Alright folks, don’t be alarmed at this next statement. I am not a fan of The Walking Dead *ducks for cover*, but I AM a fan of pinball. Before I get trashed for not being a fan of the acclaimed television series I have in fact attempted to watch it, but I just couldn’t get into it. With that being said, I just assumed I wouldn’t be into the video game from Telltale Games even though many people assured me I would be wrong on this point. So suffice to say I was somewhat excited to play the table based on the Walking Dead videogame but a bit hesitant about the content as I am quite the loss to what the story is about.
With the power of google and a little bit of research I’ve learned the gist of the Telltale Games’ story, and for those who don’t here is a bit of a recap. The story takes place in Georgia after the zombie apocalypse where a young girl named Clementine is rescued by Lee Everett, a professor and murderer. The story gets told from Lee’s perspective, and as one progresses through the narrative they are faced with choices which will change the outcome of the story as a whole. Of course there are zombies, stuff that scares the crap out of you, bandits, and great sub-plots to go along with the larger tale that one would expect from the developers at Telltale Games.
If I played the game I am sure I would recognize Clementine’s tree house as well as the nearby hotel or pharmacy that is placed on the table. In the Telltale game that the table is based on there are five major plot points which are represented within the table as mini-events that fans will be able to easily relate to.
Although I have not played the Walking Dead game and don’t know the story very well, this is a pinball table and ultimately I don’t need to play Walking Dead to know if this a good table or not, so here is what I can tell you about the table. Clementine is really frightened and Lee is there to protect her from the many zombies that are surrounding the table. There is a cool looking zombie in the center of the table that pops out of sewer grate that you can thwack with the pinball (that is a soccer ball at times) to gain some extra points.
Along with the two main characters that this table centers around there are some interesting mini-games and modes like a sniper scene where you can shoot zombies hanging out in buildings. This feels sort of like your old school carnival shooting range game except with less mobility as your limited to aiming left and right as the game itself moves you up and down. Standard to most pinball tables is the task of “shoot-the-ball-up-the-lit-ramp” modes (scouting out pathways) that generate action with the characters on the table. The activation of these special modes is relatively straight forward and not overly difficult to achieve if you’re paying attention to the visual cues. All in all it’s a fairly busy table that should keep your pinball skills active.
The music and sound effects set the atmosphere and creepiness level to the max as they incorporate zombie groans and squeals to accent the eerie and heebie-jeebie evoking music. Along with the music and sound Zen Studios has made an effort to add voice acting from the actual cast from the Telltale game, and the result of voice actors lending their voices to the virtual pinball game which gives the table an extra level of authenticity that adds to the overall game experience as a whole.
As more and more tables are released for Pinball FX 2 I find it has become a bit of a fan market. What I mean by this is that Pinball FX 2 has consistently released solid, imaginative, and well themed tables where the quality and mechanics of the tables are never in question. The attention to detail is fantastic, rebuilding and bringing to life key elements from TV shows, movies, and comics, all within the confines of a pinball table and making it work, and The Walking Dead table is no exception. Where I might have found fault in others, there is nothing that really screams out at me, except that I have absolutely no clue at what is happening and that is my own downfall and not the tables fault as it is a solid table in its own right. So, what I find myself saying is that Walking Dead fans, virtual pinball table collectors and fans of Pinball FX2 alike, enjoy! Congratulations to Zen on another fine table and I once again look forward to the next one.