Last year Telltale’s The Walking Dead made a huge bang with pretty much anyone that played it, introducing a slightly new way to play the point and click genre. It was almost like watching a tv series at times, except making a lot of snap decisions and at times finding yourself at a loss as to what choices you should make. With its fantastic narrative and deeply embedded emotional attachment to the characters The Walking Dead almost snatched our game of the year spot in 2012.
It seems that out of no where the first DLC has arrived, The Walking Dead 400 Days which features a brand new batch of characters in a totally different scenario to the one that you play through as Lee in the original game, in 400 Days we get to see 5 different characters and each one has a small 15 minute story to play through. Each character is set at a different point in time related to how long the infection has been present with some right at the outbreak and others much later on.
The Walking Dead 400 Days is a nice introduction to what we can only assume will be Season 2In Season One you gradually unveiled more of the story over the 5 episodes the game had, developing the story around the decisions you’d made. Much like this, 400 Days quickly throws you into very different situations with new characters and in true Walking Dead fashion you begin to forge a picture about the character you’re playing as. I always found myself considering how these characters would act even though I had never seen them before, and by the end you feel you’re ready to explore their journey and see what lies ahead.
The scenarios you are put in often call back to what you may have previously experienced, you’re put between a rock and a hard place as in this world there are no real ‘right’ decisions, it’s a world where anything goes and is more about surviving than being the good guy. Sometimes you just need to get your hands a little dirty, even if that means you chose a path you didn’t particularly want to. One of the stories strikes a cord slightly more than others and that is Shel’s story, having to make choices not based soley around her but ensuring her little sister is safe and she will do anything to make sure it stays that way.
There are some interesting missions to play through, a few stand out a lot more than others and some left me wanting more and more. Thankfully Teltale’s ability to make their voice actors seem natural shines through yet again, I think half the reason The Walking Dead was such a success is because all of the characters felt real and you truly bought into them. 400 Days does this again with some brilliant voice acting and stories that are different enough to leave you asking questions in your head about what would happen after the story ended. I think this all resonates so well because Teltale sets the scene for a zombie apocalypse so well, you can very much believe the situations that these characters arrive in and I think that is what makes the decision making all the more difficult.
The gameplay in 400 Days is very familiar to the first season, it doesn’t really exist. You can inspect certain objects in your surroundings and interact with other characters in the area but everything is based around the journey. My one problem with 400 Days is that everything is over before you have time to blink, the small 15 minute stories do enough to engage you with the situation but it’s all over before you have time to see the reactions to your decisions. I know that Teltale have acknowledged that 400 days is set to bridge the gap between Season One and Two, which would make sense considering the way 400 Days concludes itself and if this truly is the link for the next season I am excited to see what is to come.
If you’re a fan of the original game then this is well worth your time and money, it isn’t an expensive expansion only costing £3.99 here in the UK. 400 Days had me engaged from the start, I want to know more about these characters, whilst not all of them had the greatest story others left me truly wanting more. Telltale have shown they don’t plan on changing the shock factor in season 2 if 400 days is any indication of whats to come, there will be deaths and there will be emotions flying all over the place.