Blackened Skull

There is no gene for the human spirit

Posts Tagged ‘Game of the Year

Bitten

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(If you want to read the previous posts I’ve made on my play-through of The Walking Dead you can find them here: Brain Scramble(Episode 1), Moral Compass(Episode 2), Gambit(Episode 3) and discover why it’s my GotY).

And there I was thinking things for Lee couldn’t get any worse…

The Walking Dead comic book and subsequent TV series are set in an unforgiving Universe. Brutal deeds done in the name of survival and to see the sun rise on another day of hell on earth. Fun this is not but fascinating as a character study in a pot-boiler of a setting. Thankfully Telltale Games know how to spin these elements into a successful adventure game experience that is everything the comic book and TV series is. The added bonus is YOU get to feel the tension and live with the consequences of decisions made. Telltale Games have done what other media couldn’t. They made it personal.

Never before have I argued out-loud with the events playing out in a videogame but this happened to me in Episode 4: Around Every Corner. Assumption is a key ingredient to the characters lives within The Walking Dead and one such moment of assumption without proof by Vernon made me hit the roof. Man, I was involved. I wanted to swing a wild punch at Vernon’s head. Wanted to burn his accusations back across his eyelids. I got upset and let it get the better of me; I chose to spurn his poorly conceived offer and if I could I’d have swapped his place for the fallen Ben. Never has that intensity of feeling happened to me before in reaction to a videogame experience.

With just one episode to go before this ‘season’ closes out, I fear for Lee and Clementine. There’s no way to disguise the feeling of impeding doom. I’m certain theirs will not be a happy ending. I’m also certain that this experience will live long in my memory as the best forward step by a development team to infuse a sense of belief into an industry stifled with mediocrity.

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Written by David Osbon

October 18, 2012 at 12:35 am

Gambit

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Two-thirds of 2012 have come and gone. I have little that I can look back on from the year  that can be considered worthy of recalling with any fondness. The Olympics being held in the country I live in was the standout moment of the summer. On the other hand, the quality of what is considered a good or great videogame experience lessens as the years go by. And 2012 has been poor in terms of delivery of product and the overall gameplay experience. It’s no wonder that a fair number of proposed 2012 releases are now parked-up in next years schedule.

But as with the Olympics being the sporting event of 2012 then there’s one videogame that I can calmly claim as my GOTY. If you have read my earlier pieces that I have written about the title then you’ll have probably guessed that it’s The Walking Dead by Telltale Games.

Even without playing the last two episodes from the set of five, I know there will be nothing else released this year that can compare with the emotions that have been stirred up playing The Walking Dead. Not only that, there really are some hard but rewarding choices to be made playing Lee Everett. The relationship between Lee and his ‘ward’, Clementine from the start has been pivotal to the emotional charge of the game. What impresses me further are the situations that force a gamble to how things will pan out in the future for these characters. In episode 2 – Starved For Help – Lee has the choice of siding with the group about taking goods from what looks to be an abandoned car. Clementine thinks it’s wrong to steal and Lee then has to decide whether the gambit of losing face with the group by agreeing with Clementine will pay off later for their relationship.

Telltale Games have to be applauded for how well they have taken the ethos of both The Walking Dead TV series and comic book series and made something that very few videogame developers ever achieve; a game that makes me care about how I play it and how the story develops.

Written by David Osbon

September 1, 2012 at 2:48 pm

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