I was skeptical when I first heard about The Walking Dead video game. Too many times have movie or television "cash-in" games came out and been steaming piles of you-know-what. I later found out that it was made by Telltale, a studio well-recognized for creating very enjoyable point-and-click adventure style games. I was a fan of the Back to the Future games they had released. Thus, I became intrigued about this title.
I tried a demo of The Walking Dead on XBL in its early days. I was quite impressed with my experience with the demo. I do watch the television show, but I have yet to read any of the graphic novels or comics or whatever you want to call them. However, I could tell that the graphics were stylized to be like a comic. I really liked this as well. Very happy that it wasn't designed to be lifelike. I saw that the game was going to be released in episodes, sort of like Back to the Future was. I figured that at some point Telltale would release The Walking Dead in a similar manner, so I decided not to purchase the XBL downloadable versions.
When I went to purchase my copy of Assassin's Creed 3, the folks at Gamestop told me of a collector's edition that was being released that came with all five episodes and "The Walking Dead: Compendium One," which is a collection of the first eight volumes of the comic. I was pretty stoked about that and I felt that the price was fairly legitimate, so I decided to preorder that. It was around $70 for the whole package.
Over the following month or so, I came across much information as to how amazing The Walking Dead and comic both are. Needless to say, I got really excited about December 11th. My girlfriend and I are very into the show and I just knew the both of us would enjoy the game as well. She actually told me that I can't play it unless she's there watching. December 11 came around and I was off to the game store to pick up my copy. I flipped through the comic a bit first. It looked very interesting. I figured I would have to allot myself some time to really get into it. Later, I was "allowed" to play the game. And what I experienced is nothing short of a tragedy...
The opening scene, where Lee Everett is in the car with a police officer having a conversation, is where I first noticed that something was up. The animation was a little bit choppy at parts. It didn't bother me very much though. Even huge Triple A titles have that problem now and again. Shortly after is a scene in which Lee is in danger and needs to react quickly to stop a walker from attacking him. Instead of plunging me into a tense situation (like the downloadable demo did) my game freezes for about fifteen seconds. Then, a prompt shows up for me to rapidly press A to fight the zombie, but it is too late. Lee gets eaten, end of story.
I was a little bothered at this, but hey, games aren't perfect. I decided to give it another shot. It happens again. After about four or five tries I make it through. However, every subsequent action situation causes the game to freak out and it freezes up, causing me to lose my immersion in the game (and if you didn't know, it is very easy to become immersed in this game). I must then replay the scene over and over until I can perfectly time my actions between the game's hiccups.
In a later scene, Lee is set to attack a zombie coming from around the side of a bus. Keep in mind, I am still in episode 1 of 5. This is as far as I can get. I have tried an unthinkable amount of times to just "click" the zombie to kill it. It just won't happen. Take a look...

(Footage was recorded with camcorder on tripod real quick for this post. Sorry, I don't own a capture device.)
I finally got fed up with this and decided to return the collector's edition to Gamestop. Turns out, they cannot refund OR exchange my purchase for in-store credit regardless of the fact that I am one very disappointed customer. The footage I have shown here is actually from a replacement disc given to me by the Gamestop manager. I was told that it was Telltale's problem to fix, that they would need to "patch it or something." So, I decided to peruse the forums to see what I could find.
So far, there are no answers. Some workarounds have been offered, such as buying the 320 gig hard drive or installing the game to your hard drive via the disc. Well, the problem lies in the fact that I shouldn't have to buy the big hard drive to properly play this title. And oh, get this... You CAN NOT install The Walking Dead to your hard drive if you own the disc copy. That's right. The option is available nowhere if you own the disc.
Sadly, I spent $75 dollars on pictures of The Walking Dead game and a big fatass comic book. Caveat emptor, I guess. Be warned, g1's.
-g1 Sozeman