Apr 6, 2012
With its hordes of flesh-eating zombies and gritty post-apocalyptic setting, the fan-favorite comic book series and hit TV show The Walking Dead was clearly a perfect candidate for adaptation into the realm of video games – in fact, pun-happy Dead enthusiasts might even say the decision was a no-brainer.
However, while the series could have easily lent itself to a frantic Left 4 Dead-style shooter or a solo survival horror romp like the original Resident Evil, either of those game types would have had a tough time capturing what might be considered The Walking Dead’s most important elements: psychological drama, human interaction, and the characters’ day-to-day struggle for food, shelter, and some semblance of a normal life.
For these reasons, Telltale Games seems to be a smart choice to handle the adaptation; the developer’s signature point-and-click adventure style allows for both copious character development and a more down-to-earth approach to surviving in a zombie-infested world, and its episodic content model should work well for fans accustomed to experiencing The Walking Dead one graphic novel or hour-long TV episode at a time.
Telltale’s take on the material, developed in close collaboration with series creator Robert Kirkman, hews closer to the comic book series than the television show, with cel-shaded graphics that successfully recreate the expressive, detailed artwork found on the page. While players won’t take on the role of main character Rick Grimes, the game’s story is canonical to the series and will fill in familiar characters’ backstories while expanding the overall narrative to include never-before-seen settings, personalities, and conflicts. Players won’t simply scrounge for objects and engage in combat with the living dead; earning other characters’ trust and support through dialogue choices will also be critical in making it through the episodes successfully.
The Walking Dead will debut on PlayStation Network later this spring, but anyone seeking an early look can check out an informative series of preview videos on Telltale’s website, which feature Kirkman himself chatting about his involvement with the game.