Wednesday, September 18, 2019

"The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series" Review

The fall and rise of the seminal Telltale Games adventure series "The Walking Dead" resembles that of one of its undead minions. Following the sudden, unceremonious closure of the studio a year ago, the core team reassembled to finish the final season.

As a result, the seven-year, genre-defining legacy established by the ill-fated yet influential developer got a second life. Now developer Skybound Games, sticking to the spirit established by Telltale, wraps up all the mainline series with all four seasons, as well as the "400 Days" and Michonne-focused spinoffs, into a grand, epic package.

All told, there are 50 hours of gameplay spread out across 23 episodes. Also added are 10 hours of developer commentary, background featurettes, a making-of documentary and soundtrack.

Through point-and-click, mild puzzle-solving and dialogue trees, you make choices that affect whether characters live or die, as well as the direction of the plot and the moral makeup of your protagonists.

At its core, "The Walking Dead" is the transcendent journey of a heroine, Clementine, from defenseless little girl to full-grown, destiny-controlling badass. The fourth season dovetails magnificently with the themes and plot points of the opening frame, creating a staggering, resonant journey that wouldn't have the same impact in any other medium.

Although the work of some other developers may have surpassed Telltale's work over the years, there's no denying the lasting influence and continuing relevance of this magnificent take on "The Walking Dead." As popular as the TV and comic series are, the games will always hold a place as the purest, most emotionally impactful franchise's stories.

"The Walking Dead" has risen from oblivion, and it's doubtful we'll ever see anything quite like it again.

Even more impressively, choices chain from one episode to the next, leading to distinct experiences on different playthroughs that drastically redefine the themes and storylines you experience.

Publisher provided review code.

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