The Walking Dead by Telltale Games was one of the best written games I’ve played in a long time and was universally praised. With season two still a ways off, Telltale decided to throw us a bone with a new side story between season one and two.
400 Days may not completely capture the magic of season one, but it sure made the wait for season two all the more harder.
400 Days as the title goes, is about the timeline of 400 days from the start of the zombie apocalypse centered on a gas station and five characters. Each character has a story taking place at different days and can be played in any order.
Like season one, you’ll have to make some tough choices with each character and to the credit of the writing; the choices are far from being black and white. In fact the writing as a whole in my opinion is amazing, even for such a short title.
While you may only spend about 5 to 10 minutes with each character, it’s hard to not get attached. Without spoiling things too much, your choices during each person’s story will factored into the final scene and appear to determine who will be making the trip into season two.
During my first play I ended up with only three of the five coming along and I felt conflicted about keeping the save or replaying to get the whole group as I did want to find out more about them. Like with season one, it’s hard to replay the entire season with your fore knowledge and change your own personal story.
The fact that Telltale was able to make me question about “gaming” the system that way, says wonders about the story their crafting.
Now for $5, as mentioned you are not getting a lot of content. While there are some different types of action scenes compared to season one, this is more about the story than gameplay.
In that regard, 400 Days may be the only adventure game to be released with zero puzzle solving.
The main problem with 400 Days for me was that I felt that some of the stories were too short: either not giving us enough time to learn about the character, or introduced plot points that may never get answered.
If you’re a diehard fan of The Walking Dead season one and are looking for something to hold you over until season two, 400 Days will probably not be that game. It’s too short to really give you a taste (no pun intended) of what’s to come.
In that regard I feel that Telltale was put between a rock and a hard place in terms of figuring out how much to put into 400 Days. If they added more content it would have pushed back the release and they wanted something out now to keep the anticipation high for season two.
The big question remains: Will there be any more pre-release DLC for season two? That would be interesting to have a season 1.5, but I doubt that Telltale would stretch their resources in such a manner.
While 400 Days is less of an epic story and more of a Friday night movie, it is still in essence a condensed version of Telltale’s expertise at storytelling and writing.