The Walking Dead: Starved for Help: On ramifications

July 18, 2012

I still can’t decide if I like episodic games or not. Left to my own devices, I’d prefer to wait for the product to be completely finished and play the whole thing in one shot instead of deal with the possibility that episode one might be the only one that gets made (hi, SiN Episodes!). Fortunately, Telltale has a winner on its hands with The Walking Dead, and the whole thing is already financed.

Regardless, everything that Andrew loved about A New Day continues to make for a great game in Starved for Help.Telltale’s been doing well adapting known properties as adventure games. I’ve yet to play one that I didn’t like, and The Walking Dead is no exception. Even as someone who hasn’t read any of the comics or seen the television show, I’m enthralled by the story and love the character interactions. Everybody is well-written, and The Walking Dead feels tense throughout.

Control style, graphics and linearity of the story in Starved for Help are no different than what you got in A New Day, and that’s okay. Everything that Telltale put together here, even the linearity, serves the narrative. There’s a story at work here, and it makes the narrative tighter that you’re going to follow it. Jurassic Park and Back to the Future were the same way, and I adored both of those.

Positives, both expected and unexpected, abound here. There are devastating choices to make, and the characters emote so well, both in terms of how they’re animated and how they’re voiced, that I feel confident in saying that Starved for Help is my favorite Telltale offering to date. The choices that you made in episode one carry over to episode two, and the story adapts to those choices. This is the first adventure game I want to replay out of seeing how else things could go instead of just because I enjoy the genre.

I imagine the game is even better if you’re familiar with the source material, but it’s not necessary. Telltale has created something special here, and I hope that the license doesn’t deter any of their potential audience.

Pros: great animations, voice actors are more comfortable in their roles, choices carry forward from episode 1
Cons: It was over before I was ready (but the next episode should be out soon)

Score: 5/5

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