E3 2013: The Walking Dead: 400 Days Preview

Developer: Telltale Games / Publisher: Telltale Games / Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, iOS, PS Vita / Release Date: July 2013 / Price: $4.99 / ESRB: Rating Pending

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By the end of 2012, every gamer knew about Telltale Games’ The Waking Dead: they’ve either played through the episodes or witnessed the slew of awards the game accumulated. Season one was a whirlwind of emotions, and Telltale is ready to make us cry again with season two already in the works. However, to keep us occupied until then, the studio is delivering The Walking Dead: 400 Days, DLC (one episode) that’s set between seasons one and two. In it, you briefly venture into the lives of five different protagonists, each with their own survival stories to tell at different points of the outbreak.

400 Days takes place between day one and day 400 of the epidemic, as the name implies. There are five new characters to play as: Shel, Bonnie, Russell, Wyatt, and Vince. These characters all intersect at a truck stuck on a Georgia highway, a state well known for its zombie residents throughout the entire Walking Dead series. Their stories can be played in any order, and nevertheless individually impact one another.

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Vince, the first chronologically of the five, is a man on the run from the police. Despite attempts to hide his weapon, he’s soon on a prison bus, handcuffed and chained. The bus is occupied by the driver, a prison guard, and four other criminals, two of which Vince communicates with as they wait for the bus to start running again, as it’s been stationary for two straight hours.

Vince gets to know more about the Wall Street white-collar criminal and the convicted statutory rapist sitting in front of him. Same as season one, your replies dictate the type of person Vince is, which influences how these criminals interact with you. As Vince continues to chat up his fellow inmates, two of the convicts further away begin to argue, and the fight escalates very quickly when one of the prisoners uses his chains as a weapon against the other. The guard becomes involved, but that just makes things worse, leading to a scenario that soon tasks Vince to make some split-second decisions.

Needless to say, this is quite an introduction to just day two of the zombie apocalypse.

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In true Walking Dead fashion, decisions made in season one will have an impact in 400 Days, and by the same token, 400 Days will influence season 2. In order to play 400 Days, you must at least have episode one of the first season installed, though you don’t actually have to complete any of the episodes to start playing 400 Days.

This Walking Dead DLC is set to release this upcoming July on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC and iOS for a whopping $5, and one month later will arrive on PlayStation Vita as part of a full season package.

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