Topic: The Walking Dead PC/360/PS3 game
The Walking Dead: The Game focuses on Lee Everett, and takes place during the events of the comics. Episode 1 starts with Lee in the back of a cop car -- we don't know why, or if he's guilty of a crime. Things spiral out of control when the car collides with a "man," who turns out to be a zombie. This is the start of the outbreak -- if you're a Walking Dead fan, this happens while Rick is in a coma.
From there, Vanaman said it's all about problems on a microscopic level. How do you get out of the police car? How do you get the handcuffs off? How do you get 50 feet without being zombie food? "Those are the problems we want you to experience moment to moment," Vanaman said.
But decisions in the Walking Dead won't be that small all the time. The Walking Dead: The game is set to introduce something new to Telltale's games: consequences. You'll answer people's questions and -- bam -- that's your final answer; you won't be able to go back and investigate other conversation options, as in Back to the Future and what have you. On a grander scale, there are going to be major moments you can't take back. Zombies are going to start pulling people out windows, and you're going to choose one person to save and then live with that character.
Even after you make a choice and redefine your game for the five-episode run, you're going to have to answer for your decisions. Vanaman told me characters are going to ask you "Why did you do this to me?"
That's awesome. Story's what the Walking Dead is all about to me -- yes, you will kill zombies in the game and get in fights with other survivors -- so the idea that I'm going to have multiple saves that have different survivors and different story threads makes me very excited. This is a world I've read for so long, and I'm pumped to be a part of it.
Key to this experience will be Clementine, an 8 to 10-year-old girl we'll meet and team up with in the first episode. I got to see a whole bunch of concept art of Clementine's home and tree house (where she'll live for four days when the babysitter turns zombie) on the outskirts of Atlanta, and Vanaman talked about all the little things going on. The stool pushed up to the counter so Clem could get food, the toys in her yard that tell stories about what kind of kid she is.
Apparently, that's not going to be just for show. Vanaman said that Telltale has a new gameplay mechanic that's going to allow us to get up close and personal with the objects in the environment. I don't know what that means, but it sounds interesting and if it means Telltale keeps these little storytelling devices in levels, I'm all for it.
The worst news I heard today was simply that there's no release date yet for The Walking Dead: The Game. Everything Vanaman told me today sounded great -- and the one screenshot he had that featured dark outlines on the characters, a realistic look and color seemed perfect for the mood.
I sure would like this game to be good, but unfortunately most Telltale Games are only decent (or worse).