Zen Studios have spotted another successful franchise to transform into a Pinball FX2 table in the shape of The Walking Dead. Not the AMC broadcasted television show but in fact the video game, set in the same world, developed by Telltale Games. Will they make a killing with this one?
The table is based on Season One of the episodic adventure by Telltale Games and their first attempt to convey this is by including the main characters Lee and Clementine as the standout 3D models. Through this pinball adventure you will actually be able to trigger features based on all five episodes and be given decisions to make that lead to performing a certain task.
These tasks range from knocking over small zombies (or maybe they’re just far away?) that are advancing towards you on the table, to taking out zombies using an actual sniper. This sniping feature is pretty fun and offers a cool 100k per accurate shot which surely helps when aiming for a high score. Sadly some of the shooting lanes type objectives are slightly confusing because it’s not always clear what needs to be done without taking your eye off the ball, literally.
Pinball machines are synonymous with bright flashing lights and even though these are present they’ve still managed to make the overall tone and feel of the table rather dark. Hearing the scary moans of zombies around you only adds to the experience, however there is an apparent lack of noise from the ball rolling. I can’t say for sure if it’s an intentional exclusion but it certainly makes it all the more eerie.
It’s quite a deceiving table on the whole and I’ll tell you why. It looks quite spacious and there are a few lanes to choose from to play the ball down but instead it feels crammed and compact. Over 50% of the ramps and lanes are only accessible by attempting risky shots right on the edge of flippers. Those that seem straight forward enough to shoot the ball up, mainly the central ramp seen in the video, above have a narrower channel and it’s almost like there are invisible barriers preventing all but a perfect shot from going through.
Whilst I have no doubt the theme has been designed brilliantly for the visual side with small things such as scenery from the stories (the Barn being one part) and the inclusion of the main characters, I’m really not convinced on the functionality of the table layout on the whole. The story based features are really easy to trigger but completing them or even getting close to completing the objectives is hindered by the layout. At the end of the day it can be visually great, however when it doesn’t feel as good then it’s all in vain. Not awful by any means, just pretty darn average overall.