Review of “The Walking Dead: 400 Days”

the-walking-dead-400-daysLast year, Telltale games made a game based off the Walking Dead comics (not to be confused with Activision’s game, based on the TV show), which was immediately praised as being one of the best games of the year. The choices were tough, the story was great and it had a huge emotional impact on people.  Since its finale, all fans have been able to ask is, “When is season 2 coming out?” Telltale has said they plan to release it later this year, but in the mean time they have released DLC for the first season entitled “400 Days.”

400 days takes place at different times during the apocalypse, showing the stories of five different people, doing what they need to survive. None of the characters from the first season of the game return, or any of the characters from the comics or TV show, though there are a few subtle references if you’re looking for them. The whole thing feels like a short film anthology, showcasing different people all at roughly the same location.

The stories are gripping. Often, players are forced to make some very tough choices in limited amounts of time. There’s no “right” answer, but you still find yourself wondering if you’ve made the correct decision.

The animation keeps its comic book look and feel, which can still be a little stiff at times, but it doesn’t really detract from the experience. The voice acting is strong and believable, and makes up for any problems with the animation.

Choices you made in season 1 of the game (as 400 Days is DLC, and cannot be played as a standalone game) will affect some of the story in 400 Days. In addition to this, Telltale has confirmed that choices made in 400 Days will affect the story in the upcoming season 2, although they haven’t said how.

The biggest issue with 400 Days is the length. It costs the same as one of the episodes of the season, but is much shorter. The whole thing can be blown through in under 2 hours. The episodes of the Walking Dead in season 1 weren’t that long in the first place, so there is no reason this should be any shorter, and cost the same.

“The Walking Dead: 400 Days” follows Telltales tradition of strong story driven games. If you enjoyed the first season, there’s no real surprises here. It’s five short stories about the apocalypse, filled with tough choices. Despite the enjoyment I got out of it, I’d recommend picking it up when it goes on sale, as it’s a lot shorter than a standard episode and isn’t really worth the full price.

The Walking Dead: 400 Days is currently available on Xbox Live, PSN, Steam and iOS for $4.99. You must own season 1 of the Walking Dead to play this DLC.

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