When Telltale announced it was closing its doors and bidding farewell to game development back in 2018, most in the gaming industry were shocked at a developer calling time when seemingly at the top of its game. Not only that, but they were halfway through developing the final series of the game that had arguably put them there, The Walking Dead, with many feeling that the final chapter of Clementine’s story would go unfinished, becoming one of the many gaming casualties of the modern era. In a turnaround straight out of some soppy made for TV movie, Skybound, the creators of The Walking Dead comic, stepped up to the plate and helped deliver a finished product before ultimately arriving at this – The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series.
Having played episode one of The Walking Dead when it first came out many moons ago I must confess my interest in the episodic series lapsed. This release compiles all 4 seasons, 400 Days DLC and The Walking Dead: Michonne so when the chance came to review it I was the obvious candidate. Plus, as one of the few PurePlaystationers who had yet completed the tale of Clementine and her quest for survival, I was pretty much the perfect audience for such a collection.
If, like me, you missed The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series the first time round the game takes place as a companion piece to the acclaimed comic and TV series. Featuring original characters created specifically for the game, and with a story over seen by The Walking Dead creator himself Robert Kirkman, the game not only establishes itself in an already well-rounded universe, but sets itself apart in many ways and when it first came out it garnered a stack of plaudits for storytelling. I agreed at the time, but the focus on storytelling and slower paced gameplay meant that my attention was quickly diverted away to faster and louder things – what can I say I’m a man of the 80s. Jumping in for a second time round I still felt this slower, dialogue heavy gameplay took some getting used to, but having already played the Batman series by Telltale I already knew what to expect and was settled in for the long haul.
If you haven’t already played a Telltale game then the best way I can describe them is like one of those branching diagrams you see in science class, dressed up and presented as a cartoon. From the onset every decision you make has weight, and you are told from the very beginning that your choices will have a consequence whether that be in your dialogue choice in a conversation or an action you carry out. Nowadays games like this are two a penny, but it was Telltale that were the trailblazers with The Walking Dead series leading the charge.
One of the biggest appeals to me with The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series (from now on I’m just going to refer to it as TWD:TDS because I’m lazy) is the fact it is a complete package. Don’t get me wrong each episode is in itself a complete story, but they are the chapters to a larger tale and I can remember this putting me off in the past. I say I can remember but it still does now – the current fascination with episodic releases is still something my goldfish like attention span is getting used to. I know that once I’ve waited until episode 2 I will have completely forgotten what has happened in episode 1, so the fact that they are all here, alongside the additional DLC, is a massive bonus for me – and to be fair TWD:TDS has a solid collection of Episodes all neatly stacked and ready to go.
Returning players are catered for too, with developer commentaries and behind the scenes extras rounding out the Definitive from the title. Would this be enough to entice me back with a £40 price tag? Probably not, but for real fans of the series the additions do serve as a true fan service from a series that is held in such high esteem by so many. Some of you may find it interesting to know what the developers were thinking one Sunday in June during the development of episode 3, but that’s not really my cup of tea.
Playing the episodes in order of release, I’ll be honest, I haven’t managed to make my way through it all, but I’m already in deep enough to know that I’ll play my way to the end of Clementine’s journey, whatever the outcome may be. Based upon the decisions I have already made, it probably won’t be a happy one.
The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series PS4 Review
- Overall - Very Good - 7.5/107.5/10
Bringing together all the episodic releases, including DLC's and additional bonus content, The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series is exactly what it says on the tin.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using base PS4.