It’s unlikely that any knowledgeable gamers are unaware of the existence of Telltale’s The Walking Dead. The universe as a whole has saturated media attention during the last several years, and alongside the show, the video game iteration by Telltale has been just as influential as the comics. The first season of TWD has garnered the hearts and attention of gamers and non-gamers alike. Season 1 earned my Game of the Year vote for 2012 and was even accessible enough that new gamers were able to pick it up with minimal past experience and finish it to completion (my sister being a prime example).
In late 2013, Telltale unleashed the first episode of the 2nd season upon the world with much adoration from the fans. It appeared that they had managed to keep the powerful writing and tight action of the first season and brought it back with force. After the long break between seasons, fans of the series were clamoring for info and speculation was running rampant about what was in store. Although only two episodes of the second season have aired, the third one is fast approaching and it is clear that gamers are in for yet another treat, in what will hopefully become a multi-season series for the ever-expanding developer. The concept of series in video games is probably worthy of its own article, but drawing out games like TV shows is an interesting concept and I am curious to see how it continues to play out in the future.
For a full review of The Walking Dead S2 Ep1: All That remains, please check out the console version here. What follows is a technical comparison between that PS3 version and the one on the PS Vita.
Episode 1 on Vita opened up rather disappointingly. The live main menu, which has flowing water, chugs along and the audio cuts in and out intermittently; not a good first impression if you ask me. Having faith in Telltale that I do, I persevered onward and began to delve into the exciting two-hour episode. The game is graphically sharp and runs smoothly, when not saving or loading. Whilst all of the stuttering and lag has been endured by many a gamer over the last several years, I have learned to deal with it, so what is probably more disappointing is the audio. Sound pauses and cuts out at times, but more frequent is static that can be heard interrupting music and dialogue. I’m no audio engineer, but something is wrong. I had previously commented about Telltale cleaning up and further optimizing the Telltale Tool for TWD, when compared to their other games, but I found the Vita port to be rather lack luster. The game on Vita runs like Telltale’s Back to the Future series, lag and stutter is there with force whenever saving or loading is taking place. I am saddened that the port to Vita was not given better attention; I know that Telltale gave the port some extra time before releasing, so I feel confident that they optimized the game to the maximum they were able to, and I believe that Telltale did what they could to make this the best running experience possible on the Vita. Is the Telltale Tool just not quite up to par with others, and is it handhold’s lack of power madking it more noticeable? Although maybe I’m wrong and it just needed more polish.
I don’t want to sound disparaging to anyone who is looking forward to playing this on the go, I don’t want to discourage you from buying it either. The gameplay as a whole is intact, and the story alone makes v this worth playing for anybody. If you already own the game on console or PC, you may not have the reason to buy it again on Vita, but if you are new to the series and have a Vita then by all means pick it up. The technical issues are not a reason to ignore this wonderful game, but are something to be aware of when selecting your format of choice.
Review code for The Walking Dead Season 2 for the PlayStation Vita was provided by the Telltale PR team.