OLD SITE

You're currently viewing the old version of the GameGrin site as this article hasn't yet been moved to our new site.

Visit the new site at www.gamegrin.com

Staff Blog: Why I can't enjoy The Walking Dead

After being told by what felt like everyone I knew that Telltale’s The Walking Dead was the “best game ever” and I “had to play it”, I bought and installed it; ready to see what all the fuss was about.

My love for moral choices in games, especially ones wrought with emotion meant that I was looking forward to getting stuck into the notoriously ‘tough decisions’ and split second judgements. Clicking play on Steam, I began my first playthrough, just a little bit overexcited.

My first few minutes with Lee were nerve-wracking to say the least, and I was most hooked indeed to the plot already. Then, as I encounter the adorable Clementine for the first time... crash, back to the desktop. Annoyed, but confident in the frequent autosaves, I restarted my laptop, reloaded Steam and re-opened the game; or rather, I didn’t.

“Walkingdead101.exe has stopped working” popped up on my screen. What? I tried again with the same result. How can a game that worked perfectly on the first load now suddenly not work? Before uninstalling and reinstalling the game, I did a quick google search for the problem (standard) and found that other people also had the same experience.

After trying a couple of suggested “fixes” (running in compatibility mode, deleting and replacing certain files, it was all a bit in depth) I found that finding the .exe location and running that as administrator, which I have to now do every time I play, worked for me. Up the game loaded and hooray my game was saved.

I played the game for a bit longer, coming across two ‘tough decisions’, the latter of which left me a bit shaken so I decided to take a break, have a brew, you know, chill out for a bit and come back to it later. Alas on my return all my saves were gone! Great, yet another problem.

So why not just restart the game from the beginning? Those of you who have played it know that a lot of the choices are made in a very short time limit and I was unsure if I would be able to make the same hurried decisions as my original playthrough. Also it made me feel a bit fed up, a bit like getting to a really exciting bit in a book and then being forced to go back to the first line again before getting to progress. Like Harry just getting to Hogwarts and then all of a sudden we’re back under the stairs at Number 4, Privet Drive, hiding from Dudley.

Back to Google it was then. After about an hour of fiddling around with files and trying to work out why a new folder had appeared where it shouldn’t I got the game to work again and thankfully I was back in the right place and ready to carry on.

After another five minutes of gameplay I’d forgotten all about my woes and was well and truly captivated by the story. I have to hand it to Telltale, they sure know how to reel you in, hook line and sinker. The rest of the game flew by and after some emotionally-charged moments of careful choosing, I was at the end of Chapter One and feeling pretty damn good.

Looking at the stats, I felt content that I’d made the right decisions, and was unsurprised to see one particular choice’s stats heavily in the favour of saving one character over the other. It was nice to know that what had seemed like the right option for me, was also the same of the majority of other players.

I took another break before starting Chapter 2, gotta eat sometime right? Coming back I was a little nervous that I might find all my saves gone again but to my joy it loaded up at the beginning of the next chapter with the “Previously on The Walking Dead”.

As I watched the summary video, I noticed that something was off. A character mentioned something that I had specifically chosen not to do but I brushed it off thinking that maybe it was a mistake. Then came the deal breaker. That aforementioned difficult decision was completely wrong, and showed the death of the wrong person!

By the time the video was over, and the chapter had begun, it was too late to go back, it had autosaved over my previous playthrough. Even trying to use the rewind feature showed that I would have to go all the way back to the farm after that second ‘tough choice’. At this point I just closed the game down and stepped away from the laptop.

It’s a real shame, because this game is great, better than great really; but when constant errors like this happen it makes it really difficult to appreciate the end product. I have spent more time trying to get The Walking Dead to actually work than I have enjoying it.

So for now I think I’ll call it quits, maybe in a couple of weeks I’ll come back to it and try it again, but as it stands there’s just too much that’s gone wrong.

Emseypenguin | 8th July, 2013

Other items from around the web