Tak tak – tam w lustrze (Telltale The Walking Dead, 2012-2013)

Several times I mentioned The Walking Dead, the comics, the TV show and the Telltale videogame (yeah, there is a second videogame but so far I did not feel like trying it out), see this. Long story short, so far I did not reviewed the videogame but the TV series is so so and the comics great.

Telltale’s videogame, where you follow a group of survivors alike Rick’s, come by seasons and episodes. It fits with a comics released each month. First season is over, second is pending (I won’t put here screenshots because the one I have would be major spoilers).

This videogame from Telltale matches exactly the comics: ambiance, issues and (hand drawn) graphics.  The story  is more or less open: you have plenty of decisions to make, most of them that have consequences on the story. It does not mean however you’re in a open world: no, you follow a general path you cannot get away from. But you’re at the liberty of changing how the events, the same whatever you do, are actually perceived and handled by the characters. In other words, for instance, at some point some characters will die: it’s not really up to you to avoid it (well, sometimes it is) but it is entirely up to you how others characters will react. This will depends on the choices you’ve made before, on your influence over the group and each individual. I’d like stress out how much the authors on several occasions build some heavy momentum: in episode 4, I actually made a choice about a specific major issue (won’t say, if you played it you probably know what I’m referring to) that contradicted most of the choices I made to this point (more than half of the story!). I was even afterward puzzled by my choice: I tend to decide, when starting a roleplay game, what traits I want to give my character, so in case I replay it I can redo it completely differently (no point of doing Mass Effect 2 twice as half-renegade/half-paragon, I’d rather go wild renegade and another time nedflanderslike paragon). This choice I’ve been led to do did not fit the traits I wanted for my character. It was partly my guts speaking. Plus it was a very rationale decision that I’ve been forced to take, even though it was not what I assumed I’d do at first. It’s just like in the comics where so often characters partly betray their own set of principles, just because they realized that’s the best course of action no matter what.

Do I even need to be more explicit? If you did not play that game, do it already!

I’m writing this note today, after the release of an out-of-season episode called 400 days. New characters, with a story somehow probably entangled between the main story of the videogame and of the comics. I bought it immediately. Played it immediately. Finished it in less than an hour. And I don’t feel so great about that. Please understand that the episode is well done, perfectly matching the videogame quality so far. It’s just that the episode is probably too short to be sold exactly the same price as any other episode. Even more disturbing, this episode was given for free to people that bought 1st season on Telltale website. So I prepurchased the 1st season on steam at once, without even waiting for the release of first episode, in goodwill because I trusted Telltale to be something good (and was proved right),  and as reward, I see people getting the extra short episode for free. Not that I care about 5 euros, I really don’t. But isn’t it only natural that I just feel like second best? I understand they probably make more money by selling games directly, outside of steam. But really, when you prepurchased or build a season pass, you’re somehow helping, aren’t you? If there’s to be a special favor, havent you earn it? No so much a big deal, but still, no dobrze – wiem, że się starałeś uspokój się.

(note: the game can be laggy/stuttering with shadows set to high or even low, you may want to change that parameter if you have such issue)

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