Last year’s The Walking Dead: The Game by Telltale still stands as one of the best examples of storytelling in a video game. While some people may brush it off as an interactive movie instead of a true “game,” there is no debating that the characters were compelling, the presentation was excellent and the choices players were forced to make created a title that ingrained a personal attachment to the tale of Lee and Clementine.
With a new season of The Walking Dead: The Game looming on the horizon, Telltale Games has dropped 400 Days on us. How exactly this short piece of downloadable content will play into the overall tale remains to be seen but it’s definitely nice to see another different side of the zombie apocalypse. 400 Days doesn’t ever reach the heights of the first season, and it is a bit on the brief side, but it’s something that fans of the series won’t want to miss.
The premise of 400 Days is fairly straightforward. The action is based around a small diner just off the highway in the middle of nowhere. You follow five different people, and five different stories, all based within the 400 days following the zombie outbreak. You can tackle each storyline as you wish, there are definitely connecting threads but there is clearly no “correct” order to play them in.
Each storyline plays out in similar fashion to the original series, with emphasis on story, dialog and player choice. In fact each character’s arc ends with a meaningful choice that directly impacts how the DLC ends – and likely how you start out Season 2. Just like in the first season the choices here are often tough with no true black or white. In fact the final recap of my choices – compared to the rest of The Walking Dead players – had me in the minority more often than not.
Along with the return of interesting choices comes the series’ high marks in voice-acting and presentation. While you’ll certainly miss familiar voices and faces, all of the new characters are handled well. The cast of 400 Days is also a lot more diverse than the The Walking Dead group, showing just how many messed up people there are in the world. The hand-painted, comic book style returns and has only gotten more beautiful with several moments that push the mood of scenes in different directions than the original series.
The only true problem with 400 Days stems from the choice to go with five different stories and characters instead of one single story. It will take you one to two hours to complete, which is definitely not bad for $5, but with five separate stories and an epilogue to finish most stories go by in a flash – expect to only spend about 15 minutes with each character. However the only real reason that this is a problem is that each character and their situation is so interesting that you will want to spend more time with them, which is definitely a good thing.
The Walking Dead: 400 Days is definitely a must play for fans of the original game, if nothing else because it feels like it will lead right into Season Two. The style of choosing to focus on five different characters instead of just one or two may leave you feeling a little underwhelmed but what is present is still well worth the trip back into Telltale’s masterpiece of a world.
SCORE: 8.5 out of 10
A code for The Walking Dead: 400 Days was provided to Pixel Related for review