A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Explores moral gray areas, no-win situations, forcing players to make hard choices with no right answer -- such as choosing who lives, who dies -- knowing they must live with consequences. Themes include friendship, family, trust, survival.
Positive Role Models
No set behaviors. Players control how their characters act, choosing whether to be mean or nice to others, help them or ignore them, sometimes even to save or not save them.
Ease of Play
Pretty straightforward. Players follow on-screen button cues in action sequences, select responses in dialogue, do a bit of simple exploration. Death simply results in game reloading most recent event so you can try again.
Violence & Scariness
Intense, visceral combat against zombies includes shooting, stabbing, bludgeoning, with blood, gore, dismemberment. Zombies are often missing body parts, entrails hang from midsections, dark red gushes from wounds. Also depicts people torturing, killing living humans with guns, melee weapons, other objects.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No sexual encounters shown, but dialogue occasionally references sex that may have taken place offscreen.
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Strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole."
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Products & Purchases
Spin-off of popular Walking Dead comics, which have generated TV shows, toys, promotional paraphernalia.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Scenes depict smoking, drinking among adults, with players given choice to allow a minor to try both.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series Collection is an anthology of previously released episodes in Telltale Games' Walking Dead adventure game series. These games put players in control of characters living through a zombie apocalypse. They must defend themselves against the living dead with guns, knives, and blunt objects employed as bludgeons. Combat is often gory, with heads smashed in, limbs chopped off, and bodies torn apart, often with lots of blood splashing and pooling on the ground. Players also see humans fighting, torturing, and killing each other, with villains sometimes clearly enjoying the violence. Players step into a number of characters through the series, controlling their behavior by choosing actions and responses in dialogue, which means they can come off as kind and helpful, mean and selfish, or a mix of good and bad qualities. The narrative explores situations in which there's often no right answer, but rather only moral gray zones in which the player is forced to choose who lives and who dies, who to help and who to abandon, and must be prepared to live with the consequences. Parents should also note that the series contains plenty of strong profanity, drinking and smoking, and occasional references to sex.
Is It Any Good?
This collection of action games features play that appeals from chapter to chapter to the mature players who loves this franchise's brutal and morally ambiguous content. And since The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series Collection simply puts all existing seasons together while spiffing up the earlier episodes' graphics to take advantage of modern hardware, little has changed. These are still good games -- especially the emotionally charged first-season, which is likely to leave players both new and returning players struggling to hold back sobs. They've helped establish games as a medium in which storytelling and characters matter, and have convinced many that interactive entertainment can go beyond winning and losing to become true art that digs into the human experience. Later seasons don't quite manage to match the intensity of the first series of five episodes, but they still provide reason for players to care about and remain invested in several characters, particularly young Clementine, who's had to grow up in a world of living dead.
So, folks who've never played these games before are in for a treat. But should existing fans pay again to play the same games? While side-by-side video comparisons nicely illustrate the visual upgrades given to the first couple of seasons, it's unlikely most people will really notice them while playing. And while it's handy to have all episodes contained and easily accessible within a single hub menu, that's not really a reason to spend a second time. Maybe the best reason to play again is simply to see how the series has evolved over the years, becoming more streamlined and intuitive in its world interactions, with less focus on finding items and figuring out little contextual puzzles, and more on characters and world-building. But you can experience this by simply playing the seasons you already own. So, while The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series Collection earns an enthusiastic thumb up for anyone yet to play, those who've already experienced this terrific adventure game series can save their money for the soon-to-be-released fourth and final season.
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