Skybound Games (studio)
10 September 2019 (released)
12 September 2019
So, it’s a sad reminder that Tell Tale games has gone now and we are left with nothing more than its whole memory *reads all the stuff that led to its demise and how it might be coming back?* Wow okay, that’s an even sadder story now. But Skybound games have decide to bring back a series from the dead and even release an ultimate version of The Walking Dead. This is one of the most compelling series that’s story driven and features zombies which fans and non-fans of The Walking Dead could enjoy. But is this a definitive edition that’s worth picking up still?
So this does indeed deserve the royal title of Definitive Package, as its jammed packed filled with every single Season and addition episodes in the whole saga. With the four main Seasons at the centre and the extras like 100 days and Malone ready to play from the get go. Every single Season remains untouched (except for the graphical upgrade) and players can enjoy any episode at any time without having to have played previous ones. The choices are randomly generated which I wasn’t a fan of. Considering that Season 4 allowed you to pick certain choices before the game started. So for those who’ve played all episodes or just wanted to pick up where they left off previously, might not be so keen on this idea.
Yet players new or old to The Walking Dead should at least go through it again as it’s an incredible series.
The writing is extremely powerful, with compelling plots that perfectly stage the human dilemmas of the zombie apocalypse. As I see it, zombies were just an External conflict and the real drama came from the people and their problems. There’s a blend of powerful drama, unnerving conflict and each season has a grand set up and unravelling tale that will keep anyone hooked. I always found the first and last episodes to be the most harrowing and this is probably due to having the same writer on both episodes. It does show as episode 2 while still very good does lack that dark edge episodes 1 and 4 have. Don’t get me wrong some messed up stuff still happens but the first and last episode are relentless and the choices felt much more difficult to make. Or you at least truly felt their impact.
Choices can be made as previously mentioned and these choices carry over. Most of the choices are utterly devastating and may haunt you long after you turn off the console. There were only a few which really mattered in the grand scheme of things as some rather important looking choices came and went without any real purpose. Yet most choices always have an impact whether small or major. Mainly small however, such as a choice causing a slight disagreement later in the episode but having it be resolved by a dialogue choice rather easily.
Overall episodes one and four remain the strongest with 400 days being a stellar and surprising tale that looks at the other side of an event in episode one. While Seasons three and Malone being the weakest of the saga. Malone is still very enjoyable but is rather slow paced and episode 3 just feels like filler before the climactic end. The first two and the last set up Clementine extremely well and I have to admit it, the end of episode one broke my heart!
In regards to gameplay, episodes of The Walking Dead act out as a visual novel of sorts with more freedom to move around, discover and accomplish the many objectives set within the world. You’re mainly investigating the world before you, speaking with various people and discovering vital clues or items to progress the game. Objectives can range from handing out food to a select few in the group of survivors, going out to rescue a lost member of the group, finding a way pass a hoard of zombies and the more unexciting chores like fixing a power box. In all honestly most objectives are fine and offer a wide selection of sub-tasks that are interesting and a number of set pieces which work within the confines of the game’s design. Players will engage in events such as avoiding zombies, using traps to kill them off and to fend off against bandits.
There is always one moment or task that just dragged on, such as the fixing of the power box in episode 2 season one. While on a farm, Lee has to fix the power box but needs to collect a number of items, go speak with a number of people and do some trial and errors stuff. There’s no moon logic but rather tedious trial and error from time to time. There’s also the issue with the stiff movement in the earlier episodes, which does interfere with the more action orientated set pieces. The movement does become a little smoother but still wasn’t the best throughout the saga.
The art style is a massive improvement, looking sharper yet smoother and an improved frame rate means that game has very little bumps through transitions, choices and other actions. Yet there are some long loading times but this was mainly in the extras menu. Strange I dare say.
So what can I say? If you’ve played every single season, the extras and more ten times over, then I’d say there’s not much here to bring you back. The improved visuals are nice but nothing to spend the full amount on again. However if you’ve never played The Walking Dead or just dipped into one Season or a couple of episodes then this package is for you! For the price to have the complete collection with over 60 hours of gameplay then yeah, pick this up!
++ Great package featuring every single season and extras
+ Improved art style gives more depth and colour
+ Powerful and compelling story
+ Some neat set pieces and events
-- Some pacing issues and lacklustre objectives
- Lack of choice at the start for previous seasons unlike in Season 4
- Some long loading times here and there
A PS4 copy of The Walking Dead: The TellTale Definitive Series was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.