Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thoughts of The Walking Dead (ep1)

I played via the initial episode of The Walking Dead recently and few stuff popped up that I thought was worth discussing. For these of you who do not know what The Walking Dead is, it is a horror adventure game based upon a comic book (which is now also tv-series) featuring Heavy Rain inspired gameplay. It is developed by Inform Tale (makers of the Sam and Max reboot, and so forth) and is released on an episodic basis. I was unsure if Tell Tale could provide a game with this type of atmosphere, but possessing played I have to say that it is fairly effective. The 1st episode is not a master piece by any means, but include a couple of things worth bringing up.

The comic-book inspired art path combined with so-so animations does not look all that inviting and immersive. But when you play the game, it works very properly and does the job. This even even though the drama of the game is largely about close-up dialog and relationships. I consider this is a quite essential lesson about not having to have photo realistic graphics even even though the game is meant to concentrate on human feelings. I have a difficult time saying that Heavy Rain, which as a lot far more gloss on its visual, managed to elicit any much more emotions from me. Even so, watching trailers, Heavy Rain appears a lot greater in this aspect and I thought Walking Dead looked downright horrible at occasions. But in-game it turned out not be genuinely matter. This is also lesson in taking care of how you present the game in trailers and such, and make certain that the feelings you get from actually playing the game comes across.

Just like in Heavy Rain, a large feature is to make hard choices all through the game. You should pick who to save, no matter whether to lie or not, and so forth. Most of these are made using timed dialog selections, where you only have a short time to choose what to do. On paper I feel it sounds okay, but I just do not like how it feels when truly playing. There is just some thing that bothers me in realizing that all of these alternatives are prefabricated and that I the decision I did not make may have been greater. And it does not truly matter that the options do not have an effect on the game mechanically (eg like in Mass Impact exactly where poor choice may well imply much less gain), there is just some thing holding me back from playing along with it.
I think a huge dilemma is that it is way too clear that you are actually making a option. Supporting this hypothesis is that the game by default provides a pop-up hint of the consequences of a decision (eg that a character trust you significantly less), and removing this tends to make it a lot much better (but nonetheless not great sufficient). A few choices are made in a sort of "Virtua Cop"-like manner exactly where you have to point a cross-hair more than a target and then pick an action. It is not usually clear that these are actual choices, in element because it is much much more analog (not just deciding on from a list of alternatives) and partly since it is less clear that you can only can decide on a One of the presented alternatives. These sequences did not bother me at all as considerably as the dialog options.

Pixel hunting
While the game does a lot to eliminate annoying adventure game functions and make a smoother knowledge, it also falls back upon some annoying elements of the genre. The most clear is that of pixel hunting. There are only genuinely two main adventure-game like puzzles in the game and both of these has the player browsing for a single or many objects, non-certainly situated, in the environment. The worst of these is a remote handle that is hidden in  drawer which is not accessible until you have accomplished particular unrelated actions. This brought on me to wander aimlessly in the scene for far as well extended.
I feel it is actually crucial to attempt and lessen this sort of things as it makes you go about exploring the scenes in a very unnatural way. Greatest is if the player can sort a puzzle out without having obtaining to search every nook and cranny for items.

When you get caught up wandering without any genuine aim, like I talked about above, you commence performing the identical items more than and over. This is when you begin noticing the slim output of lines that characters have. When asked the exact same query, they just repeat the identical line they gave before. This is specifically jarring when it amounts to longer exchange in between the protagonist and a supporting character. Repeating canned responses like this really breaks the sense of immersion for me. I just basically can not function-play when I am subjected to this sort of repetition.
I feel the game must have removed hot-spots, provided leading answers from characters (particularly the protagonist), and so on. Anything to push me in the path and to keep up the make-belief that it is genuine characters inhabiting the virtual globe. Now they just come of as cardboard indicators the moment you start wandering off the intended path.

Finish Notes

I'd say that The Walking Dead is worth playing and being just more than 2 hours of gameplay in the first episode it just not that considerably wasted time in case you end up hating it. Although the game did not blow me away, I was pleasantly shocked and am intrigued to see how the subsequent episode will turn out.

If any individual else has played the game, I would adore to hear your thoughts on the following.:

- What did you feel of the graphics? Was the discrepancy amongst trailer and in-game also large?
- What did you like the choices? Did it really feel like you could roleplay or was it challenging to put as side that there was a far better option?
- How did you really feel about the repeated lines? Not bothering at all, or a nail in eye each time they had been encounter?

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