When The Walking Dead – an episodic cell-shaded experience following an original story based off the comics – was released back last year, people salivated. A video game zombie experience focusing on the struggle of a criminal survivor looking out for a little girl?
It was really the first zombie game I had ever played that was gutsy enough to go above and beyond the now outdated ‘kill all them zombies’ mantra and instead go for a much more mature, adult tale of despair and hopelessness.
My initial thoughts on this DLC release is that I wanted more. Even though none of the characters live up to Lee and his struggle with Clementine, they damn sure are engrossing for tiny 15 minute windows a piece, but I still wanted more time with each of them.
Each character out of the five you can play is interesting. This says a lot considering how little time you actually spend with them. You can play the characters in any order you like and each story will take place sometime during the first 400 days of the zombie outbreak.
This also means that these stories are taking place around the same time as Lee’s from Season 1 of the game.
It’s very cool to see how other people’s lives were affected by the outbreak; and of course you will get major choices to make for each character just like in season 1.
Unfortunately, since this experience is so damn short, you often feel that these choices hardly have any lasting impact. They do – the epilogue generates a unique ending based on what you chose to do during the 400 days; but it isn’t very satisfying or what I’ve come to expect from such a high caliber game as The Walking Dead.
All of the characters you play as are nevertheless interesting, and the situations are as well. I did have trouble connecting with each of them like I did with Lee from the first game but that can be expected with such a short DLC episode. Though it still amazes me that despite that I was emotionally invested at least somewhat in each of the five characters.
The Walking Dead 400 Days feels the same as the original game in a control and visual sense. There will be times when you can briefly walk around with some of the characters and get a chance to just click on things and become sidetracked learning more about the world around you. These are great little bits as it allows you to get just a tad longer with a story you know will finish in around fifteen minutes and on to the next one.
In short, I loved The Walking Dead 400 Days because it’s more Walking Dead and I feel we as fans can never get enough of this fantastic game if it continues to be written compellingly. Even with the short amount of time, Telltale has done it yet again with 400 Days, which is remarkable. My only issue is that I wanted more time with each of these characters.
400 days is a short episode that bridges The Walking Dead season 1 with the upcoming season 2 and does a great job of it, even with such a short length of time.