GAME NAME: The Walking Dead 400 Days DLC
DEVELOPER(S): Telltale Games
PUBLISHER(S): Telltale Games
PLATFORM(S): XBLA, PSN, PC
RELEASE DATE(S): July 1, 2013
Between the wildly successful television series, the comics from which it originated and two video games inspired by all of the above, it’s obvious fans are eager for as much Walking Dead as they can get. Giving the people what they want whilst no doubt capitalizing on demand, Telltale recently released DLC for their version of the hit series, theoretically giving fans something to hold them over until the all out sequel (or season as it’s being called) is released. The first go ‘round offered heart-pounding intensity, complex decision making and questionable humans with which to interact; not to mention walkers, as they are called ‘round these parts. Sorry, southern roots are surfacing. Anyway, the DLC attempts to offer more of the same, albeit on a smaller scale.
While the majority of the gameplay is unaltered, with some welcomed additions such as actions requiring buttons to be held down, the format takes a slightly different angle to serve the playability of multiple characters. Playing through the various stories, we get a slice of each hopeful survivor, no doubt to be further explored in a later release. The action or interaction is at times as trivial as playing rock, paper, scissors, while at others as dire as choosing whether or not to commit murder. The environments vary enough to stimulate direct play through. Whether it be stuck in a truck with a creepy drunk driver or chained to others in a prisoner transport bus, there is a fluid sense of claustrophobia that heightens the intensity of nearly every scene. The controls are simple, leaving adrenaline to take control instead of your coordination skills. The graphics see no change and the voice acting is, as before, top notch.
Where 400 Days falls short is its length. Granted, there are many small stories, but they feel considerably too small and each leaves something to be desired in a way that almost ruins the otherwise gratifying gameplay experience. Rather than leave the player with a sense of accomplishment, relief or finality, some gamers will be retrospectively disappointed when they realize 400 Days is basically a heap of all-too-brief exposition transformed into, and some might say disguised as, gameplay. It is really only enough to make players want more. While many would not consider its price to be high in relation to some DLC, when one considers the aforementioned issue, it may in fact be a bit too costly for the amount and depth (or lack thereof) of content. That being said, the content included is in itself, sufficiently enjoyable. If this were not the case, it is unlikely a desire for more could even be considered an issue. All in all, the DLC proves to be an engaging, fun, even scary time that leaves the tough decisions to the gamer; all of which we should be able to continue to expect from Telltale and The Walking Dead arcade series.