Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Walking Dead: 400 Days Review


Most of the action occurs either in or around this diner for all five stories

  • Developer: Telltale Games
  • Publisher: Telltale Games
  • Release Date: 4 July 2013
  • Time played: 90 minutes

Even though I'm ready to provide a review for The Walking Dead: Season Two, I thought I'd first review The Walking Dead: 400 Days since those of you who have only played the first season may be wondering if it's worth getting this DLC which is meant to be a bridge between Season One and Season Two.

Plot (5/5)
400 Days follows the stories of five different people over a period of 400 days since the start of the zombie outbreak (hence the name). This unfortunately means you might not feel as strong an attachment with the characters as you would in Season One but on the plus side you get to experience multiple stories occurring at different times over the 400 days. Thankfully it didn't reveal any new information about the original game either (I hate it when you have to pay DLC for holes in the main game's plot) although it did have a couple of cameos.

Once again the narrative is of a high quality, on par with The Walking Dead: Season One, and just like all things Walking Dead, the zombies merely act as a plot device to explore how people react in the face of adversity when hope is in short supply.

The five characters you get to play as: Vince, Wyatt, Shel, Russell and Bonnie

Gameplay (3/5)
For those that have played The Walking Dead: Season One, you know the drill. Gameplay is pretty light, with simple puzzles and the game feels more like a visual novel. The game is mainly conversation driven and focuses more on your relationships with characters more than anything else. You'll occasionally have some Quick Time Events (QTEs) during action sequences but that's about it.

Sound (4/5)
Voice acting is great but that's to be expected from veteran voice actors – the only issue I had was that the audio was sometimes too loud or too soft.

Music (4/5)
The game has a suitably atmospheric music soundtrack; while there are no memorable themes it is effective in setting the sombre, depressing mood to the game.

Graphics (4/5)
As was the case with The Walking Dead: Season One, the graphics in 400 Days are probably the best I've seen in a Telltale game thanks to the adoption of a comic-book style to the animations. As was the case with Season One, the only criticisms I have are the occasional framerate drops and the background scenery tends to be of a low quality.

Replay (2/5)
Just like Season One, the ending you receive depends on the choices you make in the game, so there is some attraction there to replay the game. However, it won't be long until you've probably had enough with the game since it only takes 90 minutes to complete one playthrough after all.

Polish (4/5)
Unfortunately, as it's a Telltale game, it uses the most recent Telltale Tool so the interface is a very console-friendly one, not a simple point ‘n' click adventure. The game also has the annoying Type 1 save system where progress is autosaved but you never know when the next save point is.

Score – 7/10

While 400 Days is very short at 90 minutes, it's definitely something I'd recommend Walking Dead fans invest in, especially if you can get it on sale since you could do worse for just a couple of bucks.

If you want to get the game, you can get it on Steam.

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[ LINK: Official The Walking Dead: 400 Days website]

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