I will say with absolute honesty that when I heard the news of Telltales demise, I was floored. How could this happen? What about the Strangers Things and The Wolf Among Us 2 games they announced? Most importantly though, after that fantastic cliffhanger that The Walking Dead left us on, what is going to happen next?! These were all questions that were running through my mind as I read that news. Telltale had become one of my favorite developers after putting out some of my favorite story-driven games, and was unlike any studio I had ever seen. There seemed to be no hope in sight as we saw upcoming games were officially canceled. Like a hero rushing into a battle when all seemed lost, Skybound Games stepped in and did everyone a major solid and finished the final season of The Walking Dead. Now that the series is over, it only seems appropriate to put it all together in one meaty bundle for fans and first-timers to enjoy the amazing story of love, loss, and redemption. In this coming of age story that is one of a kind, in a world where the only thing you need to worry about is survival both from the living and the dead.
Admittedly, I really want to stay as far away as possible from talking about the games themselves, as I don’t want to spoil any of the major plot details. The games main focus is on a little girl named Clementine, an 8-year-old. You can imagine that most people would not react well to being dropped into the zombie apocalypse, but to be so young and alone, she needs protection and to be taught how to take care of herself. By the time you reach the conclusion in the Final Season, she is roughly 16 years old and a certified badass.
For those of you that have never played any of the Telltale games, the games are all interactive stories where the decisions you make have some impact on how the story is told. I should point out though that while these games have that “Choose Your Own Adventure” vibe, there isn’t any change to circumstances by the time you reach the end of a game. Sadly, some people will die no matter what you do. If the beginning of the game is Point A and the ending is Point Z, you might hop around a but and skip points, but no matter what, you end up at Point Z.
Does that mean the series has no replay value? Absolutely not, it’s just not the same as other games like Call of Duty. Think of it as a movie, we will use Predator as an example! I watch Predator a few times every year because it is my all-time favorite film! I have played the first season of The Walking Dead several times as it an amazing story. The difference between Predator and The Walking Dead is that at least in The Walking Dead I can play the game as a jerk, or be kind to everyone I meet!
Now that we know what the games are about, let’s talk about the Definitive Edition itself. The game is a collection of all 4 seasons of the game, along with 400 Days DLC, and The Walking Dead: Michonne. That is a LOT of content to take in!! I will admit that I don’t quite understand the Michonne game being part of the collection as it has absolutely nothing to do with Clementine’s story. Fans of The Walking Dead comic will appreciate it though as it fills in the gap of Michonnes whereabouts after she temporarily departed Ricks Grimes group.
What makes this collection so special though is what Skybound Games did to breath life into all of the games as well as the special features.
First and foremost, the Graphical Enhancements: “Graphic Black” art style brings Season 4’s enhanced visual style to all previous seasons as well as the full dynamic lighting to episodes that previously did not have it. The games look the best they ever have!
One of my favorite pieces of extra bonus content is the Developers Commentaries that are included with each game. In total, it adds up to over 10 hours of commentary from the folks who worked on the game and some of the voice actors. They are playing the game and add their own thoughts and comments from time to time, but I admit that there is some dead air that happens occasionally. All in all, though it is fun to hear their thoughts as well as other fun bits of trivia that I didn’t catch myself while playing the game.
The other bonuses that you can check out on the main menu are the Music player, that includes 40+ tracks across all seasons that can be played in the home screen. The art gallery is neat, as you can look at promotional art for characters as well as rough sketches of scenes for the programmers to use to create the scene. The 3D model viewer is neat as you can look at every character from every season, as well as play around with their looks.
There is one thing about the collection that I really wasn’t a fan of, the trophies. Those have played Telltales other games know that, for the most part, getting the Platinum trophy came down to just playing the game from beginning to the end. Occasionally there would be some trophies in which you had to do something extra, but it was generally pretty simple. For The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series though, there is a single Platinum trophy that you receive for playing every game all the way through. Upon completing each individual chapter, you get a trophy. I wish each game had its own separate list like they were originally.
The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series is an excellent collection of games that Skybound did a great job with enhancing. Clementines story is one of my all-time favorite stories in gaming. Given her age and the world she lives in, she shouldn’t have made it far, but she did, with a little help from some friends. Now that we have the complete story, I feel that fans should pick this up even if they have played the games already. Trust me, this is the better version of the game and you will want to replay them eventually.