A short but satisfying expansion to Telltale's TWD series.
Telltale's The Walking Dead was one of last year's most successful video games. It provided an emotional, intense and gripping story, right in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Throughout five episodes, we had chance to bond with many different characters, mostly with Clementine and Lee. The narrative was well-written, and provided plenty of opportunists to change the fate of various survivors. Now that series one is over, and it becoming a great success, Telltale have a series two on the way. For those patiently waiting for the second installment, Telltale have released a short, but satisfying fix to ease the wait. It's called 400 Days, which simply has you taking the role of five new survivors, each with their own short survival story.
TWD : 400 Days is an add-on, but takes place long after series one. You will hear from some familiar faces, but the playable characters are brand new. The main hub is used as a notice board, placed near a gas station. On it are photos of five missing survivors. From here, you can choose which order you want to play the game. The survivors are Shel, a protective big sister, Bonnie, an ex junkie, Russel, a tough kid, Wyatt, a Hippie, and finally, Vince, who is a convict. Each one are interesting characters to play. The only problem is, they each only have around 10-15 minutes screen time. This is a bit of a risk for Telltale, as it doesn't seem long enough to care for the characters. Surprisingly, though, Telltale have done a magnificent job in developing each survivor, despite their short time period. I did come attached rather quickly to a few of them, and I think Shel's story was the most emotional. It reminded me of Lee, and his protection over Clementine.
As you would expect from Telltale, each story ends with a big decision. It's classic Telltale stuff, but choosing isn't as hard as it was in the original series. This is mainly due to the characters not so fleshed out. If 400 Days was a while longer, it would make these decisions much tougher. It also feels like the survivors fate is still unclear, but maybe things will come to light in series two.
TWD : 400 Days plays identical to the previous episodes. This is no bad thing, however, as it works well enough, and the visuals and sound are just as consistent. With that said, a few familiar bugs drag along for the ride, but it's nothing that will damage your overall experience. There's not as much emotion here as before, but fans should still enjoy what Telltale have on offer. With plenty of timed dialogue sequences, quick-time events and occasional shooting, 400 Days is a short, but fun rush of adrenaline.
400 Days is a great example to how clever Telltale are. Despite it's length, you are introduced to
well-written characters, placed in a set of interesting stories. It's packed with the Telltale goodness you'd expect. The ending is a bit anti-climax, with you hungry for more. However, it's still a satisfying addition to Telltale's library.
Review by Gareth Smith