e3 2012: The Walking Dead: Starve for Help Preview

E3 2012: The Walking Dead: Starve for help preview

It is no mistake that TellTale Games makes some of the best episodic gaming content out there.  This can be found with the Back to the Future, Sam and Max, as well as Wallace and Gromits Grand Adventure.  They are now delivering a very dark grim experience with The Walking Dead series.  Not to be mistaken by the series found on AMC,  this is actually based of the Graphic novel written by Robert Kirkman and takes place before the events of the graphic novel.  We were welcomed at the demo with some ridiculous turkey legs which were the size of Big Gulps as well as a private screening of the Demo. With comfy chairs as well as some of TellTales Games best talent in Ricardo Iggo and Founder Kevin Bruner we were far more prepared for the demo of the second episode of the Walking Dead game.

Starve for help is the title of the second episode of five to be released and demonstrates just how harsh surviving during an undead apocalypse actually is.  This episode takes place 3 months after the first episode and finds Lee Everett at the helm yet again.  This time “the walkers” which is the term used in the series rather than zombies, have started to eat the wild life and is slowly depleting the food for the rest of the surviving group.  The group is shown to be very on edge as eating food is very far and in between for them.  With rationing at the camp we start to understand what kind of narrative direction TellTale Games is taking the series.

Our Private Screening @ E3 2012
Our Private Screening of Episode 2

Doug a new character is especially “starting to lose it” as he takes aim at a flock of birds.  However, Lee can advise whether or not to shoot the bird, even though it is not really worth the risk since the undead would be attracted by the gunshot for something that feeds one person.  Following a brief amount of exchanges which you have control of with Doug.  A man is caught in a bar trap and is screaming for help.  Curious Lee and company investigate to find a Teacher and 2 students with puzzled looks as to how to extract their professor from the trap.  Seeing as this is  a special trap that cannot be reset so easily.

During their encounter the walkers show up and ruin what would’ve been a high school reunion.  And we are given the task to save the teacher, in the demo we are shown various options on how to go about this.  Remember though that all of these events are timed and split second decision-making is key for survival in the game.  After a couple of blows to the chain the generous man showing us the demo (Ricardo Iggo Senior Marketing Director TellTale Games) takes aim for an amputation.  Each swing of the axe is both gruesome and terrifying as the teacher passes out after the leg is finally cut off…. turkey leg anyone?  Naturally one of the High School students fall victim to the zombie onslaught and we are found back at the fortified hotel.

Doug taking aim at birds... bad idea...
Doug taking aim at birds… bad idea…

With more tension growing now that more survivors have been brought back to the camp.  You are given the task to give food to the survivors, with 9 individuals and only 4 pieces of snacks.  The narrative shows how desperate and helpless this situation really is.  With every decision made however it will direct how the story unfolds and whether some characters will live or die.  Of course the actions of the previous episodes are remembered also, and will change who is living during episode 2 as you can have a slightly different cast depending on your episode 1 ending.

Trying not to spoil some of the events that take place at the camp.  I will start to talk about what exactly is shown at the end of the demo.  The remaining high school student states to both the cast of characters as well as the audience that it is not the bite that brings you back.  No No… you come back after you have died.  And all the terrified looks on the survivors are shown as they realize every single one of them will eventually turn into a walker once they die. Awww poor little girl, perhaps now Clementine will be less inclinde to kick soccer balls. Be on the look out for this one which is coming out late June (June 26th being the tentative title) early July as a downloadable game for your PS3, Xbox 360 PC or MAC!  Also the iOS will be getting the first episode in the coming weeks which will allow you iPad users out there to get in on the Zombie… errr “the Walkers” action.

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