The Walking Dead: 400 Days
Developer: Telltale Games
Platform: PC, PSN, XBLA
Seeing that players aren’t content with waiting for season 2 of the incredibly well received Walked Dead game, Telltale has put out a short add-on for season 1 that contains a whole new set of characters and stories. As a note, there might be some mild spoilers here.
The game starts you off at a notice board near a gas station and you’ll be presented with photographs of five different characters you can play as. Each one takes place during a different time in the outbreak but they all tie into each other in some way. The full episode will take you around an hour and a half to complete with each character’s story varying between 20-30 minutes.
The fact that Telltale can make five interesting, and incredibly different, characters while only giving players a brief amount of time with them is just a testament to their writing skill. They could have played it safe by making a Lee 2.0, and while the Shel character is somewhat similar to Lee none of the characters are similar to each other in any way which gives the whole episode a nice amount of variety. Something I enjoyed quite a lot that I don’t see people mentioning was how good the pacing was between all the episodes. Some had full blown action sequences and others slowed things down and were a lot more subdued. The only thing about the story that irked me a bit was how the epilogue at the end of the game handles which characters leave their makeshift camp to go to a more secure location and which stay. Your choices throughout the episode changes each character’s personality, but sometimes it wasn’t clear why a character chose to stay behind or not.
Choosing your dialog options is of course just as important here as it was before. Your choices will not only determine the personality of each character but will affect the end of the epilogue when all the characters are presented with a big decision. Telltale also brings the hard decisions harder than ever like one of my favorite moments where you’ll get to know two characters and immediately after have to choose who you’ll cripple with a shotgun so that you and the other can escape a pack of zombies. Choices you make in a certain character’s story can also subtly affect things in another as well.
Since each story takes place during a different time in the outbreak it’s unfortunate that the game makes no mention of what time during the outbreak each character’s story takes place in. This is likely to give players some choice in what order they play the characters, but since some choices can actually affect later stories it would’ve been nice for them to give some indication on the notice board for players who want to play them in order. For those who do, the order is : Vince, Wyatt, Russel, Bonnie, and finally Shel. Of course, you’re free to make your own decision of who to play first but I felt the pacing is better if you play it in order.
400 Days still contains many of the technical hiccups that plagued season 1 like slowdowns during hectic moments, audio playing out of sync, and those odd cuts during scenes which might be the game pulling the scene meant for the dialog choice you picked.
The Final Word
400 Days is a fantastic add-on to keep Walking Dead fans satisfied while they wait for season 2, but some of the more interesting stories are cut too short and people might be left wanting more.
- MonsterVine Rating: 3.5 out of 5 – Fair