The Walking Dead was many critic’s choices for Game of the Year in 2012, released on 360, PS3, PC, iOS and now it gets a release on PS Vita.
The Vita release doesn’t really offer much new to the series, unless you haven’t picked up the decent add on ‘400 Days’. It is the same story, same choices… it’s all the same. But somehow, being able to play again is just enough to tempt you into picking it up yet again. Chances are you do have one of the other releases, maybe you have already double dipped, but playing on the Vita is mightily tempting.
In the most part, this is a faithful port, anyone who played any of the episodes from the original releases will be right at home with the controls and despite the option to play using the touch screen, we found it best to use the physical controls. So kudos to Telltale for giving the option, we like that and will always commend developers for doing that on a Vita.
There is a slight issue though that must be addressed, the port isn’t as smooth a ride as we experienced on the home console version, the are an awful amount of slight pauses and what felt like additional loading screens. Now whilst it doesn’t ruin the overall experience, nor is it exactly game-breaking, it does take you out of the overall immersion.
That was the thing about The Walking Dead, whether it be the comics, the TV series (apart from that awful few episodes in season 2), or the games (except the awful FPS), you were drawn in, you immersed yourself in what was happening and Telltale did a great job of doing that with their game. You felt an affinity with the characters, whether you liked them as individuals or not. The pacing, the writing, the score, everything drew you in and made it an experience.
So with the Vita version, that should be enhanced, that personal feel you get with the system should project those experiences even further, especially if you have headphones in. Overall it does, you do lose yourself to the world when playing, except for when the game stutters, or you get those extended loading screens. It just breaks things up a little too much. Hopefully this can be patched and fixed at some point.
That being said, it didn’t stop us burning through each episode again and being taken on a bit of a rollercoaster of emotion throughout each of the episodes. It is a game that is based on choice and the further you get in to the story, the harder some decisions are to make. For us the writing of the game, is far better than that of the TV series and only bettered by the comics.
If you’ve played The Walking Dead before, then the question you need to ask yourself is, Do I want to play again? If yes, then go ahead and pick this up, do your best to ignore the stuttering issues and enjoy what is still a fascinating experience. If you’ve never played The Walking Dead, then you owe it to yourself to pick this up, especially with the bundled 400 Days DLC, making this a fantastic value for money purchase. Unlike those who were there at the very beginning, you also won’t have to wait and wait and wait for each new episode, it is like buying the DVD release a few months after the latest TV season has finished!
The Walking Dead on PS Vita isn’t the definitive version, which is a shame, as the personal experience of the Vita itself could have added so much to the overall experience of the game. Instead what you get is a decent enough port that maintains most of the game’s charms, but just falls a little short on previous releases. However, that still makes it better than most games on the market.