Developer: Telltale Games
Release Date: 7/3/2013
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The Good: Moral dilemmas, upgraded combat, bridges the gap between the Walking Dead Season 1 and Season 2, likable characters, lots of replay value
The Bad: Incredibly short, no big emotional connections, disappointing ending, technical issues
The Walking Dead by Telltale is probably my favorite game of all time… or at least my favorite story of all time. TWD: 400 Days is an experiment in storytelling and DLC by Telltale which may not have you developing emotional connections as you did in Season 1, but still works for the most part. It includes five stories which can be played in any order (although there is a chronological order to follow if you’d prefer that) which all have a separate main character. The ending where everything comes together is quite disappointing and confusing but hardly ruins the experience.
Each of the stories has a similar layout (other than Shel and Vince’s)- you start off with a conversation where you get to know the characters, an action moment arises (the action has been improved as well), then a moral dilemma, then back to a conversation. These dilemmas are very intricate and often had me pausing the game so I could think of them (I know, shame on me for pausing). But those aren’t always the best parts of the stories. The best parts are instead the calmer moments such as when you are playing “Would you Rather” or tense moments where an extremely important game of “Rock Paper Scissors” is being played.
There are a few drawbacks to having five completely different stories of survivors of the zombie apocalypse, however. Each story is incredibly short and the experience as a whole is shorter than an episode of the actual game. I beat TWD: 400 Days in one sitting in about 1 hour and 15 minutes. This is disappointing because the short length doesn’t let you get to know the characters well.
There are a few technical issues, specifically involving the mouse (so console users don’t need to worry) which can’t be avoided but they aren’t major. All in all, The Walking Dead: 400 Days is a successful experiment which is far from perfect but worthy of any TWD-game fan’s attention. Also, there is tons of replay value due to the numerous choices which all have varied outcomes.