After Telltale Games released the episodic hit that was The Walking Dead, pretty much anyone who played the game was aching for more content. Telltale listened to the hungry fans and provided them with the content they requested, 400 Days. However, some might be displeased when they realise the bonus episode isn’t a direct continuation of the story that stole the hearts of so many players.
This shouldn’t put you off playing the DLC, though. Telltale have created a short storyline that sort-of acts as a Prologue to seasons 1 and 2, whilst presenting all of the new situations and characters in an entertaining and pleasing way that will have you hungry for more.
The Walking Dead: 400 Days is the first piece of official DLC for the game. Essentially, it disregards the main characters of the series we have grown to love, and trades them in for five brand new characters. Vince, Wyatt, Russell, Bonnie and Shel make up the new cast for the DLC and each of their stories are split up into 10-15 minute snippets that can be progressed through in any order. By doing this, Telltale have expanded the cast of the game but, in doing so, also made the stories a lot less personal.
At times, I found myself struggling to get attached to the characters as there just wasn’t enough time spent with them and therefore, not much depth, but I have a feeling this was intentionally done so that the character bios can be expanded upon in season two. As always, Telltale have narrated the characters’ history through the use of dialogue options and from this, you may find out a lot more about some of the characters depending on the dialogue options you pick. Though, often it might pay off to be a bit secretive as being honest isn’t always the best option. Dialogue choices still bear great consequences.
Throughout the DLC you will be given a hefty amount of dialogue options to choose from and each will affect your game, be it in a big, or small way. The consequence of your choices may range from a frown from a fellow companion to something that could potentially alter the way season two plays out, depending on how Telltale handles the save transfers. This system always keeps you on edge and makes you think about your decisions, just like it did in season one. However, the choices do not seem to impact the game in the same way they did in the original 5 episodes.
Beforehand, you were so attached to the characters in season one, choices always mattered, but due to the way each of the five stories in the DLC are presented, you might not care enough about the options that are supposed to be major decisions within a particular character arc. I think two out of the five huge choices within the DLC actually seemed to make me think about what I was doing. In this case, I hadn’t spent enough time with some of the characters to particularly care what happens to them.
Just because some of the choices do not affect you as a player that doesn’t mean the DLC is a complete and utter failure. Far from it. 400 Days places you in tense situations that could alter the outcome of season two in any number of ways and then says “Hey, you choose whether you want to be the good guy or the bad guy and either way, we will adapt the storyline”. Even if the team were a bit less ambitious than in the previous 5 episodes, there’s still great stories to tell and there are still weighty decisions to make.
Although the majority of the game revolves around conversation, QTE type events are back and remain a big part of the experience, keeping the gameplay fresh and tense. You will do everything from firing a gun at a walker to dragging a corpse across a floor. Despite what you might expect from these type of events, they do not become irritating. Instead, they’re well spaced, help the game stay fresh and in some cases actually add to the tension the game tries so hard to maintain.
Overall, Telltale have created five unique stories that all conclude on the 400th day of the apocalypse (appropriately) and, in turn, the team have succeeded in bridging the gap before season one and setting the tone for season two. With a few references to all that’s happened and a nice conclusion to round things out, Telltale definitely have some exciting things planned for us later this year. Even though we’re still waiting for answers and don’t know what happened to some of the characters that were so pungent in season one, 400 Days definitely acts as a nice bite-sized teaser.
For only £4 the DLC is more than worth the one to two hours playtime on offer and any Walking Dead fan should purchase it if they want an expanded view of the world of the Walkers.
- Maintains the tension the first series built up
- Offers more of the same gameplay that fans requested
- Bridges the gap nicely between the two seasons
- Offers a more than fair amount of game time for the price tag
- Stories seem less personal as they’re shorter and less ambitious
- Choices are not as memorable as they were in the initial 5 epiosdes