Ahhhhhh, it feels like forever since I’ve been inside Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead world. Having not replayed the first season since beating it last year (and voting for it as Game of the Year), 400 Days felt like it was going to be the perfect distraction as the wait for Season 2 continues.
As this review is appearing after the game’s been out and some of you have probably already played through the DLC, I highly recommend that anyone who hasn’t started it yet played each story in order (Vince, Wyatt, Russell, Bonnie, Shel), as they do have some interaction with each other. Also, if you have that save file from Season 1, you’ll notice more than a few nods to those choices you made in the previous episodes.
Centered around a truck stop in Georgia and 5 brand new main characters, with a whole bunch of secondary players introduced, 400 Days was supposed to be as long as a normal episode of The Walking Dead. Unfortunately, that particular estimation is way off, with 400 Days easily beatable in about an hour, as each of the short stories is only around 10-15 minutes.
Quickly seeing the credits roll wasn’t my main issue with the DLC though, rather that you jump into each character’s lives for about 10 minutes, get a brief story, and then you’re done with them. I do commend Telltale Games on offering up some interesting moments and choices in the brief mini-sodes, it’s just that The Walking Dead‘s biggest strength is in the connection you make with these characters over a long period of time.
In 400 Days, I honestly didn’t care what happened to these characters as people, just in the sense that I knew they couldn’t die, or I’d be forced to replay that section. Meanwhile, in terms of actual gameplay (moving around and performing a task), that takes up a fraction of time in this episode, with the majority of the DLC just making decisions.
Despite my disappointments with 400 Days though, it is more of The Walking Dead. The Kirkman-based universe Telltale Games has created is a very interesting one, and even if I didn’t get as much enjoyment from this over any of the other episodes, it is more story, and it continues to offer something different from other games out there. I was disappointed by the ending since Telltale Games hasn’t even said if these characters will have anything to do with Season 2, so it remains to be seen if my choices will have a minor or major effect on my future experience.
However, no matter which way I look at 400 Days, it’s $5 to have a brief, but good enough trip back into The Walking Dead, complete with no technical issues (during my playthrough at least). For anyone who has played through all of Season 1 and can’t wait for Season 2, this does have its moments and immerses you back into the world you helped shape last year, even if it is just for an hour.