Review: Our 15-Year-Old Intern Mulls The Import Of Telltale’s Walking Dead Collection

After the series won hundreds of awards for its story, gameplay and characters; Telltale Games released The Walking Dead Collection. One disk compiles the entire series and all episodes of Telltale’s The Walking Dead along with, 400 days, and The Walking Dead: Michonne. So how is it?

Nothing about the game has been touched other than its glorified, enhanced graphics. But they’re compelling so you see the game in a new, er, light. The lighting effect, in fact, makes it so much easier to absorb the game’s detail. You witness the rotted pores, decayed teeth, and bleached eyes of the disheveled walkers. As a fan of the Walking Dead myself, I found the changes make the game more sinister and attractive at the same time. Other than the tension rising in the story, you won’t need to worry about staying on your toes with the controls. You simply move your mouse or analog stick and press the correct buttons when the game prompts you.

If it has to do with life during a zombie apocalypse, I’m hooked. I’ve read the entire comic book series of the Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, and right then and there I became zombie enthusiast. The dystopian society in the world of The Walking Dead gave me a new perspective of life to view; one focused on survival, deceit, disorder, and death around every corner. Somewhat like a hobby, I like to think about how the world would be during a zombie apocalypse. However, I found playing through the Walking Dead Collection by Telltale to be a chore. It wasn’t because I found the game to be lackluster, but because I already knew everything about the game.

Instead of buying the past series when they were released, I took to YouTube. I’ve spent many hours watching YouTubers play the Walking Dead. When viewers waited for the next episode of the game to be released, I impatiently waited with them. I could have simply bought the game in order to play at my pace. I binge watched the game on YouTube with a bag of popcorn as it felt like it would be a little more suspenseful. Tension was high, and I was not in control. Instead of viewing The Walking Dead as a game, I viewed it as a TV show, and that is where my conundrum comes in. If I play the game, what’s the point in watching it, and if I watch the game, what’s the point in playing?

I decided to delve into the game and take another look with a different intention in mind. Rather than nitpicking and fussing about how I knew about the story, I played to see how I felt. Memories of when I first watched The Walking Dead by Telltale Games flowed back to me periodically.

While I played through the segment where the police officer unwillingly crashed into the first walker I saw, I remembered that this was the scene many years ago that sparked my fear of disaster and also of fiction becoming a reality. Deterred from his trip to jail,I remembered Lee in the forest being attacked by a living corpse. Anyone could look into his eyes and see that he was confused and terrified. Season One of The Walking Dead also gave me my first animated view of a post-apocalyptic world. The enhanced graphics made all of my resurfacing experiences more surreal. The character models for both the zombies and characters were sharpened and, the yellow lighting effect made it easier to view the horrors that stalk the survivors and plague the world.

The Walking Dead is an interactive story that you can manipulate to watch relationships grow and break. Although the player is not particularly inside the game, you feel for the characters you control. I enjoy the emotion within The Walking Dead because there are times where I regret my decisions and times where a situation is in my favor, and I felt good watching how the story unfolded afterward.

Needless to say, the Collection has hours worth of story and gameplay. But this is also Telltale’s way to soothe anxious fans after the pre-hype of Season Four. It’s quite the worthy attempt to keep fans occupied and interested until the final series drops in 2018.

Kimari Rennis is a New York Videogame Critics Circle intern, part of our ongoing partnership with Bronx’s DreamYard Prep School.

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