Posted on June 17, 2013, Phil Hornshaw Your Season 1 Choices Will Affect The Walking Dead: 400 Days
The next installment of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead will only last a few hours, but it’ll take into account every choice you made during the course of game’s first season.
That’s according to Telltale’s senior marketing director, Richard Iggo, who ran journalists through a demo of The Walking Dead: 400 Days last week at E3 2013. The new installment is a single episode DLC pack for The Walking Dead Season One, and will span about the same amount of time as one of the five episodes of that season — so around two to three hours of content. Unlike Season One’s episodes, however, 400 Days will cover the stories of five different characters, each taking place at a different point during the 400 days that started with the zombie virus outbreak.
The entire episode centers roughly around a particular Georgia truck stop, Iggo explained, and part of the fun of the episode will be seeing how each story intersects with all of the others and with Season One. The five stories can be played in any order, but their chronology will only be apparent upon playing through each one.
The demo shown at E3 was the first in chronological order and concerned a character called Vince, starting with the young man apparently committing a murder during a robbery. A second later, Vince is running down the streets of Macon, past the drug store seen throughout Season One, with Iggo playing the demo. He stops as he starts to hear sirens and has a choice of places to ditch the gun — Iggo chooses to throw it up onto the roof of a nearby building. But as Vince runs down the alley, we cut to a title card that says, “Day 2,” and we find Vince on a prison transport filled with orange jump-suited bad guys.
We’re given a few other clues about how Vince’s story intersects with those of Lee Everett and the characters of Season One; specifically, a police car passing on the other side of the highway gives us the impression that this is Lee has just gone by on his way to Clementine’s house. Meanwhile, aboard the bus, we’re introduced to Vince’s two friends, to whom he is chained by leg shackles: Justin and Danny.
Justin is a white-collar criminal who apparently ripped off pensions and committed other embezzlement-style crimes. Danny maintains his innocence of a rape charge. Neither knows what Vince did, and like in other episodes of The Walking Dead, the story heavily emphasizes conversations. As in Season One, 400 Days keeps track of what you say to different people, whether you side with them, what you choose to do along the way.
Things in Vince’s story go off the rails in a hurry when two other prisoners start to argue, and one uses his handcuffs to strangle the other. One of the two guards, who seems fairly fresh to the job, tries to break up the fight, but panics and ends up shooting the attacking prisoner with his shotgun. The other prisoner, who has died, ends up turning to become a zombie and kills the guard, and suddenly things have turned dangerous for the remaining cons. The second guard runs off, and Vince and his pals are stuck chained together, fighting off a zombie at close quarters.
The story culminated in Vince getting hold of the shotgun and, after spending some time getting to know Danny and Justin and maybe coming to like both, being forced to shoot the foot off one to get out of the shackles. The demo ended with the remaining two cons escaping onto the highway, with the zombie apocalypse just beginning.
So the big takeaway from our time with 400 Days was that it feels a lot like more of The Walking Dead, which is great. The inclusion of five characters and a new location suggests it might also hint at what we can expect from Season 2, which Iggo said would be coming out sometime later this year. Just as the DLC will take into account your choices from Season One, you’ll also see all your choices from 400 Days affect Season Two, Iggo said. He also noted that while you’ll have a better understanding of Season Two’s story if you play 400 Days, it’s not required to enjoy the story.
If you’re aching for more of Telltale’s take on Robert Kirkman’s end of the world, you won’t have to wait long: 400 Days is due in July for Xbox 360, PC and Playstation 3, as well as Apple’s iOS mobile devices, and a month later for the Playstation Vita. It’ll cost $4.99.