And Now Let’s Play The Walking Dead

Sprite StuYo.

It hasn’t been very long since I started my first Let’s Play, but I’ve decided to launch another one all the same. This second playthrough will run concurrently with my first — it’s by no means a replacement.

Why launch another Let’s Play so early? Because of the “five down and one in the hole technique,” frankly. That rule technically applies to books, but I see no reason not to extend it to Youtube series. In essence, why should I release one Let’s Play series and risk attracting one audience (the Legend of Zelda fans) when I could have two or more and reach out to a wider range of viewers?

With that in mind, I chose Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead for my second playthrough.

That’s my introductory video for the playthrough. For those uninterested in hearing me drone on for six minutes over a static menu screen, I’ll summarize:

The Walking Dead is an episodic videogame and was released in 2012 over a period of several months, one episode at a time. Each episode plays about two hours, assuming you aren’t skipping all the dialogue and sub-quests. There are five in total, and together they compose one game, or one “season.” So far two seasons have been released, with a third greenlit and going into pre-production.

I’ve never played either season, but I have seen the first season played — over a dozen times, if I’m being honest. You know how I like to watch Let’s Plays as well as make them? Well, there’s no game I’ve seen Let’s Played more than The Walking Dead Season 1 — not even Mass Effect.

I’m not sure why this is. I’m not a fan of zombie apocalypse stories. I don’t much care for zombies in general, actually. (I’ve always been more of a vampire sort of guy.) And I can’t say I watched the Let’s Plays because I liked the Walking Dead TV series or comic book. (Because I hadn’t really heard of either before then. For the record, I went and saw the TV show afterward, and I might bring it up during my playthrough.)

So what was it about this unusual game that hooked me, forced me to watch others play it over and over? Like I said, I’m not sure. In fact, despite my interest, for the longest time I was hesitant to even call myself a fan of the game. The story is sad and cruel, and I prefer action-adventure games and combat-heavy RPGs — The Walking Dead came from outside my purview and worked against my biases, drawing me into it over time.

And it’s hardly perfect. The writing is stronger than your average AAA game, but it has its plot holes and flaws in logic and other unfortunate quirks. At the beginning of every episode it promises choices that will “tailor” the story to your whims, and while the game doesn’t necessarily fail to live up to such a claim, it’s still an overstatement and very nearly a lie.

So, while I’m playing through Season 1 and making choices and preparing myself for Season 2, I’ll also try to get a better handle on my own feelings for the game. I am a fan — if a reluctant one — and I’m proud to support the writers and artists at Telltale Games.

Thanks for reading and watching.

1 Comment

  1. I would summarize my own feelings about Episode 1 much as you did. It’s not my kind of game, although I had no complaints about the game itself. Even now, thinking of watching your Let’s Play, I am drawn to the game. Its style is relatively unique; a story and a game but no RPG or level-ups. It really is interactive TV. Do you know of any other games/game companies that emulate this model?

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