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The Walking Dead: 400 Days
Score: 89%
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

A New Perspective:

Iím pretty sure The Walking Dead: 400 Days is the first DLC Iíve encountered for an episodic game, but in this time between seasons of the show and the game, it is a nice chance to dive back into the world of the Walkers.

400 Days has the player following five different characters as you see snippets of how they handle the early days of the Zombie Apocalypse. All five stories are around the same general area, a small roadside diner, though not all of them actually end up going to the diner. Instead, an observant gamer will notice props in the background that will show just how or where the current character ties into the rest of the stories.

What you end up getting by the end of the DLC is not only a glimpse at some of the tough decisions each character has to face, but also an overall view of the events surrounding this part of the country.


Bonnie:

Is a recovering drug addict who has been taken in by an older couple. After some time together, it seems Bonnie and the husband, Leland, are starting to develop feelings for each other while Lelandís wife, Dee, is starting to feel a bit left out in the cold.

Bonnieís story really picks up when Dee shows up with a bag full of something and is being chased by people with flashlights. The trio runs into a cornfield and attempts to use the high crop to hide from the searchers. This segment adds an interesting new dynamic to the game that we didnít see in the original episodes; having to jump from row to row while trying to walk to the end of the corn field.


Russell:

Russellís story in The Walking Dead: 400 Days starts off with him walking down the road trying to get to his grandmotherís house. He is picked up by a man named Nate who drives a large and obnoxious truck. When the pair stop at the diner, they find themselves under gunfire, and they have to rely on each other in order to get out of the mess alive, but Russell has seen plenty of reasons in his short association with Nate to not trust the guy. Will they be able to work together and how will the events of this story affect the others that surround this diner?

Shel & Becca:

This story focuses on Shel and her younger sister who have been staying at the diner with a group of other survivors for quite some time. Theyíve set up watchdog walkers and a secure perimeter. On the surface, it looks like they really have it made and might be able to ride out the horror that is going on all around them. What Shel fears though is that their hoarding and pack-mentality might be making them less human. Not in any physical sense, of course, but as far as morals and what they sacrifice in the name of security.

A major decision in Shelís story happens when the group finds someone attempting to steal their supplies. Shel ends up being the swing vote that decides if the person is let go or if they are killed on the spot. Each decision has its consequences, and Becca will remember what you did in a similar manner to Clem from the main gameís story.


Vince:

Vinceís story has a very familiar feel to it. Even if you played the opening scene of the main The Walking Dead, you will recognize this characterís predicament in 400 Days. Vince is on a prison transport bus and when the walkers hit, he finds himself chained to his seat and two other characters. When a fight breaks out between some other transported inmates, Vince finds himself in a real tight spot, both physically and morally. If he wants to survive, he might have to choose who in his immediate surroundings will live and who will die.

Wyatt:

Wyattís story starts off with him and his friend, Eddie, in a car being chased by a large truck with a rack of fog lights. While it isnít exactly clear what the pair did to anger the other driver, Eddie is covered in blood and it takes some quick work with a pistol to convince their pursuer to back off.

Just when they think they are in the clear, their car hits someone; the question is, was it human or was it walker? After a game of rock-paper-scissors, Wyatt is sent out of the car to examine the body. What follows is a short, but creepy walk through the fog as you approach a potential walker. The trip back to the car isnít any better as you slowly make your way back. Some loud noises have called the local walking dead and it will take some more gun-play to make it back. Wyattís story is one of the shortest in the DLC, but it leaves you on edge a bit more than others.


Connections:

So how do they all tie together? Well, some of the connections are obvious as you play through each story, but others feel more coincidental, that is, until youíve finished off the last tale and control a new character who follows the survivorsí trail to a small camp. There you get a better idea of how each fared, who survived and how your choices affected each characterís decisions since you left them to fend for themselves.

The Walking Dead: 400 Days is a nice extra bit of content that only helped to wet my appetite for the gameís second season currently slated for sometime late this year. It would be interesting if the characters and settings introduced in 400 Days are connected to the next seasonís storyline since the DLCís final scene leaves a few questions open and already does a nice job of subtly tying into the first five episodes if you know what you are looking for.


-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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