The Walking Dead has become a global phenomenon since it broke onto the comics scene back in 2003. Created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard, the tale of a group of survivors of zombie outbreak of apocalyptic proportions, it’s spawned a series of games, a TV series (which itself is launching a spin-off show) and shows no signs of slowing down. While the series has its own loyal fanbase, Telltale Games looked to the original source material when developing their episodic adventure for the PS3 (later ported to the Vita) and it’s this game where this latest table from Zen Studios draws its inspiration…
Using the same cel-shaded comic book style graphics for all of the on-table characters and table art, before you even start to play you can’t fail to be impressed by the the game’s looks. For those of you who are a fan of the original game, you’re immediately drawn in and it just feels right and like a part of the Walking Dead universe that Kirkman, Moore and Adlard have created. All of the main characters from the game are presented, with Lee and Clementine taking the lead role on the table (as they do in the game itself) with the original voice cast returning to reprise their roles for the table.
Spanning all five chapters, the table takes you through the whole story from start to finish with a multitude of ramps, sub tables, familiar elements from the game and segments involving the dot matrix display where you have to make the same key decisions that appeared in the main game – making life or death decisions, and other key choices that affected the flow of the story in the PS3 and Vita title. There are the now-expected mini games built in as well including a shooting gallery which switches to a first-person view where you find yourself looking down the viewfinder of a sniper rifle having to take out walkers across a street for bonus points, and another game mode where you have to flip your ball precisely at lit ramps while walkers are attempting to block you.
Spreading the flow of the table over the five chapters and including the decision making elements means that the table sticks to the game’s story remarkably well, but that still doesn’t stop it from still playing equally well as a self-contained table whether you’re familar with the original title or not and that’s something incredibly inmportant in any licensed title as I found with Zen Studios recent Deadpool table. In fact, just like the aforementioned Deadpool, this is an stunningly crafted table with an astonishing level of detail and variety of gameplay crammed into it and it is fiendishly addictive and would be with or without the license behind it… but being associated with The Walking Dead really does bring that extra flourish to the game.
The visuals, as I said before, are breathtaking and are easily on par with the original game itself and the music and sound effects are hauntingly effective and will have you on the edge of your seat. With the groans of the walkers continually throughout the game, this is one pinball table that you won’t want to play with headphones on and with the lights out!
Zen Studios have managed to deliver the goods yet again and I am truly amazed at the consistency at the quality of tables that they’ve managed to produce. Everything has been faithful to the source material while still managing to deliver superb arcade pinball games. They may say that you can’t please everyone all the time but in the case of Zen Pinball 2 and what Zen Studios are doing with their current wave of releases, they’re proving everyone wrong. An absolute must-have table and unbelievable value for money.
At A Glance
- Title: Zen Pinball 2 – The Walking Dead
- Publisher: Zen Studios
- System: PS Vita
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross Buy: Yes
- Online Multiplayer: Yes
- Local Multiplayer: Yes
- Memory Card Space Needed:
Note: Screenshots are generic shots provided by Zen Studios but are representative of how the PS Vita version of the game looks during play.
Husband, father and lifelong geek. Originally from the West Midlands, now spending my days in South Wales with my family and a house full of animals. Passionate about video games, especially retro gaming, the Commodore 64 and PlayStation Vita. Love pro wrestling, sci-fi and I’m an animal lover and vegetarian.
Enjoyed this and my other articles? Why not buy me a coffee: http://ko-fi.com/simonplumbe