Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Walking Dead: Point and Click meets interactive Novel

Over the last week or so I have taken finishing my gaming evenings with a short spell of Tell Tale Games  point and click adventure "The Walking Dead". (My current main game is Dishonored but more about that in a later post).

I am a fan of the recent trend for very strong story lines in games like Spec Ops: the Line, Max Payne 3 and Bioshock Infinite. The Walking Dead is a logical next step for me because it is acknowledged to be an episodic story first and a video game second.

I have only played episode one so far and it has for the most part lived up to my expectations of being a very good example of comic book story made interactive. The biggest surprise for me is that some of the gameplay is more challenging than I expected. Its been a while since I played a point and clicker and I had forgotten about non intuitive puzzles that require clicking every item in your inventory with every object on the screen in the hopes of getting a result.  Walking Dead has a very limited inventory thankfully but there were a couple of head scratching occasions where I had to randomly click every location until something responded.

There are also a few timed events which are good in theory but not so great in practise. The controls are not the most responsive which isn't a problem for normal point and click stuff but is a big problem when you are forced to make a life or death decision in mere seconds. I have had to make a few frustrating reloads because of this.

Not every decision is life or death of course. There are plenty of mundane choices such as whether to respond positively or negatively to one of your colleagues. The game flags these events with messages saying that your actions have been noted but I haven't determined yet how big an effect these decisions have on the overall storyline. My gut feeling so far is that the story runs pretty tightly on rails and that your choices mainly affect the incidentals.

Overall though I am highly enjoying The Walking Dead and playing it for half an hour or so every evening at the end of my gaming is proving to be a great wind down before bed.

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