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10:18 AM on 04.26.2012

The Walking Dead: An Interactive soap opera, featuring zombies.

The Walking dead game. A new game from Telltale Games that follows the acclaimed graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman. Get ready for an emotional roller coaster with twists, turns, split-second decisions, and some zombies, this is a game where you WILL get something out of the experience, and maybe leave with something more.

The Walking Dead is conceivably one of the greatest dramas of all time (so far). The graphic novel series has been critically acclaimed, and the show on television is equally as revered, each with their own separate and interlocking fan-base. The series is known for the fresh new spin on the trite "zombie Apocalypse" formula. The series focuses more on the people that are unfortunately involved in the zombie's sudden uprising, as opposed to the people just killing the zombies and trying to survive. Sure, there is still a plethora of gory, satisfying zombie kills, and zombies mauling people, but the focus is primarily on the social interactions and the need for survival in humans. The desire to survive, and the need to be accepted, and how humans are social creatures at heart. Even though people are an endangered species, and the human race needs to band together to survive the struggle, people are people, and they let their differences and previous opinions (racism, trust issues, various other character flaws, etc.) shine. You find yourself identifying with this world and the emotional, fleshed-out characters just like you would a real-live person.

The game starts off with Lee, the main character whom you play as, in the back of a police car, with a policeman chatting and churring with you whilst driving you off to jail after the ruling of a court case. You were presumably found guilty for the murder of your wife, who you caught cheating, with a messy trial that had a lot of media attention, and the public knows about. After talking to the police man, you eventually hit something in the road, sending you and the policeman careening and flipping down the hill like something right out of "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift". You awake to find the officer crumpled in a pathetic heap, and then realize you need to get out. This is when you actually get to start playing the game, as opposed to just making conversation with someone, and choosing options while the world around you goes to chaos.


The game plays just like any Telltale game would, cursor controlled, 3rd person point-and-click mixed with a range of movements. Enough to make it engrossing and involved to keep your attention and not feel like you're merely watching everything unfold. Even though most of the game is walking around, and talking to people (which remember, the walking dead is more about the social relationships and hard choices of human beings than the title suggests), the game does a damn good job making that intense and grilling. If you thought talking to people and interrogating suspects was intense or involving in rockstar's L.A. Noire, then you might suffer an aneurism from how much better it is in the walking dead. Without spoiling much, the game changes based on how you play, so it's like an immensely interactive and tear-jerking choose your own adventure book, with zombies. There are key moments when you have to choose what to say to build relationships with people, and when you have to choose to save one person or the other. The repercussions of your choices will lay the line for how the story evolves. I played through it twice, saying different things, and saving different people, and it was an entirely different experience. Think of Mass Effect, but with a much....much....less crappier ending.

All in all, the game doesn't disappoint. At all, even in the slightest bit. Checkpoints are generous, and if you don't like the way your decision turned out, you can rewind the episode and start from a different chapter, with no penalty. You can also copy a save and rewind to get a second story going, and then wait ever so impatiently for the second episode to release, (becuase there's a trailer at the end of the episode with things to come, and showcases different things based on what choices you made)... and if you're anything like me, and you love things that play well, are designed well, keep you sucked in, and aren't necessarily difficult (the difficult part is making split-second decisions that effect the rest of the game), and might even make you cry, then you should really, really, really check this game out. Seriously. A definite 9/10. Not perfect, but the damndest thing that could come close. written based on the PC version   read

8:26 PM on 04.24.2012

Requiem for a split-screen

As it seems to me, video games have become more about being alone, and getting yelled at online, then ACTUALLY having a good time playing. More below.

For awhile it seems video games have gotten less social then they were. When really, video games were originally accepted by the ones who generally weren't that social. Over time, they got more "buddy buddy" with the addition of a second controller port, you and a buddy could effortlessly team up to beat the baddies! What a novel concept, right? Maybe I could possibly be getting on to something, eh?
Anyways, after a while, the guys behind the games came out with four controller ports. Now, four people can get into the same game and have a blast! Multiplayer components became a staple in gaming as the medium gained more notoriety, becoming more popular, and more refined. Then, online gaming came out, and many gamers hopped on the technology bandwagon. Who wouldn't? The idea of popping in a game, and playing with people all over the world sounds like a great idea, and it is.
However, it seems like a step backwards. As people hopped online, they cut themselves off from the good times that can be had by some friends getting together and gaming together. All hope was not lost, however. Many games still had split screen support, and you and a buddy could team up and go online together. This seems like the perfect storm, no longer would groups of gamers be subject to only four people in a game, or even two. Sadly, as games progressed, and multiplayer became the main focus (yes i'm talking to you Modern Warfare) split screen was only offline, and you and your buddy couldn't sit on the couch together and have some online teamwork-y fun. Some guys got it right (the halo series' four player split screen online support) and Treyarch's Black Ops online split screen component was there, but these are two in a staggeringly endangered list of beautiful species.

Do what's right. Protect the sanctity of video games being fun and about having a good time, not getting yelled at by a prepubescent kid whose mommy bought him an xbox live subscription, while you're all alone in a dark room by yourself. Be the voice our medium needs, if enough people speak, someone is bound to listen. Do it for us. Do it for Everyone. And thanks for reading[color=darkred][/color][color=darkred][/color]   read

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