The Walking Dead: 400 Days ReviewPC
key review info
- Game: The Walking Dead: 400 Days
- Platform: PC
- Gamepad support: No
- Reviewed on:
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400 Days was teased so much by the development team at Telltale Games that many fans believed that this downloadable content would be an important addition to the story told in the first season of the game.
Fans will clearly find much to love in the new story that the developers spin but most players are better serviced by simply picking up the episodes launched so far in order to experience the more nuanced narrative built around Lee and Clementine.
400 Days is a game about the rest of the world, about other initial survivors who need to deal with their own past and with the inevitable effects of undead presence.
The core formula of The Walking Dead is unaltered here: little to no actual combat takes place, there are a few puzzles and interactive moments to click through and the core of the game is built around conversations, observations and harrowing decisions.
Gamers need to select how their character will answer to certain situations and each small choice they make can have a bigger impact down the line.
400 Days takes place around a diner and the various characters that are introduced are entirely new, which gives Telltale a chance to deploy its extensive narrative capabilities to quickly sketch backstories and personalities for them.
It was nice meeting Vince and Shel especially, the two characters that seem to have the most voice in 400 Days and I would love to see them play a bigger role in the second season of The Walking Dead.
It felt that the story of Shel and Becca was the longest one in the package and it might have made more sense for Telltale Games to structure more of the DLC around the pair, given the instant connection that they seem to create with players.
Each of the five stories is about 20 minutes long and the coda might add another 5 minutes to the entire experience.
While not long, the DLC is packed with moments that will impress or gross out gamers and with a few decisions that have a lot of impact.
It’s clear that Telltale felt that the new cast gave them more freedom to do insane things with them and I liked how the lives of most survivors were described as tough and pretty miserable even if they managed to find a relatively safe place to hide from the undead.
There’s also a strong current of misanthropy running through 400 Days as, over and over, men managed to let the worst part of themselves get to the surface and dictate their decisions.
The development team also frames the situations in the game in such a way that even a player who knows the universe of The Walking Dead will be tempted to take the easy way out even when the circumstances suggest that doing the right thing might actually make sense.
The individual stories in 400 Days can be emotional and interesting but the coda that ties them altogether feels forced.
There are clearly stories that linked the group that have not been told and it almost feels like somewhere inside Telltale Games a team is already working on a second DLC pack that will explain the gaps.
The graphics engine used for 400 Days is pretty much unchanged, delivering solid results when dialog is the focus and offering some weird outcomes during the smaller action set-pieces.
Telltale also does a great job when it comes to sound design, with the presence of zombies always suggested and music that accentuates the weight of the choices made.
The Walking Dead: 400 Days is a good and short experience for those who are craving a little more Telltale gameplay in their lives.