A round-up of the best and worst titles from The Walking Dead: Telltale Series
The Walking Dead TV series has been out for over a decade now, and needless to say, it's been a smash-hit for viewers. The question is, though, have The Walking Dead Games have the same amount of success? We're focusing on The Walking Dead: The Telltale series and what each of the games had to offer. Now that The Walking Dead: The Definitive Series is available, it is more accessible than ever to grab the entire collection rather than purchasing each of the sets individually (despite a few bugs). We're rating four main games plus the spin-off in the collection from best to worst.
1. The Final Season
The Final Season of The Walking Dead Telltale Series comes out in the number one spot, not because it rounded off the series, but because of the team at Telltale Games wanting to perfect everything leading to this point. They took all the good and the bad from the previous series and created something special.
The Final Season introduced a heartwarming cast of characters that we all grew to love. Additionally, there were some difficult choices to make and a story that sucked us in. They also made the length of episodes longer, which allowed players to get to know characters before they left (or got eaten by a walker). There's a lot of places that enable players to establish a grounding for each location, and once again, players can get a sense of the playable character's personality.
Collectibles and unscripted action sequences keep things fresh, and it's undoubtedly one of the most visually pleasing Walking Dead games to date. The soundtrack is also one that fits well, bringing new tracks and familiar songs from the previous seasons.
Most importantly, this Season pulls at the heartstrings, time and time again. It offers some of the most emotional, chilling, disturbing feelings that are rarely found so vivid in a video game.
2. Season One
Some might argue that Season one should have made the top of our list, considering a changed the way players and the gaming industry looked at interactive storytelling. The teams at telltale pulled off the “child in an apocalyptic world” scenario pretty well, telling one of the most emotional stories we'd seen in the video game world. Lee and Clem became the spotlight for future games in the series, but aside from them were a cast of loveable characters, putting their fates into the player's hands. It boasted comic-book style graphics, a moving soundtrack, and brought us a game that influenced an entire genre. Almost a decade after its release, it still holds up well, and it is easy to see why it was so successful.
3. Season Two
It was not going to be easy to raise the bar again after season one's success, although Season 2 hit the sweet spot. Shorter episodes began in this Season, with fewer choices and explorable locations, but bringing back Clem to continue her story worked well. Clem is on her own, and proving her independence in this dark new world was cleverly executed. An additional cast of characters are introduced, but players face some of the most challenging decisions yet in the demands of a video game. Clem's story doesn't let up being compelling, and it often gets unfair negativity merely for not being a predecessor to Season One.
This spin-off is likened to a mini-series, due to the fact the episodes aren't as lengthy. Players don't have the opportunity to get to know the characters. In comparison to the previous series, there's not much in the way of a narrative that leaves less of a replayability aspect. There are often scenarios where the players are given limited choices, which can be frustrating in a decision-based game.
Putting these negatives aside, Michonne is still enjoyable, having some of the series' best villains and exciting characters. It also does well to relate to the apocalyptic events that have occurred, revealing some characters aren't necessarily evil but are merely trying to stay alive.
5. A New Frontier
If A New Frontier had been executed properly, then it could have been something great, but this was a choice-based game that offered choices that had various ways of saying the same thing. This was frustrating for players when they make a choice, and the character responds with something entirely different for what they'd chosen. If you hadn't made confident decisions early in the game, this impacted on later events not making any sense at all. Unless you play the game in a certain way, the plot unfolds into something that is emotionally annoying rather than emotionally heartwarming.
Putting the frustrating choices to one side, the characters in A New Frontier are just plain uninteresting, and often you begin to dislike them. How can we be expected to be immersed in a story when we don't care about what happens to the characters? It's almost like an action movie that's been blown out of proportion, and to say this Season disrespects its predecessors is an understatement. Regardless of how Clem had grown throughout the first Seasons and adapted to the choices made, A New Frontier doesn't keep this consistency and forces Clem into an entirely different person. That's not forgetting the way that a New Frontier bulldozes the player's choice of ending for Season 2. Now and again, there are some okay scenes. Although there's a general lack of a likeability, there are some okayish characters. Overall, this last entry doesn't come close to matching the quality of previous seasons.