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Speculation Investigation: The Walking Dead – The Game

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As the second season of The Walking Dead closed, something rather wicked stirred in the shadows. It was of course, the trailer for The Walking Dead: The Game, Telltale’s next big pop culture project since Jurassic Park: The Game. Promising to turn attention away from Rick’s ragtag group of survivors and focus on the comic book universe, however, the game looks to be a huge leap for both Telltale and the franchise itself.

Here’s the trailer if you haven’t seen it yet, bundled along with plenty of clues showing what to expect from the upcoming episodic title.

0:01-’Blood and Gore’. ‘Intense Violence’. ‘Strong Language’. Already a good start!

0:04-Original creator Robert Kirkman offers up a short introduction, but mainly as a strong seal of approval. Even though the series’ God is behind the team, however, interviews with story supervisors and writers suggest that they’ll be chucking in a few grisly surprises even for Kirkman to gross out at.

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0:19-After zooming past acres of zombies, we finally get to see the main characters that will lead the story that’ll foreshadow the one we’ve become so accustomed to. Lee Everett is not only on the run from flesh eating monstrosities, but escaped an impeding jail sentence ironically thanks to the outbreak. Sentenced for killing his wife, his past seems to be rather ambiguous, and as he protects the young girl Clementine through these terrors, he doesn’t seem to be the sort of guy who’d commit murder. Hopefully his tale will be a psychologically intriguing one, offering up a deep character driven story between the two as the series progresses. It’s unlikely we’ll get to see Rick Grimes in this tale, but many of the events here will certainly overshadow those of his journey.

0:28-Deep down in the sewers, Lee seems to be conversing with an unknown female and…is that Jim in the centre? Signature cap and handlebar moustache in check, all he needs now is his trademark horrific back story to make him a complete representation of the tortured chum. If it is him, good. The bloke was undoubtedly one of the most tragic cases when the series started. The bloke has witnessed pretty much his entire family offered up as zombie meat in an attempt to escape from Atlanta. Unfortunately, he’s given barely any emphasis before being bitten himself and dumped in the woods to slowly die, never to be seen again. Should Lee encounter the poor soul, perhaps we’ll get an insight to his gradual breakdown before he defers to Shane’s…and perhaps we’ll even get to walk in on Shane backstabbing his best friend…

0:31- Those who had a glimpse at the ambiguous teaser trailer will know that this is the same débâcle ridden kitchen featured. I’m guessing the blood pooled on the floor and staining the walls was that of this unfortunate babysitter. Hopefully the zombie mashing in this title will merge well with tense puzzle solving.

0:35- Hershel’s farm? Most definitely. Another familiar sight strengthens its connection with the comic book universe and should hopefully be a breeding ground for drama. Lee’s criminal roots certainly won’t help him out in such a place.

0:45-A…a lovely splatter shot covers the face of the stranger in the background here. Hopefully the new characters that will be introduced will be as compelling as the original cast…and make me care for whoever went and shot themselves here. It’s easy to focus on the returning members of the series, but these new additions will certainly be intriguing entities in this new universe, and hopefully Clementine won’t simply be a silent weight to shift around, rather a child you simply cannot afford to leave behind.

1:01-Yes, there’s a huge swarm of zombies attempting to barge into a building screaming with alarms, but my attention moves to the right of the screen, where pizza delivery underdog Glenn is attempting to stop the impeding masses. The polar opposite of emphasis in terms of back story, Glenn has chosen to come and go when he pleases in the comic book universe and is still a fan favourite thanks to his off-beat humour, sweet attitude and impressive loyalty in spite of some reckless actions, it’s great to see him make a return. He doesn’t exactly need a lot of emphasis in the series of games, but it’s good to see a familiar face, and it only increases the chances of coming across the original cast except Rick later on.

1:02-WAH! Swift jump to actual gameplay as madness ensues. Up to this point, I thought the comic book aesthetic was purely for the trailer, but the almost cel-shaded charms extend to the actual gameplay and looks bloody marvellous…at least, until some guts undoubtedly stain said charms.

1:03-1:08- It’s rather difficult to depict anything in the insanity of this zombie attack, but it may offer hints akin to news delivered about the gameplay, namely through choices. This looks like a perfect example of forcing you into a corner about who to save in the worst case scenario, and as the game progresses, it’s promised that these decisions will become even harder to make whilst being put under pressure.

With a very strong team of story tellers behind The Walking Dead: The Game, this is looking to be a brilliant extension of the comics’ universe. With a strong narrative behind it and a heavy emphasis on more action based elements it’s looking like a steady blend of Telltale’s previous efforts with Back To The Future and Jurassic Park. It certainly won’t be the next Left 4 Dead in terms of frantic gameplay, but the series has never truly been about all out action and so this season of titles should be a perfect fit for Telltale to work with. Those with knowledge of the TV show should be fine jumping in, but nevertheless, grab yourself the first bunch of comics and read up in prep for the 5-episode rotting epic, coming April 25th. If you’re just too hyped and need even more news to subdue the month long wait, be sure to check out Telltale’s ‘Playing Dead’ video series for comprehensive updates on what to expect.

With weapons promised, however, there is something I would like carried over from the TV series…Daryl’s crossbow…please Telltale?

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