The Walking Dead on Xbox 360: reviewBy Marc Sumner
Utter “The Walking Dead” to any Average Joe and you’ll most likely be met with “the TV show?”
Repeat the same title to a well-respected geek and expect “best-selling, Eisner award-winning comic book.” Now, approach a renowned gamer with these three magic words and watch the smile creep across their face as they say “play it.”
A console game based on The Walking Dead comic book series has been long overdue in the eyes of many; a gritty, character-driven adventure focussing on the continuing survival of a group of strangers during the zombie apocalypse? Hell, yes.
But The Walking Dead game isn’t your standard zombie (or ‘Walker’ as referred to in TWD universe) killing romp. The game is presented in five downloadable chapters, echoing the waiting time between monthly comic books and the gameplay is based on decision-making and character development, with your in-game choices affecting the way the story unfolds. Intrigued? Allow me to elaborate; in the third episodic chapter, you are given the choice of coming to the rescue of a terrified woman hounded by walkers (a risky operation which could jeopardise your carefully planned medical supply raid), or of letting her be devoured, giving you enough time to gather what you need and make a speedy getaway. Visceral stuff.
And visceral The Walking Dead game is. Prepare to face gruelling tasks involving brandished pitchforks, emergency blowtorch use, ruthless bandits and a very suspect dairy.
The majority of the time, you will be playing a third-person ‘point and click’ style adventure, occasionally utilising first-person and quick time events such as shooting and searching for items — actions which may be delayed slightly by infrequent cutscene delays, but with the game’s visually-pleasing cinematic style, this is hardly an issue.
Although the game is instantly accessible to any gamer (who can stomach it), diehard fans of The Walking Dead won’t be disappointed. Key characters, such as fan-favourite Glenn, are discovered on their particular journeys and even help you out with various tasks, all satisfyingly experienced via graphics based on the drawing style of Charlie Adlard, the comic series’ artist.
From the makers of the Jurassic Park and Back to the Future games, this independent bombshell of a video game easily scores 9 out of 10 and with all five episodes available to download now, a physical disc release expected and a second season of downloadable chapters confirmed, The Walking Dead continues to settle comfortably into the ever-expanding gaming universe. Pass the controller.
The Walking Dead game is available to download via Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Microsoft Windows and iOS now.