engrossing that words do not express even a week later the feeling of heartbreak of watching someone loved go away? It surely has been a while since I’d felt that strongly about a game, almost forever ago since I’d become so wrapped up in a storyteller’s threads that my eyes ran red with tears. Well, that wasn’t the case this time, but my final moments with The Walking Dead did convey a great deal of sadness within me.

A production of Telltale games, The Walking Dead series places you in the role of Lee Everett, a convict fresh on his way to jail when everything starts to fall apart. The moment you have control, every decision made has a price tag on it, every consequence to be seen later as the adventure continues. Much of the decisions made have to do with a little girl picked up at her house, Clementine, as you guide her through the different episodes that occur all over Atlanta. As varied as every decision and consequence is, unless you choose to make the same exact decisions, no playthrough is at all the same, meaning different events will take off from other paths chosen.

Since this is a point-and-click game, the essential game is easy enough to move through that each episode takes about 2-3 hours to complete, if that. This isn’t something that’s easily noticed till the end, since your eyes are locked on screen almost the entire time. Every decision, while causing different scenarios to play out, is also timed by a white bar at the bottom of the screen. Every decision waited on causes your character to default to not answering, creating unease within the varied groups in the story. Choosing an option may also not be safe; certain conflicts will have you choosing sides of different arguments, ranging from rationing of supplies to who’s plan of survival is correct for the group. EVERYTHING matters, keeping one engaged for the short time involved.

The end caught up to me fast, almost too fast though I saw it coming. Stories like this one I don’t wish an end to, yet with every event that unfolds, the climax becomes more evident with each passing moment. This game didn’t just give an ending players deserve, it gave an encompassing story that made it that much more heartfelt.”

Rating for this game; 10/10

-Captivating narrative and story
-Split decisions create the game differently each time, beckoning players to multiple playthroughs
-Fast reactions lead one down many paths; Every decision made is one that comes back in time

Where will you stand in the heat of survival?

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