GAME NAME: Walking Dead Episode 4
DEVELOPER(S): Telltale Games
PUBLISHER(S): Telltale Games
PLATFORM(S): XBLA, PSN, PC
RELEASE DATE(S): October 9, 2012
There are very few video games that will leave a lasting impression on you with their story, but the Walking Dead series will forever remain ingrained in my mind. Episode 4, specifically, places you in situations where you are forced to learn things about yourself in a way that no other medium can make you. Many games over the years have raved about the role that morality choices play in their games, but they tend to just boil down to being step on a puppy evil or help an old lady across the street good. Episode 4, instead, excels at putting you in those gray areas where there is no clear right or wrong answer and give you a very limited amount of time to choose. It’s beyond interesting to see what choices you make when push comes to shove, and you have to pick sides on complicated issues.
Most games that are labeled Mature, just mean that there may be some violence or sexuality present in the game, but the Walking Dead games actually approach adult situations with a mature and thoughtful approach that transcend anything done in video games before.
Graphically and gameplay-wise Episode 4 is very similar to the other games in the series. The graphics are still the interesting cel-shading that belies the game’s comic book roots, but still suffer from graphical glitches that occasionally distract from the on-screen drama. Thankfully, Episode 4 scaled back on the scan the environments gameplay of Episode 3 and focused more on the story that it had to tell.
The voice acting is just as phenomenal as it has been all series long. All the characters are voiced with passion and are believable people in the stressful situations that they find themselves in. The music adds to the foreboding atmosphere and the zombie groans and ringing bells complete the ambiance.
It’s difficult to explain what makes this game so excellent without unveiling many of the surprises of the plot, but Episode 4 continues to explore mature themes in a way that is actually touching to the player on an emotional level. Even the popular AMC television series has yet to explore the kinds of deep, taboo subjects that the game has had the courage to delve into. This game is the prime example of how video games can actually surpass movies and television in terms of story telling with a deep emotional connection.
I honestly can’t pour enough accolades on to this series and Episode 4 in particular. The 400 MSP price tag makes this game a no-brainer purchase for any adult that can put up with some in-context foul language and zombie gore.
The XBLA version of this game was used for the review.