Monsters of the horror genre have had a makeover in the last decade or so. Sexy vampires like the ones we seen in Interview With A Vampire have been replaced with sparkly vampires with real makeup issues. The slow paced zombies we seen in the George. A. Romero films have been replaced with Olympic sprinter zombies. Or made into hopeless romantics. There is nothing more sweeter then a zombie chewing on your leg. Aww. And one of the most popular muscle tearing, blood spurting, zombie groaning piece of media to hit us in the last decade is Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead.
The second part of series three has recently hit US shores and its quickly taking over the Internet like … a zombie outbreak! Sorry about that. It can make you laugh, cheer, cry, even scream. The series is a massive emotional roller coaster. I can not count the number of times I have burst out crying over this franchise. Being a big fan of the comics and show, I was very happy TellTaleGames would be the ones to bring the series into the pixel realm. Their hand drawn/comic book style graphics have always drawn me to their games, lately they also chosen well known and well loved franchises.
The characters for The Walking Dead game are well written and balanced, with Lee and Clementine being the lead characters from the video game. I warmed to Lee instantly. Being the main character, Lee has a lot to live up to. And TellTale Games have done a fantastic job creating a character who grows with each episode and every tough decision he (you) has to make. It was also refreshing to have a realistic, believable black character instead of using him as a comical sidekick like Sazh in Final Fantasy XIII or “Big Bo” Roy Boateng from Binary Domain. Instead Lee was a serious, caring and protective protagonist who wanted to do nothing more then protect Clementine.
Clemintine is one of the most unique, well written characters I have encountered. The majority of child characters in media are just annoying and bestow nothing but anger onto the player/watcher/reader. However Clem does not do that. She too grows like Lee and eventually adapts to the new world around her. As the player, I too wanted nothing more then to keep Clementine safe from the dangers of zombies and the weirdos that had emerged due to the outbreak.
I am happy TellTale received so many GOTY awards. When I first played Mass Effect 3, I really wanted the game to achieve GOTY because I believed Bioware deserved it for such great storytelling and character development. But after experiencing The Walking Dead, my mind was changed very quickly. I wanted to save a galaxy full of humans and different alien species, but at the same time I wanted nothing more then to keep a little vulnerable girl safe from the horrors of the new world she came to live in.
Kirkman has managed to create a survival masterpiece that makes you question the state of life you have. We take everything for granted, but what happens when that is taken away from us? No TV, new books or video games. Having to hoard everything you have and wondering what will be around the corner or behind the next door.
Kirkman makes you stop and think about how society would crumble and yet it shows that you can not give up, even if zombies are running rampant. Trust plays a big part in the series, it goes such a long way. Not everyone decides to be honest with each other and this can lead to trouble later on. You need to have your wits about you and place your trust carefully in those you meet. And thankfully sometimes you meet someone who you form a bond with — someone who will watch your back and stick by you through tough decisions. But The Walking Dead is not filled with happiness and joy, but when you do get a small glimmer of hope, it helps restore a little piece of humanity to the situation.