It’s taken a long time, but we’ve finally made it. Despite what that blowhard Rodger Ebert will tell you, video games have long since been on the cusp of surpassing books, TV, and movies in terms of engaging narrative. With employees dating back to the old days of LucasArts, the team at Telltale Games has arguably done more than anyone to make this a reality. And trust me: games as they are today, we should be thanking our lucky stars someone didn’t turn The Walking Dead into another damn multi-player shooter.
The Walking Dead expanded our idea of what a video game narrative could be by asking the player to make truly tough choices. See, before TWD, choice in games were usually all about which decision benefited you as a player. If I choose A, I get this item, if I choose B, I’ll get more of this. What Telltale did was to give you time to get attached to the characters and then CHOOSE WHETHER OR NOT THEY GET TO EAT! The Walking Dead is full of some of the most emotionally taxing decisions we’ve ever had to make in a game. The first time you have to choose whether a man gets to keep important parts of his body or which of two lovebirds gets to live, you’ll understand what we mean. Personally, I’ve heard from more than one grown ass man that he cried during certain parts of the game. Like openly wept. That’s some real shit.
Telltale may not have a perfect track record (Jurassic Park), but they’ve hit a home run with The Walking Dead. They took a beloved franchise and not only remained faithful to the source material, but arguably improved upon it. Really, they improved upon the medium in general. That’s why The Walking Dead is Sidequesting’s favorite game of 2013.