Nobody expected The Walking Dead to knock everyone on their asses as hard as it did. The TellTale Games darling swept us off our collective feet by doing what very few games ever could have done: push the narrative and characterization aspects of gaming further than ever before. Throughout the game, we grew attached to characters like Lee and Clementine, so when TellTale begins pushing The Walking Dead: 400 Days, you might be left a little wanting if you’re expecting the same familiar faces this time around. No, the fact that we get a whole new cast of characters is what makes The Walking Dead: 400 Days so endearing. TellTale makes you care again – despite a much smaller package – and gives a small glimpse at what we’ll see from The Walking Dead: Season 2.
The Walking Dead: 400 Days is a bridge between The Walking Dead seasons one and two, and is around the same length as an episode from Season 1. 400 Days doesn’t leave off from Episode 5, however. We’re introduced to five different stories that followed somewhat similar paths as our familiar cast of characters did in Season 1. You won’t really run into familiar faces, but certain environments and set pieces are very clearly referenced. Despite that, the game does read some of your saves from Season 1, and it’s been said that your decisions in The Walking Dead: 400 Days will have an impact on how Season 2 turns out. That alone is worth the price of entry, but The Walking Dead: 400 Days proves that Season 1 wasn’t just a fluke. TellTale knows how to craft excellent storytelling in what could be construed as an attempt to bridge The Walking Dead: Season 1 and 2.
Everything that made The Walking Dead special returns in full force with 400 Days. Five separate stories are told from different time periods of the zombie outbreak. They range from a couple days after the first outbreak to – you guessed it – 400 days after. Each episode ties into the other in subtle, unique ways that give each following portion of the episode a bit more weight. You don’t get a whole lot of time to dwell on their particular situations, but there’s enough substance to start to form that little bond with each one of the characters. I’ll refrain from giving too much context to these characters, because you’ll want to experience their stories for yourself.
Just like in The Walking Dead proper, the decisions you’ve made and will make impact the story as you keep playing. The familiar aspects of shattering or forging friendships with particular characters could screw you over or make your life easier – both now and in Season 2, for sure. As you complete the stories, you’ll notice that instead of honing in on one specific person, we get small looks into the lives of all five characters, which ties into a neat facet of 400 Days: you can play each character’s story in any order you desire, even though there is technically a normal chronology.
Everything isn’t pretty for The Walking Dead, however. Just like in Season 1, graphical bugs and glitches can hinder your experience. There’s the off chance that some of your decisions may not transfer through, and the game can occasionally be very slow to load, though that could be chalked up to your personal computer more than the game itself. The ending leaves you wanting, though I wouldn’t knock 400 Days for that since this is a bridge between Season 1 and 2. It’s supposed to keep you excited for Season 2, and it does that very well. With Season 2 of The Walking Dead slated for an autumn release, 400 Days was a perfect way of getting us excited for more.