It was the environmental storytelling that hooked me first; a thousand tiny, inconsequential props that told me a story that the characters alone could not.
Broken glasses. Discarded teddy bears. Solitary shoes. Barbed wire. Crimson stains. Suitcases spilling their disintegrating guts along empty highways. An early teaser promised all this; Overkill was painting a rich, abandoned world, one split wide open and now slowly being reclaimed by the undead. Its developers talked of its exploratory work, its research into what happens to an urban landscape when society splinters. When does paint blister and peel, they asked. When does metal start to rust?
I was ready for this world. I know, I know: so many of us are tired of these post-apocalyptic places – especially the ones stuffed with zombies – and I truly do appreciate that weariness. But for all its beautiful brutality and sophisticated storytelling, Telltale’s take on The Walking Dead’s universe was a little too restrictive for me. I wanted more than that. I wanted a fight. To walk along those empty highways, see those discarded suitcases, step between the rusting cars, see the rotting remains of those still belted up in the vehicles they’d thought would take them to safety. I was ready for a The Walking Dead game that delivered Telltale’s stories with The Last of Us’s world-building, and from …
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