The Walking Dead from Telltale Games was originally released in 2012 to critical and commercial success. The TV show of the same name was one of the most watched at that time as well. Zombies themselves were at the height of a popularity that the genre had not seen since the 1980’s. It is odd for me to be writing about the same game over seven years later but here we are. Even the destruction of the company creating The Walking Dead could not kill it, it just keeps coming back. But don’t resort to killing the brain and ignoring this amazing collection and piece of gaming history that is The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series.
Telltale had made a name for themselves with other intellectual property in the past such as Back to the Future: The Game and Tales of Monkey Island. Their ability to take an existing world and incorporate an updated user interface that fans of the original point and click adventure PC games would feel at home with but those new to the genre could still feel at ease. They essentially created intractable “choose your own adventure” video game stories. Nobody else at the time was venturing into these waters long since abandoned by most gamers.
I myself was not playing PC games in 2012 and was strictly console. I remember The Walking Dead coming out on PS3 and was instantly drawn to the interesting visual aesthetics and the fact it was story based. It looked like a far departure from the TV show as well, trying to stay more like the original source material in the comic books. The characters looked like they leaped from the pages as moving artwork.
My only issue at the time was one little thing that Telltale Games was built upon. A business model I just did not understand. Episodic releases. I loved what I had played from the company before, but I usually picked up these games on sales or as a season pass after the series had completed. I would binge through the entire Sam & Max game episodes in a week. While Telltale did a great job of structuring these releases I guess my attention is very focused, if I play a game, if I enjoy it, I devour it. I do the same for TV shows and in the Netflix binge culture, I am not alone. This is unfortunately why I also do not read comic books on a monthly basis but wait for trade collections. Also do not ask me to start a series of books if they are not finished. Thanks but I will wait.
So right before Christmas of 2012 I picked up The Walking Dead on PS3. I spent the holiday engrossed in this game everyone had been telling me about all year. In its entirety. I was in awe and have purchased every Telltale Games season pass since. It was that good. No other game managed to capture emotion and tell a story so well, in a genre I loved no less! I guess that is why it won so many Game of the Year awards.
In the following years Telltale Games released four more games in the Walking Dead universe and many others including what I consider to the pinnacle of their games, Tales from the Borderlands. Then in September 2018, just one month after releasing the The Walking Dead: The Final Season Episode One, Telltale Games was closed. The gaming world was shocked and the fate of the final game was unknown. Many thought we would never get an ending to this series we have played for years now. Thankfully Skybound Entertainment, owned by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman stepped in. They managed to get enough of the original team together and finish the games final two episodes.
With the release of The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series, Skybound Entertainment has again done this series a great service by providing a fantastic collection of every game and expansion in one place. Not only do you get every episode but the early games are even enhanced to match the updated graphics that The Final Season sported. I personally love them and think they make the games even more resemble their comic book counterpart.
The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series also includes a ton of cool videos about the series and I particularly enjoyed watching the one about how Skybound Entertainment rescued the final two episodes. With the included artwork, developer commentary, music player, and 3D model viewer, this is truly the definitive edition of the game series. Even if you already own all of the games in this collection, this is the way you want to replay the series and if you are an archivist/collector, this is the one to own. Added bonus, you even get a new Platinum trophy, as the achievements/trophies are completely separate from the earlier releases.
The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series is the perfect collection for both new players wanting to experience this fantastic story for the first time and fans who want to remember it, re-live it, and archive or collect it. The updated graphics and plethora of bonus features make it well worth the asking price but you are also supporting the future of these types of games and I personally hope we have not seen the last of Telltale Games, if recent news is true, just like the game that put them on the map, they just won’t die.