The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episodes 1 and 2 review – Here we go again!

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the episodic The Walking Dead: Season One by Telltale Games. This actually came as a bit of a surprise to me. Interactive fiction just wasn’t my thing… or so I thought. Right from the first of the five episodes that make up Season One I was entranced. What’s not to love? It’s got it all – amazing stories, great writing, complex and realistic characters and a tense atmosphere that never abates. So of course, I had to play the two episodes of Season Two that are out so far, because I just have to know what happens dammit! Obviously since it’s not all out yet, I can’t judge the whole story arc or give a fair review of the season, but I still wanted to get my thoughts down about the first two episodes, in case there are people out there who haven’t played it yet and want to know how it stacks up so far against the incredible first season. Continue reading

Relationships in Games That I Actually Cared About

I’ve talked before about the various trends over the past year that I’ve found exciting and one that I’ve been particularly excited about is the maturing of game writing and the increasing complexity and realism of storylines and characters. I like a beat ’em up/hack’n’slash/2D platformers as the next and there are plenty of games that I loved despite their crappy stories. Fun comes in many forms and ultimately it still comes down to gameplay and mechanics for me. That said though, there’s something magical about a story and characters that truly engage you. It’s like being transported to a different world and seeing through someone else’s eyes.

Even more rare in gaming history than those truly inspiring stories is the realistic and nuanced portrayal of relationships between characters. It’s understandably difficult. The limits of technology have often meant that relationships are often reduced to giving gifts or going through stilted lines of conversation to get people to like you. Obviously, that’s not quite how relationships work (at least most of them)! Even if the relationship is somewhat realistic, it’s even more difficult to make it compelling. However, I think the industry has really shown that it’s evolved beyond that now and that it can create realistic relationships between people that you actually care about. And I’m not really talking about romantic relationships here as you’ll see below. So here are my personal top 5 relationships from games I’ve played that got me right in the feels. Yours of course, might be completely different! Of course, I’ve heard about other games that have great relationships like Red Dead Redemption, but obviously I can’t comment since I haven’t played it. Feel free to add your own favourites in the comments below! Also beware that there are minor hinted spoilers – nothing major, but you may want to skip the entry if you don’t want to find anything out about the game. Continue reading

The Walking Dead review: How far would you go?

The Walking Dead 1

Image by The_JIFF

The Walking Dead is an episodic  point and click adventure game by Telltale Games. I’ll only be talking about the original 5 episodes as I’m planning to review the 400 days DLC separately. This game reminded me why I love this genre so much (although it’s not really the kind of game I typically play) and it does it in a different way that’s more action-y than your standard adventure game (as opposed to an action-adventure game), true to its source material. I haven’t read the comics that the game was based on, but I have watched the TV series, which is now one of my absolute favourites. The game has got everything I love about the zombie genre and what I like about the TV show – it examines the effect an apocalyptic event like this would have on people and explores the darker side of humanity that exists even now. Sure, I like games like L4D that are just about shooting zombies, but The Walking Dead is truly a gem in its genre and in the game industry generally for achieving a level of tension, emotion, depth and believability that many games can’t and for going places others won’t. It is an undoubtedly flawed game and one that not everyone will enjoy, but one that definitely deserves some recognition.

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