The Walking Dead is one of those properties that seems to be making the rounds of the popular media. It started as a popular series of graphic novels, then was adapted into a popular dramatic television serial, and there are rumors of a film in the works.
Telltale today released a collection of screenshots from the upcoming video game adaptation. There have been mentions of the game since Comic-Con, but other than that single screenshot, this is the first we’ve actually seen anything substantial from it.
The Walking Dead will be an episodic adventure game, similar to other Telltale games (they also did the recent Monkey Island franchise, as well as the recent video game adaptation of the Back to the Future property), though it will not feature their now-iconic cartoonish graphics. Instead, they’ve chosen to focus on cel-shaded 3D, reminiscent of the artwork from the novels, which have a sort of photo-real watercolor feel.
If you’re not familiar with it, The Walking Dead is a zombie story. It covers the exploits of a small group of survivors trapped on a farm in Atlanta, including Rick Grimes, the series protagonist who becomes the de facto leader of the small tribe. Each book covers their attempts to find a better place to live, with a few of their already meager number dropping off with each attempt. The television show has left the group on the farm for a couple seasons, with fans wondering when the group will finally move on. Despite some criticism from fans of the novels (the show is melodramatic and too slow), the show is perpetually breaking viewership records for AMC.
The video game will follow a pair of new characters, Lee Everett, a prison inmate who escaped during the zombie event, and Clementine, a seven-year-old orphan. The writer of Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman, who is consulting on the production of the video game, has said that The Walking Dead will not resemble other zombie survival video games, just as the novels and show don’t reflect typical zombie books and shows. He specifically compared the game to Left 4 Dead, saying that the game will be more character-driven—which makes sense for Telltale, who specializes in character-driven adventure/puzzle games.
No specific release date has been announced yet, but the studio is shooting for Summer 2012. The Walking Dead serial can be seen on AMC on Sunday evenings, and the graphic novels can be picked up wherever you buy Image comics.