Review: Walking Dead 400 Days

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Hungry for more (good) Walking Dead? Zombie-fiend Cameron Harris takes a look at the bite-sized add-on for Telltale’s stellar Walking Dead series, 400 Days. SPOILER FREE!

This new episode is something which is hard to make a judgment on, for it’s in all senses of the word a prequel to season two of Telltale’s tear-jerking epic, The Walking Dead. It’s filled with all those tense moments, hard decisions and all the cataclysmic consequences we could hope for. Once again, Telltale have succeeded at getting inside our heads and making us think about our actions and how we’re going to get about them. We’re introduced to a group of new characters you can play in any order, but we’d suggest doing it this way…

Vince

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Vince’s story is the shortest of them all, but we recommend you begin with this one as it starts two days into the outbreak, giving you insight to Vince’s background and how he came about his survival attempts. After seeing the outbreak from Lee’s POV in the main series, it’s a nice touch seeing it from a fresh perspective. It’s a great introduction to the game and straight away, you’re plummeted into the dynamic dialogue of TWD’s characters and how they react to what you say and do; forced almost straight off to solve a deadly and game-changing dilemma, a recycled formula perhaps, but damn; it works.

Wyatt

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Wyatt’s story is one of our favourite – It has some fantastic, humorous and human dialogue between two mates and has some genuine, creepy scares. Wyatt is a great character and the decisions you make in this level will have a big outcome of the rest of the game, which will undoubtedly determine the set-off for either Season2 or an extra ‘400 Days’ sequel. A strong sub-episode of 400 Days, with some fantastic, re-playable outcomes. Still on the short side, it is far lengthier and meaty than Vince’s.

Bonnie

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Bonnie’s story is plain and simple but emotionally riveting. The character build up is great, the ambience is dark and all light colours are swarmed greedily by the sunset’s darkness. Probably the most tense of all the action scenes you will experience in this game are in this chapter, it serves as a real horror supplement and an typically unlikeable character is made likeable in its brief running time.

Russell

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Russell’s chapter is a strong one, it gives you the underdog character who wants to start fresh in his ways of survival, in comparison to his past group. He’s by far the youngest of all the protagonists and is naïve, however weathered to the art of killing zombies. He’s a fairly dry character, but in the story you meet a character whom is vaguely related to a previous episode and proves to be a great character, thus making Russell’s episode thoroughly enjoyable.

Shel

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Shell’s story is the meatiest of all the others, it has the most painstaking of all the stories in the game, and the decisions you make will give inevitable replay value as there are multiple choices, all of which result with alternative consequences. The characters are strong in this story; you find yourself with a group of survivors whom you have varied opinions of, and the group dynamic becomes increasingly more dire as you progress, forcing you into hard decisions; also, being the longest of the episodes, it allows us to develop some sense of emotional connection to the character and those around her. We’d strongly recommend you playing this one last as the stakes presented in the chapter will make a lot more sense, adding more weight to your decisions.

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Aa whole, 400 Days has all the tense situations, great art style, intriguing characters and unique gameplay elements which Season 1 of The Walking Dead possessed, however, these elements can’t really be used to the extent that is needed; the game is simply too short, thus making it very difficult to develop an emotional connection with the characters, and at the end of every episode, you’re left saying to yourself, “Eh? Where’s the rest of it?” The game is pure set up for Season 2. There are some memorable moments in the Walking Dead: 400 Days and fans of the series will likely find a lot to love here. Looking at it from a ‘Pre-Season’ aspect; this game is a great set-up, and hey, it’s cheap and chips.

A must-have for all fans of The Walking Dead Season 1 as it shows Telltale have a great handle on what fans loved from the original run, but if you haven’t played Season 1 nor have any care for it – then 400 Days will leave you cold.

8/10

Cameron Harris. Follow him on Twitter @c4meronh4rris

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