The Walking Dead has been widely described as a 'point and click adventure role playing video game' using a third person perspective in which the gameplay focuses on the story rather than puzzles it contains. The game draws heavily from the comic book and TV series of the same name whose writer, Robert Kirkman, played an advisory role in the making of the game. Although the story takes place in locations from the comic series many of the characters in the game are new to the Walking Dead series.
The action starts in the state of Georgia in North America soon after a zombie invasion and its catastrophic outcome and is played out through the eyes of Lee Everett whose part the player assumes. The Zombies or 'Walkers' as they are dubbed due to the slowness of their gait are thought to 'infect' the survivors of the invasion by biting them but it comes to light later that they become zombies themselves irrespective of the manner of their death.
Lee Everett, the principal character in the story was once a university Professor who was convicted for the murder of a senator who became a little too friendly with his wife. There are many other characters in the tale with various backgrounds who interact with each other in somewhat complex ways.
As well as Everett, the main cast consists of:-
Clementine a girl eight years of age to whom Everett becomes a sort of father substitute.
Kenny, Katjaa his Belgian wife and Kenny junior ( nicknamed Duck )form a family form Florida. Kenny is a fisherman and his wife a vet.
Lilley who is or was stationed at an US airbase and who comes along with a bunch of survivors including Larry her father and Carley a newspaper reporter who are both aware of Everett's murky past.
There are many others too numerous to name here but who come from all walks of life and who form a rather unlikely bunch. Many are introduced as the story moves on through the five consecutive episodes into which the overall narrative is split.
Although the interaction between this motley crew of characters can become quite complex, although a little contrived, the main story is as follows:-
We start as Everett, form now on referred to as Lee, is being transported to prison and the vehicle he and his escorts are in flattens an unwary pedestrian and leaves the road leaving the vehicle's passengers unconscious. Lee regains his senses some hours later only to find that the officer escorting him is now a Zombie and Lee thinks it is expedient to kill him.
Taking refuge in a nearby house and discovers Clementine hiding in a tree house and on discovering that her parents were not with her he offers to take her under his wing and to help search for them. They travel on to a neighboring farm where the meet the aforementioned Kenny and his family. They travel on as a group and meet up with other survivors and hole up in a drugstore owned, unknown to the rest of the group, by one of Lee's family. After accidentally setting of the store's alarm so drawing attention to themselves they make a run to a motel intending to use it for a defensive position.
All is well and they are safe from Walkers but unfortunately being human they need to eat and are fast running out of food. They are then approached by a family called called St.Johns who own, of all things, a dairy. But it is soon discovered that the St.John's diet is not limited to milk products as they have dabbled in a little cannibalism. The group must flee once more when Walkers and bandits, who are in cahoots with the St.Johns
This more or less sets the tone for the rest of the action and there are too many events and complications to describe in a short review. But the group and others with which they meet move from crisis to crisis fighting off Zombie attacks and losing some of their number along the way. The closing shot does show Clementine and two figures in the distance, are they her parents, wait and see.
The game has the usual character and object interactions with many choices to be made which affect the other game characters' reaction to the main character Lee. Major decisions need to be made at the start of the five episodes into which the overall tale is broken down and although these decisions affect the episodic outcomes they can each be completed irrespective of the choices made. On the whole it is fair to say that the complex interactions are more in number than in most games of this genre. Beware that some of the decisions are time limited and so quick thinking is needed.
There is a useful save function and a facility to rewind as it were to an earlier stage and reverse previously made choices. There is also an optional 'choice notification' feature which can be switched on indicating how choices made in play affect the relationship of the characters to the main mover Lee.
Graphics and audio are, needless to say of the excellent quality expected of a game which has undergone such long development.