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The Walking Dead: Season One
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Walking Dead is not for young kids because of its mature and often scary scenes, intense violence and gore, strong profanity, and sexual references or imagery. Players can kill many different people in the game -- mostly the undead -- and decisions you make will result in innocent humans getting killed, too, including young children.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Based on Robert Kirkman's best-selling comic book and television franchise, THE WALKING DEAD is a 5-part adventure game series that introduces Lee Everett, a man convicted of a serious crime. While in the back of a police cruiser at the beginning of the first episode, you start to notice strange things happening outside your window in Georgia, such as speeding police cars with sirens wailing. Before you know it, the cruiser slams into someone (er, or something) and rolls into a ditch. After you find a way out of the vehicle you realize what’s happening around you might be a fate far worse than prison. As Everett, you’re left to fend for yourself in a world ravaged by the undead. Without giving too much away, Everett might also find some redemption in protecting an orphaned 6 year-old girl. And no, you don’t need to know anything about the existing Walking Dead fiction in order to enjoy this interactive, yet mature tale.
Is it any good?
For mature gamers, Telltale Games' award-winning episodic series is exhilarating, terrifying, and intelligent. The Walking Dead fuses a number of gameplay elements: exploration, puzzle solving, action sequences, and plenty of dialogue. But be aware this isn’t a zombie shooter like the Resident Evil or Left 4 Dead series -- it’s an adventure game with a few quick-action moments. While interacting with characters, you’ll have a few seconds to select a specific response from a list of options. By choosing an answer (or question), and your desired tone, the information or action it triggers will vary. For example, if you’re kind to someone they might just help you later on, or if you decide to flee a scene at night versus the day, something new might be lurking around the corner. Plus, you’ll occasionally be forced to make a very tough decision, such as being able to only help one person from flesh-eating zombies -- even though two need your help at the same time.
In addition to the fantastic premise, there plenty of emotional moments, and you’ll no doubt grow attached to the characters. But yes, it’s a horror game, too – therefore you can also expect a few jump-out-of-your-seat moments, along with plenty of bloody and gory scenes which are not for the faint of heart. Visually speaking, the “cel-shaded” game employs a charming art style that looks like it’s a black-and-white movie that’s been colorized; the artwork was inspired by the original comic books, says Telltale Games. It would also be remiss not to mention the excellent voice acting, sound effects, and music that all help contribute to the chilling atmosphere. Aside from a few small issues –- audio that doesn’t always match the character’s lips (which breaks the immersion) and a technical bug or two -- The Walking Dead series is an engrossing, attractive, and very rewarding interactive adventure.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the difficult decisions the gamer has to make while playing The Walking Dead. If you're rationing food, how do you decide which survivor gets to eat? Do you save a young boy or an adult who may be more useful to the band of survivors? Should you let someone fend for themselves against zombies or let them into your group -- even though there are limited resources for everyone?
Families can also discuss the impact of violence in media.
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, reading comprehension, storytelling
- Skills: Self-Direction: achieving goals, self-reflection, work to achieve goals
Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, decision-making, thinking critically
Responsibility & Ethics: respect for others
- Price: $24.99 (PC) or $29.99 (PS3, Xbox 360)
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Telltale Games
- Release date: December 13, 2012
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Strong Language, Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.