Robert Kirkman introduced the world to The Walking Dead on October of 2003, publishing his work through Image Comics. The comic series was a step away from what most comic book fans were used to. Where comics were inked with vibrant colors, his comics had none. Where other comics had superheroes, larger than life characters, or world-shattering events, Kirkman gave us a story of survival. We were given Rick Grimes.
The comic followed Rick Grimes’ journey through a zombie apocalypse (download the first issue for free). He suffered and lost more than any man could bare, but he kept on going. And going. And going. Grimes is a survivor. His story of survival transfers nearly perfectly to the TV show.
But this Walking Dead isn’t a story of Rick Grimes.
It’s a story of Lee Everett and his struggle for survival.
The game developers claimed that the story of the game changed based on the decisions the player made throughout the game. And you know whAdd Mediaat, they are right. The game really does feel like the decisions I made with Lee matters. Every conversation seems to shape future conversations. This game does not have a shortage of conversations, that’s for sure.
And when you’re not talking to others, you are using Lee to explore the environment to find ways past zombies, locate supplies, discover hidden passageways, and a ton of other great stuff. Oh, and there were parts where I could shoot zombies. That was cool.
Though… my only… and I mean only, complaint about his game is that it doesn’t feel like a game at all. When I play a video game, I want to feel like I’m playing a video game. This felt far more like an interactive story. There weren’t any challenges to the game that one would find in a traditional video game. Sure, I had to find where a secret passage was, but that was all to continue the story on.
There was so much story, the gameplay almost disappeared after awhile. Weird, I know.
It was a story of survival. Of a man named Lee Evertt and his quest to protect Clementine.
Clem was alone when Lee found her. The two bonded almost immediately. Lee was her surrogate father. Clem his surrogate daughter. They traveled together, doing everything they could to survive. All Lee wanted to do was ensure her safety, protect her from the horrors that only a zombie apocalypse can bring.
So really, that’s the story in a nutshell. And there was a ton, and I mean a ton, of details to go along with it. Dozens of characters that felt real. They had their own flaws, frustrations, and dreams. Hell, one character was so… incompetent… and frustrating that I wanted to kill him. I wanted to kill him with every fiber of my being. But when the time came, I couldn’t do it to him. I saved him, showing him the mercy he didn’t deserve all because he was a kid in a terrible situation.
Yes, I saved Ben. It was the right choice. At least for me it was.
I already reviewed the DLC 400 Days, so I don’t see a need to touch on it.
When I think about Walking Dead, I think about Clementine. The game developers did such a great job. I cared if she lived or died. I wanted to make sure she got a happy ending. She deserved it. Heck, I wanted Kenny to find a moment of happiness in the end. I wished I could have done more to save everyone I lost along the way.
But that’s the tragedy of survival. You can’t guarantee survival. You can’t guarantee happiness. You can’t guarantee peace. The moment you stop trying to survive, you die. You can never achieve survival. It’s a way of life. And it has to remain that way.
That’s part of what this game teaches, I guess.
Man, I love this game. I gotta play it again soon.