The Walking Dead – The Telltale Definitive Series review (multi)

Like the antagonists in the TV series, The Walking Dead series by Telltale has come back once more for another (final?) round. The Walking Dead – The Telltale Definitive Series is out now for PS4, Xbox One and PC, and it’s the best version of these games you can get at a great price point.

What a difference a few months can make. After the release of the “Final Season” we were left with a bittersweet taste in our mouths because – although the game was excellent – it marked the end of the Telltale era of adventure games. Now, the studio has been resurrected and its IPs might yet live on, although it’s not clear who from the original team is returning.

When this definitive edition was announced, I originally assumed it was just going to pack together all of the existing seasons in one convenient purchase. It does that, but it does so much more in the process as well, which is an extremely pleasant surprise to fans of the series while making it better for newcomers as well.

the walking dead - telltale definitive

Of course, all four seasons of The Walking Dead have been included here, right up to the final season that concluded not too long ago. The collection also comes with the Michonne and 400 Days content, so it really is as complete as it’s going to get in that sense. The episodes hold up well, and it’s nice to play them through as a continuous experience for the first time – finally, a chance to properly binge-play Clementine’s tale.

Obviously you could have done this with a combination of earlier releases as well, but the Definitive Series has a trick up its sleeve – all of the existing content has been re-done with the visual style we first saw in the final season. For those who don’t remember, the earlier seasons all has that specific Telltale look to them, which was recognizable whether you were playing Sam & Max, Jurassic Park, Back to the Future or The Walking Dead. The final season added a visual style called “graphic black” and it’s been applied to all of the other seasons as well. I suppose that to a degree it’s a matter of taste, but it brings the games closer to the comic book originals and also gives them a more unique aesthetic within the Telltale universe.

the walking dead - telltale definitive3

This new collection also comes with several small quality of life fixes like improved lip syncing, but the real added value lies in the extra content that was added. There is a music player with tracks from all the seasons, concept art and a 3D model viewer, but the best stuff comes in the shape of developer commentary for a selection of four individual episodes, spread nicely across the seasons. These audio tracks run for the length of the episodes and offer great insights into the development of the series and the highs and lows the team went through. Don’t want to sit through an entire episode just listening to the commentary audio? There is also a small documentary you can watch, which tells part of the story in under fifteen minutes.

On its own merits, this collection is amazing. The games are excellent, the amount of fan service is great and the price point is fantastic (you do the math – 23 episodes, all being about two hours long). The biggest problem is that a lot of people would be double-dipping if they bought this, as is common with boxsets and re-releases on BluRay for movies and series. While it’s not uncommon for that to happen, it’s not for everyone. If you never invested in the series until now, however, then this is where your money should go – and the same can be said for diehard fans.

Score: 8.5/10

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