Console games have been my playground for the past several years. I prefer Xbox 360 and PS3, but I’ve been known to tote a DSi from time to time. And since acquiring a smartphone — the all-in-one technological marvel for modern people on-the-go — I’ve been playing some Android games, too.
Before today, I hadn’t played a PC game in at least a decade. So why did I suddenly decide to open an account on Steam?
The Walking Dead.
We’re Talking About Steam, Not AMC
Before I waste too much of your time, I want to make sure we’re on the same page. Though both are based on Robert Kirkman’s award-winning comic book series, The Walking Dead that I’m referring to is the new video game rendition, not the wildly popular AMC series.
Interestingly enough, all three are similar — not only in their content, story line, and subject matter — but also in their episodic delivery. The comic book series, the AMC series, and the new video game are all released in series. The video game I’m writing about has 5 episodes:
- Episode 1 – “A New Day” (Available Now!)
- Episode 2 – “Starved for Help”
- Episode 3 – “Long Road Ahead”
- Episode 4 – “Around Every Corner”
- Episode 5 – “No Time Left”
(And you can watch the trailer here.)
On the Zombie Apocalypse and Escapism
Ever since I can remember, apocalypse stories have been interesting to me. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Alas, Babylon in my high school English class.
The fantasy of post-apocalyptic fiction is an entertaining escape from the stresses of reality. When society is destroyed, I won’t have to worry about debt, work, and countless other things that aren’t “necessary to [my] survival — in the hunter/gatherer sense” (as Tyler Durden puts it).
But a world void of society is dull. Zombies add excitement. Thus the popularity of the zombie apocalypse cult.
Okay, But Why Steam?
The Walking Dead is a 5-part interactive video game series available on PC/Mac, the PS3 PlayStation Network, and Xbox 360’s Xbox Live Arcade.
I already have a PlayStation 3 and an Xbox 360. So why did I add another gaming platform to my life when I could have used my existing platforms to play The Walking Dead?
It’s basically economical. I write for BlogCritics.org from time to time. And from time to time they get review copies of games that they pass on to their writers. (Hey, it’s a lot cheaper than if I had to buy video games on my own.) This time they had a code for a review copy of episode one on XBLA, but there’s one reviewer who seems to always cherry-pick the good titles. Fortunately there was a Steam code for a review copy of the entire season also available that the other reviewer didn’t nab.
So I got it.
I signed up for a Steam account (it’s free!), installed the Steam client, and grabbed the first episode of The Walking Dead (review is forthcoming).
My Steam Setup
Being sprung so suddenly back into the world of computer gaming, I may not be as prepared, hardware-wise, as I could be.
I’m rocking a MacBook Pro, OS 10.7.3 (that’s Lion, baby), with a 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 processor and 4 GB of 1333 MHz DDR3 RAM. Those specs are good enough for The Walking Dead. The difficulty is in the controls. I don’t have a controller.
I haphazardly tried to use a Logitech ChillStream Xbox 360 controller that a buddy left at my place a few years ago, but even after installing the drivers from the Logitech website, that still isn’t working.
So far I’ve managed to play through part of the intro using just the trackpad and keyboard, but this is not going to be an ideal situation for long-term use. I have an external “mighty mouse,” but again, it’s not designed for gaming per se.
I might just have to go out and buy a controller. Do you have any suggestions of a good one for a Mac? Leave a comment if you do.
The Ominous Imminent Future
I’m not sure exactly what the release schedule for The Walking Dead season is, but for the foreseeable future I will be figuring out gaming on a MacBook Pro and featuring my progress here and on BlogCritics.
Do you want me to write about something else? Let me know in the comments.