While I’m sure the picture/thumbnail for this news piece gave it away, for those that don’t know, it’s Walking Dead: Season 1. This is the pseudo point and click, psychological adventure game from Telltale games, based on the hit comic series from Robert Kirkman.
While I played a lot of good games in 2012, the one that stuck with me the most was The Walking Dead. Why? It wasn’t because it had great gameplay mechanics – the puzzle solving was average at best – it wasn’t because it was graphically astounding – it was rather unique, but clunky – it wasn’t because it was smooth and bug free – for the first three episodes I struggled to go five minutes without the cut scenes stuttering. But if it was none of these things, then why exactly would I recommend it above anything else I played in 2012?
Because it made me cry at the end.
Now I’m sure there’s a few macho gamer types that will think that I’m a girl, or a nerd or whatever other Call of Duty inspired insults they can come up and that’s absolutely fine, because that group of people are severely missing out on a hugely emotional experience, one that can’t be found in your average action title.
Walking Dead has believable characters that you really feel for, as they don’t just shrug off hardship with your typical protagonist bravado. You watch them reach the brink of cracking and struggle to stay emotionally afloat. These are some of the most real characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing with. Some of them are dicks and I hate them for it. Some of them misunderstood my intentions, some liked me and some of the characters trusted me. And I felt it.
Not all the time; Telltale didn’t make a perfect game here by any means. Sometimes the character says things in ways that I never meant for him to, but for the most part, Lee was able to be an avatar for the way I, Jon Martindale, would like to think I’d react in those situations.
I could ramble on about other features in the game, such as the ability to see how your decisions weigh up against those of the other people that have played it, but I’m just going to recommend you give it a shot. If in all honesty, my heart felt recount of my time with the episodic Walking Dead doesn’t move you, it’s probably not the type of game for you. But if you want to try out one of the few games that has legitimately tugged at this jaded gamer’s heartstrings, I can’t recommend it enough.
It’s 50 per cent off today on Steam, meaning it’s just over £10. It’s a steal.