DLC Domination Part 15: The Walking Dead: 400 Days

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What more can be said about Telltale Game’s critically acclaimed game based on The Walking Dead? To be honest, nothing. It was a hugely successful game for the developer, and it was one of my favorite games of last year and of all time. The story, characters, emotion, atmosphere, and other elements of the game were just so well done. It had a few technical issues that kept it from getting a perfect score from me, but if you haven’t tried this game out, download the $15 season pass to get all the episodes, or get the retail copy for your Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. We know that the developer is working on a sequel to their Walking Dead game and a game based off of Bill Willingham’s Fables comic book series called The Wolf Among Us. To tide over the fans of the game, Telltale made a $5 DLC expansion known as 400 Days. It was advertised as a Memento/Pulp Fiction kind of story, covering 5 different characters, and filling the void between Season 1 and Season 2. For a similar situation, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate was made to tell us what happened between the first Lords of Shadow and Lords of Shadow 2. How does this expansion hold up? Is it everything we could have wanted? Or is it just walker bait? By the way, this review will be a bit shorter, since nothing radically changed between the first game and this expansion.

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400 Days covers the stories of 5 different characters that are original to the game. The first story revolves around a guy named Vince, voiced by Anthony Lam, who did the voice for the antagonist in the first season of the game. He was in the back of a broken-down prison van on the second day of the outbreak. The second story takes place 41 days after the outbreak, and revolves around a guy named Wyatt, voiced by Jace Smykel, who is driving frantically with his friend Eddie to escape from someone chasing them. The third story takes place 184 days into the outbreak, and stars a young man named Russell, voiced by Vegas Trip, and his journey with a man named Nate, voiced by Jefferson Arca. The fourth story revolves around a woman named Bonnie, voiced by Erin Yvette, 220 days into the apocalypse. She is also with an older couple named Leland and Dee, voiced by Adam Harrington and Cissy Jones. The final story takes place during the 236th and 295th day of the outbreak and is about a young woman named Shel, voiced also by Cissy Jones, and her sister Becca, voiced by Brett Pels. I know that last voice actor’s name sounds like a guy, but it’s a girl. I doublechecked. There is an epilogue that takes place on the 400th day about a woman named Tavia, voiced by Rashida Clendening, who is looking for survivors to join the community she is a part of. The entire setup is interesting. I always like kinds of games that have different perspectives and events that take place during a set amount of time during the whole apocalypse/outbreak. However, I do have some major complaints about the story and setup, which I will touch on later.

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The gameplay is pretty much the same as the last game, a cinematic point-and-click adventure game. You find stuff to click on and make moral choices depending on what you do and say to the characters you talk to. There isn’t anything new here besides some stories being more cinematic than gameplay, so let’s move onto the graphics.

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The graphics are once again very good-looking. While the eyes do look a little weird from time to time, the graphics are pretty consistent compared to Season 1, where a lot of the eyes looked downright unusual. The voice work is also well done. To be honest, there isn’t too much to talk about here in the presentation department. It is basically just as good as Season 1.

The Walking Dead: 400 Days
So, what is wrong with this DLC expansion? I mean, it expands on the universe of Season 1, and for the most part, does what every expansion should do. Well, quite a lot is wrong with this expansion. It is way too short! You can basically beat each story within 10 or so minutes. Now, length should never be the biggest issue with a game, but its length ruins just about everything that this expansion offers. Each character’s story feels rushed, and you don’t get time to feel for the characters or their backstories. This is the case with a couple of the stories, like Vince and Bonnie’s story. They lack the emotional impact the first season had, where each episode lasted about two or more hours. This expansion lasts about an hour or less, if you know what you are doing. I can understand if they wanted to keep a mystery as to what happens in each story, and let the player figure it out for himself, but there just isn’t enough there to make me want to find out what happens. The biggest issue is kind of hard to describe. It’s like watching the first Hobbit movie and knowing that there are going to be two more films, or like I said above, playing Mirror of Fate knowing that Lords of Shadow 2 will be out later this year. I hate feeling that because it makes the DLC feel so disconnected from Season 1. They could have easily made us wait and hopefully enjoy The Wolf Among Us, and made 400 Days part of Season 2 as that game’s prologue instead of slapping it at the end of Season 1.

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Overall, I have real mixed emotions about this expansion. On one hand, it’s creative, has multiple choices of how the expansion will end, and is only 5 bucks. On the other hand, it’s short, shallow, lacks the emotional depth of the first season, and could be looked at as a cash grab to monopolize on the success of the first season. I say, check it out since it’s so cheap, and come up with your own opinions on the expansion. For me, it was worth it, but I will have to wait and see how the choices I made while playing the expansion Three different times will carry into Season 2. For now, we can wait for Season 2 and again, try out The Wolf Among Us game based off the Fables comic book series. Thanks for reading!

This game gets a 7 out of 10.

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