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The Walking Dead

Gamers Get ‘The Walking Dead’ Beginning Dec. 4

The Walking Dead

Gamers rejoice! If zombie carnage is what you desire, then get ready to live the apocalypse on a console system near you. The Walking Dead has been a comic book turned much-applauded AMC network television series, and now it is also a video game. Don’t forget to arm yourself!

Telltale Games is the company you can thank for putting you into those shoes of the survivors. They have already been offering game play based on The Walking Dead in a series of chapters over the course of the past few months. Now Telltale Games has announced that the complete epic adventure will be officially released for purchase on December 4. That is, if you aren’t one of the hard-core gamers who already bought it on Steam.

If you have heard the name Telltale Games before, then there’s a good chance that’s because you have experience with their Back to the Future game. That one has a big fan base, but has not been your more traditional release. This time around, there will be an actual disc to buy; however, and said disk will be available for purchase at real brick-and-mortar stores. This disk will be a collection of all previously released game chapters and you can choose from versions tailored to Xbox 360 and PS3 starting this December if you live in the USA.

So far, Telltale has released five episodes of The Walking Dead game. You start off as the character Lee Everett. Fans of the show know he’s the convicted criminal, whose life has new meaning now that he can fight in the war against the undead. That chance at redemption is personified by Clementine, a small girl who Lee has a chance to fight to keep among the living. Her storyline takes up much of the first chapter of the game.

If you are familiar with the show’s time line, then it will interest you to know that the game begins in the early days of the plague. You’ll encounter characters you know and love BEFORE they ever headed to Atlanta to join Rick Grimes. Speaking of those early days, those are also the subject of the new web series called Cold Storage, which begins October first. You won’t be waiting long! In fact, the series itself returns October 14th, kicking off-season three during the spookiest time of year.

Telltale Games is known for wonderfully quirky graphics. The environments work especially well for material based upon comic books in my opinion. There’s a sketch illustration quality to the lines and color. If you don’t want to wait and buy your disk of The Walking Dead game in whole format, venture over to Telltale’s official website, where Episode Three, “Long Road Ahead” is available now. The company also offers a Law & Order themed game, as well as one based up Jurassic Park! If for some reason you don’t dig Steam, game purchase is also available via the TTG Store, Origin and Amazon PC Downloads.

On the PlayStation Network in North America Episode Three sells for $4.99. On Xbox Live Arcade you can get is for 400 MS Points as a DLC within the original The Walking Dead XBLA release.

A Majority of Walking Dead Players Try To Do The Right Thing

It seems The Walking Dead video game from Telltale games is proving to be just as much a social commentary as it is a captivating video game. Players are, as a majority, trying to do the right thing.

“Not even a zombie apocalypse can stop people from being intrinsically good,” said video game publisher and developer Telltale Games.

Similar to several popular games out right now, player choices are an important aspect of Telltale’s episodic adventure game. The game, based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, tasks players with making difficult (and morally ambiguous) decisions that affect the outcome of the story. However, according to new statistics revealed after the The Walking Dead Episode 2: Starved For Help was released, most people try to make the “right” choice even if it means endangering themselves or others.

(Warning: The rest of this article contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead) 

87 percent of players, when faced with the crossbow-weildling woman, chose to wait rather than shoot her dead. The majority (85 percent of players) then decided to chop off high-school teacher David’s leg to save him from approaching walkers, and most also chose to spare the life of demented dairy farmer Andy St. John (80 percent of players).

Telltale Games senior director of marketing Richard Iggo analyzed these statistics and said,

“Some of the stats we’ve seen coming back from player decisions have created a perception that even in dire times – and when faced with no-win situations where each decision is morally grey – the majority of people will try to do the ‘right’ thing if they can, even if there’s really no ‘right’ decision to be made,” Iggo told GamesBeat. ”It’s fascinating because even when we offer players a decision where the apparently darker option might make sense from a purely logical point of view, they’ll often try to choose the ‘higher’ ground at personal cost even if that means being put in danger or having a relationship with another character suffer because of it.”

Iggo also noted that the game’s engines track every decision players make. Statistics for the larger story-changing choices are displayed at the end of each episode, while the video trailers offer a more in-depth look into smaller, more subtle choices that help shape series protagonist Lee Everett’s personality.

“One of my favorites is where we see people stop punching Andy St. John,” Iggo said. “If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll know that we’re almost up to 1.5 million punches on Andy. In that scene, you wail away on him until you see a wide-angle shot of the other survivors watching you including the impressionable Clementine. The camera then cuts back to a first person perspective, and you can continue to strike, but what we see is that most people stop. They realize that they’re being watched and that people are forming an opinion of them right there, and most people don’t want to be seen as a monster even in light of what the St. John family did. Most people take the higher ground, get up, walk away, and leave Andy to his fate.”

One choice, that wasn’t covered in the statistics trailer, invovles a small moment early on in Episode 2. Players must pass out four pieces of food among ten very hungry survivors. Unsurprisingly, the children — Clementine and Duck — were the most picked, followed by Mark. But it’s the fourth pick, the hard-as-nails curmudgeon Larry, that most surprised Telltale.

