The Walking Dead: 400 Days: More of the Same in a Good Way

Another successful chapter in Telltale's engrossing saga.

Telltale Game's The Walking Dead was widely regarded as one of the best games of last year. The emotional impact of the title sent shockwaves through the industry and truly pushed the envelope of downloadable episodic content in video games.

After Lee and Clem's adventure, fans (including myself) were jonsing for more time in that cell-shaded world. Fortunately Telltale heard our cries and handed down The Walking Dead: 400 Days from their Mount Olympus. 400 Days is more of the same, and I mean that in a good way.

400 Days takes place around a rest stop in the first 400 days of the outbreak. Unlike the entirety of Season 1 the new chapters take place around five different survivors who eventually are woven together. 

**I was never BOARD! Get it? 'Cause it's a bulletin board?**

Gameplay

Anyone who has played a Telltale title in the past will recognize the way this game plays. At its core it is a point ant click adventure of sorts and it comes with some baggage. Some times the controls are a little imprecise, but with an experience like this you don't really need the tight controls of a AAA first person shooter.

Like the rest of Season 1, the star of the show here are the character interactions. Telltale hits it out of the park with this small add-on, forcing us as players to make more intense decisions at a far more rapid pace to compensate for the shortness of the chapter and the limited amount of time spent with each character. Interestingly enough though, it never feels like overkill, and you'll still care about ever decision you make and every character you encounter.

There are the familiar gameplay caveats here and there, largely due to the unforgiving and unbudging camera angles, but it's a small gripe that doesn't really take away from the new chapter in any legitimate way.

**All of our new friends, looking equally worried.**

Presentation

The cell-shaded characters and environments once again capture the darkness of the world while paying tribute to the source material. 400 Days wont be winning any beauty contests, but the graphics make sense within the context of the game.

Like the rest of Season 1 the facial expressions really sell the dialogue and force you to connect with every character you encounter. One gripe is the stiffness of the bodies though. It's sometimes hard watching the characters move in such a limited way and it would have been nice to see a little more fluidity of movement in both playable sections and dialogue sections.

**Anyone else recognize that drug store? Anyone?**

Sound

The star of the show, once again, is the voice acting. While the acting doesn't quite stack up to the level of the flawless Dave Fennoy as Lee Everett, everyone pulls their weight and more than sells their characters.

It's a shame that the sound effects don't get the same care as the voice acting. Some of the gunfire sounds like a 9-year-old popping bubble paper and the 'vrooms' or car engines sometimes sound like they were recorded through stock television speakers while someone was watching The Fast and the Furious 13. Overall it is a small gripe, and is almost entirely forgivable due to the stellar voice acting.

**I bet they made killer pancakes before people started eating each other.**

Replay Value

Every decision you make counts here and according to Telltale, they will influence the second season. You can go back and have a completely different experience in many ways simply due to the decisions you make. It's not as fleshed out as the core chapters of Season 1, but it's impressive nonetheless due to the brevity of the chapter.

Bottom Line

The Walking Dead: 400 Days is good. Of course, when compared to the emotional torture device that was the entirety of season 1, it pales, but it's a mild fix while we wait for the next season of the game. The voice acting was once again spot on, and I was enthralled from the get go. I would have loved to see some of our old friends pop up here and there, but I guess I'll have to wait for Season 2 to get my Clementine fix.

Our Rating
8
Another successful chapter in Telltale's engrossing saga.

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I am an aspiring video game journalist and a professional awesome person. My words make knowledge parents in your brain that give birth to baby-smiles on your face. You can listen to my podcast by going on iTunes and searching Video Game Podcast Show!

Published Jul. 8th 2013

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