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The Walking Dead: 400 Days Review

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On 07/11/2013 at 05:00 PM by Jon Lewis

Dark Days Now, Darker Days Ahead.

For players who have experienced the season 1 Telltale Walking Dead story and couldn't get enough. Might also serve as an interesting jumping on point for newcomers.

Telltale’s The Walking Dead surprised many last year, including myself, by telling one of the most memorable stories in gaming. By pairing tense scenarios with incredible characters, the episodic game caught wildfire and became a smash success, winning multiple games of the year accolades.  To no surprise, the success of season one means that a season two is inevitable, but in the meantime, Telltale decided to tease us with a DLC that gives us insight on the future of the series.

To accomplish this, 400 Days takes players along the span of 400 days after the initial zombie outbreak. The story puts you in the shoes of five individuals, whose fates cross paths in various ways during the game.

 Unlike the previous Walking Dead episodes, where you are led along a linear path, you are given the choice to pick which of the five characters to play as. These characters— Wyatt, Russell, Bonnie, Shel, and Vince— all come from different places, and you get to experience their histories in small, 25 minute packages. While this obviously doesn’t allow for the level of attachment to the characters that was present during the five previous episodes, you’re still able to get a good grasp on their plights.

This is due to the strong writing and dialogue. Each short story tells an emotional tale that players will be either cringing at, or relating to. The series is also known for its emphasis on choice, and there is no shortage of that here. The choices you must make are gruesome, and difficult. On more than one occasion, I paused the game to mull over a choice. In a couple of instances, I was so caught up in the situation that I hastily made a choice that might not have been optimal, but it was one that I felt I had to make.

Though the decision making and the story are intact, there are still some standing issues that carry over from season one. For example, frame rate and minor glitches still exist on the Xbox 360 version of the game, though they might not have occurred as often as they did in the first season. Also, though it’s only a taste of what is to come, some of the characters aren’t introduced as well as others and are harder to relate to. Wyatt in this case was hard for me to understand because you are thrown into his situation with little context, and while they try to flesh it out with dialogue, it doesn’t come together as well as other characters stories did.

Despite those issues, I still consider 400 Days an achievement. Not only were the stories interesting and the choices difficult, but seeing how each story intertwined was awesome. Additionally, there are many small Easter eggs that hint to the original season and while they are easy to miss, they sure are satisfying.

Overall, I think that 400 Days is a must play if you have played the first season of The Walking Dead. By the end, I felt like I had a good idea where season two is headed, and I immediately started to speculate how certain characters might return, and how everything will ultimately tie together. 400 Days only adds to the greatness that was season one, and should definitely be experienced.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:

All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.

These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.

This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.

Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.

Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.

A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.




07/11/2013 at 05:21 PM

This is only out for X-Box? ;-;

Jon Lewis Staff Writer

07/11/2013 at 05:39 PM

na, it should be out for everything by now.


07/11/2013 at 08:28 PM

Ooh! This makes me happy, thanks!


07/12/2013 at 08:20 AM

I really enjoyed it.  I thought, for the most part, they did an amazing job of getting you involved in each of the stories even though they were only 15 minutes or so apiece.

There was one thing that bugged me though.  I played the PS3 version, and after I was done, the stats showed that every decision I made was made by exactly 50% of other players.  I find this hard to believe.  I saw someone mention the same thing on a message board on another site.  I beat it on the 3rd day of release, so I'm thinking it was probably a bug.  I've always enjoyed seeing the stats at the end of each chapter showing how others played compared to me.

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