Iggo had a theory on why players chose they way they did.

“People chose to feed the guy that had been nothing but trouble since they met him, but I guess they felt sorry for him or his daughter Lilly. Or maybe they hoped that, by feeding him, he might tone down his aggression towards them and perhaps not reveal to the group what he knows about [Lee’s] past,” said Iggo.

However, players will never know if their kindness mattered to Larry as he meets his maker at the end of Episode 2. And if thought that was shocking, you haven’t seen anything yet.

“In terms of absolute heartbreak in the episodes we’ve seen so far, [Episode 3: Long Road Ahead] takes the crown. You’re really going to have your morals tested right from the opening scenes of the episode, and since the bulk of people who play the game seem to make decisions based on what they would actually do in the situations presented to them, this episode is going to hold up a very dark mirror for a lot of people.”

Whether player’s good actions are a result of their naturally kind hearts or they’re desire as gamer’s to get the best ending possible, it is still nice to see that during the apocalypse we may have some kind survivors at least.

New Details Released On Walking Dead Video Game

The Walking Dead: Video Game creators have released the first details about the new game.

Angel Gonzalez, creative lead for the project, said the developers wanted to portray the Walkers from the series as closely as possible, including the way they react to sound and smell, according to Digital Spy.

“When referencing the show, one of the things that stood out to us was how the Walkers reacted to sound; they were suspicious of gunfire,” Gonzalez said. “Seeming to know that only humans were able to wield weapons, the Walkers instinctively moved toward the sounds people made. They are also attracted to other sounds, so someone moving through that world needs to be aware of the amount and type of noise they make at all times.”

The developers are creating the games Walkers the same way, so players will have to be careful, quiet and sneaky to avoid confrontations during gameplay.

“If you show up with guns blazing, you’ll quickly find yourself dealing with a much larger crowd and you could easily be overwhelmed,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez also said players will give off a greater scent and attract more Walkers by staying in one place for too long, keeping true to the story that Walkers can identify the living by their sense of smell.

“Humans give off a scent that the Walkers can detect, and the longer we stand still (like when we are looking at a shelf for supplies) the larger the radius of that scent becomes. Stand still for too long and a Walker shambling down the street looking for a meal might just discover you standing inside a store,” Gonzalez said.

Activision announced the new title last week, stating that it will be a first-person shooter based on the AMC television series.

The game’s story will take place prior to the events in the show, and it centers on Daryl Dixon and his brother Merle as they fight their way across the Georgia countryside to reach Atlanta.

Terminal Reality (Ghostbusters: The Video Game, Kinect Star Wars) is developing the game.

It will be released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC sometime in 2013.

The Walking Dead Video Game Receives Wide Critical Acclaim

Fans of “The Walking Dead” now have more than author Robert Kirkman’s monthly comic book releases to get them through the AMC show’s off-season. Friday, Telltale Games released The Walking Dead: Episode One- A New Day for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac and PC.

According to a press release from GamesPress, despite the game taking place in the same world as Kirkman’s comic series, there will be some key differences.

The Walking Dead: Episode One – A New Day is set in the world of Robert Kirkman’s award-winning comic book series. Lee Everett, a man convicted of a crime of passion, has been given the chance for redemption in a world devastated by the undead. Players will experience life changing events, meet new characters and familiar ones from the original comic, and also visit locations that foreshadow the story of Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes. The Walking Dead offers a tailored game experience – player actions, choices and decisions affect how the story plays out across the entire series.”

The Walking Dead: Episode One – A New Day follows a character named Lee Everett, though a convicted criminal for a crime of passion, he has the opportunity for redemption in this post-apocalyptic world of the undead. Players experience events that can be life-changing. You also get to meet new characters as well as some familiar ones from the original comic book. And as a tie in to the story and tv series, players will visit locations that foreshadow the events of Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the game is that decisions players make will affect them and the story throughout the entire game.

The game has received a positive critical reception, earning Editors’ Choice awards from both Official Xbox Magazine and IGN.com. Gaming website Polygon gave the game a 9 out of 10 score.

Polygon praised the game for its enthralling gameplay and heart-stopping action.

With choices that matter and intensity to spare, Telltale Games delivers one of its best efforts to date […] The first episode of The Walking Dead held me in as I was thrown from one story-twisting, heart-stopping conflict to another, disaster threatening if I looked away from the screen even for a moment.”

Popular game review site, IGN, also praised the first episode the video game adaptation for its intense and emotionally engaging gameplay.

This is a deeply personal and emotional experience, and that’s why it feels so right as a part of this franchise,” one IGN reviewer said.

Official Xbox Magazine praised the game’s “striking art style and cinematic presentation.”

Episode One – A New Day is the first of five monthly episodes of  The Walking Dead  games series and will be available for 400 Microsoft®Points on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace for Xbox 360® on April 27th; it is available now for $4.99 per episode on PlayStation®Network, and is available as the first part of a five episode season pass for $24.99 on PC and Mac from the Telltale Online Store and other digital outlets.

