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Genre: Adventure & RPG
Min OS X: 10.6

The Walking Dead: Episode 1 - A New Day
May 9, 2012 | Jon Carr

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Lee Knows How To Use An Axe


Mac OS X: 10.6 | CPU: 2.3 GHz Intel | RAM: 4 GB | HD Space: 2 GB Graphics: 512 MB NVidia or ATI Graphics Card | Other: Not recommended for Intel integrated graphics or Mac Minis or early-generation MacBooks

Reviewer's Rig:

27" iMac, Core i5 Quad 2.8Ghz, 8GB RAM, ATI Radeon HD5750 1GB. Lion 10.7.3, Apple Wired Keyboard, Logitech Wireless Trackball M570.


Telltale Games is better known for lighter titles such as Sam & Max and Back To The Future. Their latest creation, The Walking Dead Episode One (subtitled A New Day) is based on Robert Kirkman's comic book series of the same name. The first in a series of five, the episode introduces us to the start of the zombie apocalypse and gives us the chance to experience firsthand the horror that unfolds.

The Walking Dead Episode One is a short but intense experience. The comic book is known for its focus on survival, emotional drama and a knack for killing off its characters suddenly. Fortunately, Telltale Games has infused these same elements into the game, creating a delightful mixture that's sure to please fans of the show or comic book, and those looking for a more mature offering beyond Telltale's lighter fare.

Our protagonist, Lee, finds himself in the back of a police car for a crime he may or may not have committed. While talking to the officer you hit a man and crash, kicking off the zombie apocalypse. It's not often we get an interesting main character who is also a black man, it's just too bad he ends up as a stereotypical convicted criminal as well.

Lee is one of a number of new survivors that don't exist in the comic book, though some source material characters appear such as Glenn and Hershel. This is a smart approach to the game as it doesn't require you to see the show or read the comics to be able to easily connect to the people or understand what is going on.

Shortly after escaping the car crash Lee stumbles upon an empty house, and eventually Clementine, a young girl in search of her parents. Lee takes on the role of protector, looking after Clementine and doing his best to shield her from the horrors going on. There's an awkward but tangible bond between these two, as you would expect a stranger and child to have given the circumstances. One of the game's high points is selling character relationships and believable dialogue along with top notch voice acting all the way through.

If you're expecting the likes of Left 4 Dead then TWD is not for you. While there are a number of panicky, intense and gruesome action sequences, the focus of the game is character drama and interaction, along with small doses of puzzles and exploring. It plays out like an interactive graphic novel more than anything else, which is either a good or bad thing depending on what you expect. This allows it to feel grounded and weighty and take a more deliberate pacing, though at the cost of any deep gameplay. There's simply not that much to do in the game other than talk to people, solve a few short puzzles and madly scramble away from or fight against the undead. Personally, I didn't mind this and found myself immersed and thoroughly entertained every step of my two hour journey through episode one. But those looking for a more traditional point and click adventure experience may be disappointed in the lack of exploration and puzzle solving, which is minimal.


Archives  Reviews  The Walking Dead: Episode 1 - A New Day