Games of the Generation: The Walking Dead

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Telltale’s The Walking Dead came 9th in our Games of the Generation list. Cameron Harris explains why…

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Telltale’s The Walking Dead is a masterpiece; a game already deemed a classic, it won countless awards from across the board and deservedly so. With its true to form narrative from the acclaimed comic series and television show, Telltale managed to pull out a narrative practically unrivaled in the gaming sphere. The team of writers were on par with that of Robert Kirkman, the creator of the world and franchise. Along with its marvelously rich narrative came an interesting and well thought out set of game mechanics; bringing forth the format of point and click and adding more suspense and action along the way. With these melded together, we were in for a dynamic, action packed, and – quite frankly – emotional ride.

To help players with the immersion of the story, Telltale released every chapter of the 5-part series consecutively (except for a slight delay here and there) every month. This meant that at the end of each episode, we were left at the edge of our seat, eyes bloodshot and our pants warm and moist [Er, what?! – Alarmed Ed], begging for more.

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As a result of the extraordinary narrative and story telling, Telltale succeeded in creating some loveable, memorable and downright treasurable characters. This meant that when someone we’d been trying our damnedest to keep alive through our choices in the game died, we found ourselves to be an emotional wreck for the next day and refused to eat, drink or accept life around us – because this character’s story was over. Slightly extreme but Telltale never failed to leave a cataclysmic emotional impact on players when the curtain had fallen.

Central to this is the relationship between protagonist Lee and his ward, Clementine. Lee is a fascinating character; a man guilty of past crimes (or is he?) that has a strong love for Clementine and a desire to protect her. You can see why. Clementine is innocence and sweetness personified (and never becomes annoying) and, in a world gone to hell, you can see why Lee would want to preserve at least one good thing. You shape the way their relationship develops and, by the end, you’ll be muttering the mantra “For Clementine” at every step.

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Telltale’s The Walking Dead is a game that just keeps on giving, with a lot of potential to be improved on in the coming seasons; choices made could (and should) carry over and have a much larger impact on the endgame than the choices made in the original run did. However there is so much a small arcade title could do with this generation. With that in mind, this tale was so good – and out of the blue – that it attracted not only gamers into the zombie genre, but fans of the zombie genre into gaming. Perfect narrative combined with a unique graphical style and clean, workable mechanics; The Walking Dead can only be stated as one of THE definitive games of the generation.

– Cameron Harris. @C4meronH4rris.

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