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When You Play The Walking Dead, You Either Win Or You Work With Frank Darabont Again

By Rob Payne | Industry | May 3, 2012 |

By Rob Payne | Industry | May 3, 2012 |

Admittedly, that headline is a bit confused, but I’ve been wanting to post a trailer for The Walking Dead video game for a while now, especially after having a chance to see some gameplay. Naturally, life found a way to mess that up until now. Again, admittedly, this is a bit strained, but we’ll get there. Trust me.

First, there’s news on “The Walking Dead” television show front. Or, more specifically, there’s news on ex-cast members of the zombie series, who met their untimely end thanks to those previously mentioned undead monsters. We already knew that Jon Bernthal, TV’s Shane, had signed up for director (and former “Dead” showrunner) Frank Darabont’s new TNT show, and now two more exiles from Z Street will also appear on “L.A. Noir.” Jeffrey DeMunn, TV’s Dale, and Andrew Rothenberg, TV’s that one dude they left on the side of the road with a loaded gun, will take their half-eaten corpses to the period drama about the war between legendary gangster Mickey Cohen and the LAPD. DeMunn really isn’t a surprise, since he’s a frequent Darabont player and probably asked AMC to kill off his character after the showrunner was unceremoniously shitcanned. The addition of Rothenberg, though, is obviously meant to symbolize a big ol’ middle finger to AMC. We’ll know for sure if Madison Lintz, TV’s Sophia, winds up in an multi-episode arc that goes nowhere.

So… speaking of “The Walking Dead” there’s a new five-part video game available for download on the XBox 360 and the PS3. Granted, it’s based on the graphic novels rather than the show, and the art design echoes that, albeit in full color instead of black and white. Without further ado, here’s that trailer:

Having watched the first twenty or so minutes of the first chapter, which the above largely covers, I can report that The Walking Dead, with it’s three dimensional comic book visuals, looks absolutely stunning. The game plays like a mixture of the PS3-only Heavy Rain and Back to the Future, with a timed dialogue wheel so every interaction — from zombie killing to conversations about zombie killing — has an element of tension, creating seemingly endless stress. That said, there’s some definite unintentional comedy with dramatic accidents resembling pratfalls and line readings that sound like bad community theater. Still, just based on those twenty minutes, there appears to be quite a bit of replay value where every single thing you do impacts what comes next, in ways both large and small. For five bucks, the first chapter, at least, is worth checking out, and especially if one wishes “The Walking Dead” had more zombies in it.

You know, being a zombie show, and all.

Rob Payne also writes the comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar, and his ware can be purchased here (if you’re into that sort of thing).

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