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The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season review for PS Vita

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: Xbox 360, PC, PS3, iOS
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Medium: Digital Download/Vita Card
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: M

I'm not entirely sure who the market for The Walking Dead on the PlayStation Vita might be. Sure, the Vita version includes the recently-released 400 Days DLC (rather than it being sold separately), but by this point, the game has already been on most major platforms, so I suspect the vast majority of people who want to play it already have. I mean, I decided to wait for the Vita version of the game after it was announced back in March (though, admittedly, I did play a little bit of the very first episode just to get a taste of it), but I can't imagine that making games specifically for people like me is all that profitable. (Though if it is: I'll take more open-world superhero games, please. Oooh, and a Vita version of Fables!)

That said, whatever the reason for its existence, I'm pretty glad the game is here, because — one somewhat notable issue aside, which I'll get to in a moment — it's absolutely amazing. It looks absolutely fantastic on the Vita's OLED screen, like a comic book come to life. The controls (both touch and traditional) work extremely well. And the writing, the character development, the general tone of the game…honestly, I can't think of anything else I've played that comes anywhere close to matching The Walking Dead.

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Case in point: I can't stand kids, which means that I really don't care for stories — in games or otherwise — where you're expected to protect or look after children. Despite that, I found myself getting emotionally invested in the core relationship of The Walking Dead between Lee, convicted murdered, and Clementine, a little girl he stumbles across shortly after the game begins. When I, as the main character, made a decision that upset the girl, I actually felt a twinge of regret.

My emotional investment went beyond that core relationship, too. There were points where I found the tension and the atmosphere almost unbearable, and I found myself thinking about the game's plot, its characters, and its development long after I put my Vita down.

Unfortunately, there's one significant issue that prevents the game from being perfect: at times (frequent times) it chugs along. If you're about to be prompted to choose your words or actions, the game pauses for a moment. If you're transitioning from one view to another, the game slows down. You only go from one scene to another after watching a "Loading…" screen for a couple of seconds. Basically, you're going to find your immersion in the game's plot broken pretty frequently. Considering this game is about as plot-driven as they come, that could've been a dealbreaker.

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That it's not is a testament to how amazing the storyline is. (Also, I'm not going to lie: when the game got particularly tense, I kind of welcomed the brief break. I'm a wuss that way.) Presumably, this is something that was already known by everyone that's already played The Walking Dead on PS3/Xbox/PC/iOS, but if you haven't yet had a chance to see it for yourself, then you owe it to yourself to rectify your oversight and get it for your PS Vita immediately.

Grade: A


The Walking Dead - PlayStation Vita (Video Game)

Manufacturer: Sony Computer Entertainment
ESRB Rating: Mature
Platform: PlayStation Vita
Genre: action-game-genre

Winner of over 90 'Game of the Year'Awards, The Walking Dead CompleteFirst Season includes all 5 episodes ofthe critically acclaimed series, plusspecial episode '400 Days'. Play as Lee Everett, who has beengiven a second chance at life in a worlddevastated by the undead. Experienceevents, meet people and visit locationsthat foreshadow the story of Deputy SheriffRick Grimes. Each move matters in thistailored game experience, as your actions,choices and decisions affect how yourstory plays out across the entire series.
List Price:$24.99 USD
New From:$23.39 USD In Stock
Used from:$14.50 USD In Stock