The Walking Dead: Episode One- A New Day is rated M (Mature) for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence and Strong Language by the ESRB.

Trailer For First Episode of Walking Dead Video Game Released

Now that season 2 of AMC’s hit show, “The Walking Dead” is over, it is a perfect time to get pumped about the new video game release based on the series. The game comes from Telltale Games and Robert Kirkman, who is the creator and writer of the “The Walking Dead,” and now they have a released a brand new trailer for the upcoming game.

This first trailer features the first of five monthly episodes of the “Walking Dead” video game that is set to be released in late April on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace for Xbox 360® for 400 Microsoft® Points, on PlayStation®Network for $4.99 and on PC and Mac as a season pass for $24.99 from the Telltale Online Store and other digital outlets.

The trailer for the game was created by animator and director Daniel M. Kanemoto. He blended together both 2D and 3D imagery that incorporates both the series and the original comic book. Telltale games had actually asked Kanemoto to create the trailer because of his “fan made” title sequence he had made for the series.

Dan Connors, the co-founder and CEO of Telltale said this about the game:

This trailer really shows off how our artists have managed to take the 2D art style of the comic books and create a 3D world allowing fans to truly interact with Robert Kirkman’s world for the very first time. We hope that fans will like what they see and be excited by the chance to join the cast of the game; we promise they’ll die horribly!

Kirkman also added this regarding the game:

Telltale has done a phenomenal job in making a game that meets the expectations of fans. Running around with a gun isn’t what ‘The Walking Dead’ is about; it’s about how people caught in an apocalypse deal with facing their own death every day, and the horrible choices they have to make to survive. Telltale’s game series has captured the spirit of the comic books perfectly.

The plot of the video game follows Lee Everett, a convicted criminal that has been given a chance for redemption in the apocalyptic world of the undead. Players will be able to experience different events, meet people and visit locations through out the world of the comic book and series. And, the actions of players and their choices will affect how the story plays out across the entire game series.

You can watch the new trailer for the video game below:

The Walking Dead Game Pulls a Redeker Plan

The Walking Dead franchise splits off again, this time becoming a video game adaptation. Originally a graphic novel series, The Walking Dead has since been adapted by AMC into the most watched cable show currently in the history of television.

The franchise is hot and there are lots of merch already out there for The Walking Dead. Not many television series inspire action figures of their characters or melee weapon sets like machetes and knives. Yes, the stuff television Carl finds in the show is a product placement.

So if the franchise is so hot, why isn’t the game out yet?

Well first off, a quality game takes time to develop. Especially for high graphic consoles that don’t want the feel of a 1980’s side scroller or a generic flash game. Development of a game can take years for a console and is at a disadvantage when compared to say, a social media game found on Facebook.

Secondly, investors don’t care about any reason you give them. The franchise is almost at it’s apex of popularity and Telltale needs to come up with a solution to their dilemma. You know, aside from putting the game out there to begin with.

Enter the webs how, “Playing Dead” a web series designed at looking into the development of the game. Is it meant to be a take on playing possum, pretending you’ve ceased to be and joining the choir invisible? Or can it be taken as someone playing the walking dead video? Honestly the title itself is a bit unsavoury. I’m almost cranky over it for no explicable reason. I thought, “Talking Dead” was a good show name; a show that examines the series and thoughts on zombie survival. Playing Dead just invokes my ADHD to look at other things.

The show is actually by Telltale. It’s a stall tactic to reassure potential customers that this hasn’t gone away yet, and they’re oh so close to getting it done. Don’t leave yet!

In the show, developers and designers are asked what appears to be scripted questions about the game. They talk about the tone, progress and how everything ties in with the comic book. That’s time they could have been using to actually make the game.

Here is the official description of the game from Telltale’s official website:

“Learn about the game by watching PLAYING DEAD, a video series that takes you behind the scenes of the creation of the upcoming The Walking Dead video game based on Robert Kirkman’s award-winning comic series. Playing Dead is the online source for exclusive looks at The Walking Dead video game and interviews with the talent responsible for bringing the world of The Walking Dead to life. Check this space for new episodes of Playing Dead regularly.”

In the novel World War Z written by Max Brooks, a plan was enacted to give humanity the best chances of survival. This was called the Redeker plan, an intentional sacrifice of a human population in favor of a more defensible location. This is what Telltale is doing right now. Playing Dead tries to keep the interest alive and bring focus to a game that’s unavailable.

The game is touted as a adventure game but it seems it’ll be more of a Choose Your Own Adventure type as you’re not given free reign of the world unless it’s part of the puzzle or quest. In the interview with lead designers Jake Rodkin and Sean Vanaman, they discuss how the game will be split into five episodes and any decision a player makes will carry through month-to-month. So a character saved or abandoned might come back to haunt you later. This seems to be more like Telltale’s Back to the Future game, with it’s decision tree type gaming. I certainly hope their Walking Dead game isn’t as cartoon like in appearance.

The next episode of Playing Dead promises an talk with The Book of Eli writer Gary Whitta. Yes, a movie about a blind man who’s deadly with a blade. I saw the movie too, it was called Zatoichi when I last saw it reincarnated.