Hopefully there is no statute of limitations on how long a game can be out before you play and comment on it because if there is I’m sure I’m definitely violating it with this post.
In a move which I have felt great shame over the last few years I finally got around to playing Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season 1 and the special episode 400 Days. In news that will shock absolutely no one it was undeniably fantastic and I absolutely regret not getting around to it sooner. Four years after the fact though, with the game showing its age in parts, the experience wasn’t dulled one bit even though it had been spoiled for me years ago. I tend to waffle back and forth on whether or not I actually get invested in games like these where your choices matter and this time I had decided to just try and enjoy it while not getting too wrapped up in the consequences.
Any guesses on how long that lasted?
It started going downhill rapidly at the farm during the tractor incident, followed closely by the argument over whether Duck was bitten . My resolve was completely obliterated when it came time to choose who I saved during the siege of the Macon Drug Store. After that I was completely lost and agonized for as long as possible over each and every decision I made for the rest of the game, hoping that in the end I could do right by Clementine. Even characters I didn’t much care for ended up putting me in positions that didn’t have any easy answers which is a testament to Telltale’s writing and overall story construction. Even if a particular decision didn’t rate as major they had a way of sticking with you enough to doubt that you’d made the right call.
What surprised me most about the story being driven by meaningful decisions is that now after having finished it I don’t feel the need to go back and replay it even out of what-might-have-been curiosity. Don’t take that as a knock against the game because it surely isn’t but rather an indication that even the things I regret didn’t detract from it being complete. With the entirety of Season 1 behind me I feel that going back to redo anything would be a disservice to my experience of the game, with any decision we make in life it matters because we can’t go back and change it and in that spirit I’ll happily file this away as one of my favorite gaming experiences in quite some time.
While I’m sure there aren’t many of you out there if you find yourself mulling over purchasing or finally sitting down to play it stop debating and treat yourself to one hell of an emotional post-apocalyptic ride!
Till next time,