Arriving seven months after the conclusion of Season One, and only a couple of weeks since it’s E3 announcement comes ‘The Walking Dead: 400 Days’, an additional DLC episode built to bridge the gap from Season One to Season Two. However, with such critical acclaim and major success from the previous instalments, does this title deliver the same thrills?
It’s safe to say that from the minute you load up the episode, it all feels just like The Walking Dead, and why should it be any different? The game’s signature cartoon art style is here and continues to look great, and most importantly, the game provides an extensive array of characters, more varied than any previous instalments. It’s great to see that the writers have successfully accomplished the task of creating another great cast, more-so without treading over old ground. Each character is very much an individual, feel fresh, and all offer different dynamics to the conglomerate group, offering insight into future drama when Season Two hits the market.
The narrative of 400 Days is rather interesting, centring on the stories of 5 characters whose events inter-link with each other. Set over the first 400 days of the zombie infection, each story takes place within the same area of America, and most importantly, involves the characters coming into contact with a truck stop. Each characters story can be played in any order you like, and throughout each 15/20 minute section, the player will learn each characters background and how they came together. While each character segment is only short, this doesn’t mean that the writing has taken a hit. The events are still just as shocking, and the emotions still run high throughout.
While not as expansive or as in-depth as other offerings from the franchise, it is important to note that this is only a mini taster of what is to come. Anybody going into this game with the same hopes as the main series is in for disappointment, but those aware of the titles purpose will be fulfilled, if not a little underwhelmed all the same. Clocking in at only around an hour and a half, most problems with the title stem from its very short length. For a franchise that is known for extensive character development, this title comes up a little dry, and understandably so. With only a limited amount of content, and five characters to introduce the player to, the game fails to drum up enough development leaving the player a little bewildered about who the characters truly are. Only by the end of each characters segment do you really start becoming interested and engrossed in their events, only to be cut away and brought to the character selection screen rather abruptly. This becomes frustrating, and understandably so, but it at least succeeds in exciting the player for the season to come. This does unfortunately result in the episode never arriving at a real peak, having all tension snatched away as things get really interesting is rather wounding, and this happens more than once in this game, especially with Shel’s story, which is left feeling stale as a result.
Gameplay wise, nothing has really changed. The same basic point and click gameplay and mechanics are here, and the narrative takes the forefront of the entire game. A new context sensitive mechanic makes an appearance, opening for more player controlled action gameplay, rather than the usual display of QTE’s and various mouse cursor-based actions. Once again, player choice influences the games events and character behaviour/relationships accordingly. It’s easy to see where these choices will affect the narrative, and replaying each story with different decisions proves fun. While the episode contains these massive player decisions that greatly change the direction of the narrative, each main character still has an end location that they finish at regardless of how the narrative is played out. It is questionable as to how much the players choices will impact season two, but the developers have confirmed that they will influence to some degree.
While this game does have its problems, it’s hard to mark it down as a result. At the end of the day, this title’s purpose is to introduce the player to the characters who will appear in the future series, of which this has achieved. If this game was being considered as a full-blown episode, players would be disappointed, but for a small price of £3.99 it’s hard to complain. While low on content, it is certainly fun to play, and being back in the world of The Walking Dead is a pleasure in itself.
Everything that was loved about the previous instalments is here for you to enjoy, complete with a couple of hiccups that tarnish the experience. It’s easy to get carried away here however, and those going into this game expecting merely an introduction will not be disappointed. While the character development leaves a lot to be desired, and frustration comes from abrupt endings to the character segments, this is still a great slice of content that both newcomers and series fans will enjoy.
- Brilliant cast of characters
- Great character stories
- Same fun gameplay
- Does well to excite players for Season Two.
- Short length.
- Characters not developed enough.
- Character stories end just as they start to peak.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.