The Walking Dead Collection Review

By Megan Walton, 5 months ago
Back in 2012, Telltale released the very first The Walking Dead game on the Xbox 360. It released to rave reviews and ranked in the top tier in our own personal ranking of Telltale Games. Since then, we've seen a bonus episode, two further full seasons, a mini season and the games being re-released on Xbox One, as well as Windows 10. The chances are you've played at least one season. Now, Telltale has released The Walking Dead Collection - The Telltale Series, which allows you to play the first three seasons, as well as Michonne, on one disc.

Four games in one big collectionFour games in one big collection

Story has always been a high priority of Telltale's list on important things in a game, and The Walking Dead seasons tell a story that you'll be thinking about long after you've finished playing. Whilst each of The Walking Dead series ultimately stands on its own, you will do yourself a favour by playing the three seasons in the right order (slotting in The Walking Dead: Michonne whenever you fancy playing it), as reoccuring characters and nods to previous seasons will make much more sense. Either way, you have the choice to play the episodes in whatever order you please.

If you ask people which is their favourite season, especially in terms of the story, the majority will probably answer season one. It is where everything begins as you take control of Lee, a man on his way to jail as everything in the world is going to pot. After a lucky escape from a crash, he struggles injured to a nearby house where he meets Clementine, a girl who had been left with a babysitter who took a turn for the worst, and is now left to fend for herself with her parents away. As Lee decides he cannot leave Clementine on her own and takes her under his wing, their rollercoaster adventure begins amidst a zombie invasion.

Their story is told beautifully, and is heartwrenching to say the least. As they make their way through various cities, they are met with death, cannibalism, betrayal, and kidnapping, as well as gaining and losing a few friends. Even if you've played it before and you know what's coming next, it doesn't make the story any less shocking or painful. There's plenty of tough choices and game changing decisions to make in this season too, choosing who might get left behind to die or who you'll save in a given situation. For those who have already played it, this game gives you the chance to make all the opposite decisions and see some outcomes you have never seen before.

Where it all beganWhere it all began

While season one introduced us to Clementine, season two and three continue her story. Season two lets us take full control of Clementine as she loses contact with nearly everyone from the first season and attaches on to a new group, which comes with its own problems. Unsurprisingly, there's more death, betrayal, and tough decisions, as well as an ending choice that sees you ultimately picking between old friends and new. In season three, Clementine shares the role of main character with Javi, who is struggling to keep his own family going in these tough times. Surprising twists and shocking deaths are rife in all of these seasons, including Michonne.

As the earliest release of the lot, the graphical changes in season one are obviously the most notable. The world looks a little brighter, and the distinct design of Telltale characters looks crisper and cleaner. At the same time, though, season one holds the biggest issues with the graphics upgrade, which is shown in the characters' eyes. A few of the characters, specifically Lee, have a weird cloudy and glazed look in their eyes, which is noticable as soon as you start playing. This is off-putting, especially when you think the original version of the game never had this problem. The fact that none of the other seasons have this issue makes it even more annoying.

With the newer seasons, the difference in the graphics becomes less and less notable. Generally, everything looks just that little bit better, but it's hard to pinpoint specific things that look improved, especially if you haven't played the series in a while. The newer series especially feel like they don't look that different to their Xbox One versions anyway, which makes it hard to justify buying this new collection at its full price of £54.99. You could buy each series individually for a combined cheaper price, but there are a few plusses here. It's a good way for a new player to the series to have everything to hand on one disc. For those who have already played it, besides enjoying it while making new choices, you have a whopping 4000 gamerscore to earn all over again.

We've been with Clementine through thick and thinWe've been with Clementine through thick and thin

Unfortunately, a new game does not mean that the age old Telltale problems have disappeared. Some of the issues that you'll have experienced the first time around are back again, with characters not moving how you want them to do, or being unable to pass objects that don't seem to be in the way. On top of that, the game is cluttered with long loading screens that pull you out of the tense atmosphere the rest of the game creates. It feels like a let down to glam the game up whilst still leaving this kind of problems in there.

The game has a whopping 139 achievements to earn and this is a completely separate list from any previous games as well. Luckily, most of them will come with natural play and all you need to do is complete every episode of every season, making whatever choices you see fit. The only time you need to change your tactic a little is when it comes to the extra episode in season one, "400 Days". Two of the achievements in this are missable, where you need to make a certain choice and win a game of rock, paper, scissors. Completing all of this will earn you a gigantic 4,000 gamerscore, which is a decent incentive for anyone who wants to give their score a boost.

Check out our The Best Xbox Adventure Games Available in 2018 article for a compilation of other great games in this genre.

Summary

Ultimately, this collection is for people who either loved the original seasons and want to replay them, people who have never played any of The Walking Dead games before now, and/or people who want an extra 4000 gamerscore without too much effort. With such good storytelling on offer here, it's easy to play and enjoy them whether you've done it before or not. The graphical improvements are decent but that doesn't disguise the problems that are ever present in Telltale games. Unless you are absolutely desperate to join Clementine again, it's probably best to wait for a sale on this one, but whenever you play it, the story will stay with you for a long time.
4 / 5
Positives
  • Heartwrenching stories that are easy to replay
  • Opportunity to pick different options and choices
  • Graphical improvements are good
  • Good way for a newbie to get all the games
  • Chance to earn another chunk of gamerscore
Negatives
  • A lot to pay at full price
  • Season one doesn't look as good as others
  • Still has some typical Telltale issues
Ethics Statement
The reviewer spent approximately 32 hours making some tough choices, putting trust in people and fighting off zombies, to earn 133 of the game's 139 achievements. An Xbox One download code for the game was provided for the purpose of this review.
Megan Walton
Written by Megan Walton
Megan is a TA newshound and reviewer who has been writing for the site since early 2014. Currently working in catering, she enjoys cooking extravagant dishes, baking birthday cakes for friends and family in peculiar shapes, writing depressing poetry about life and death, and unlocking every achievement possible.