The Walking Dead PlayStation Vita Review

Developer/Publisher: Telltale Games.

Platform: PS3, 360, PC, IOS, Ouya, Vita and Mac.

Played on: PlayStation Vita.

The Walking Dead as a franchise is in full swing. Spawned by Robert Kirkman in 2003, the comic book has now expanded into a top TV show, action figures and a slew of games. However, it’s Telltale’s take on The Walking Dead that really stood out.

Released episodically in 2012, The Walking Dead the Game kicked up a storm and was warmly received by critics everywhere with Analog Addiction hailing it as a most “momentous series.” In the way the comics expanded into new mediums, The Walking Dead the Game has moved onto all the major platforms bar Nintendo platforms. It’s even coming to Ouya as well. The latest platform to be graced with the presence of The Walking Dead the Game is the PlayStation Vita. Don’t get your hopes up too much though as this game has its flaws. And that’s putting it lightly.

Since The Walking Dead on the Vita has the exact same content we saw last year, we won’t go too much into how the story is with this review. For that you can read our reviews of episodes one, two, three, four, five and the 400 days DLC which comes packaged with this version.

Having The Walking Dead on Vita has a few advantages over the console and PC versions of the game and one of these are the touch controls. The game’s screen is littered with items which can be interacted with. Unlike the other versions of the game, all you have to do to interact with something is touch the prompt on the screen. Though it’s a small touch it takes away the awkward crosshair from before. This is really nothing new or different from IOS version of the game but I found that crosshair, controlled by the right joystick on the consoles, to be fiddly and awkward so the touchscreen is a welcome addition. Some may argue the intrusion of your finger onto the screen is distracting but the alternative is less desirable.

A good reason to buy this version over the others is the Vita’s OLED screen which really brings the visuals to life and has them looking crisp. Though the Walking Dead offers a rather bleak colour palette, the OLED screen helps set the mood for a world overrun by the dead. If you’re going to watch people being eaten alive by decaying zombies, you may as see the game do it on a screen that takes advantage of it.

However, things aren’t all that peachy with the Vita version of The Walking Dead. Like every other version, there are problems with the game’s performance. Whilst the story, the characters, the world and choices you have to make in this game will stay with you long after the credits roll, The Walking Dead just isn’t a good game technically speaking. The problems here are pretty consistent throughout the entire game. The scenes don’t transition well from when the protagonist Lee Everett moves from room to another, for example. When I select an item to be interacted with I often encountered a delayed reaction where it would be a two to three second wait until Lee opens that door, picks up that hammer or shoots that zombie. It’s delayed enough to make me think the game is freezing most of the time and it’s liable to take you out of the experience. There were times where it took so long I was able to look away from my Vita, take a sip of a drink and come back to it just in time having not missed anything.

On top of this you’ll spend an almost superfluous amount of time staring at a loading screen, which lets be honest, no-one likes to do.

The Walking Dead also suffers from some pretty horrendous frame rate drops which occur a lot throughout the game but seem to present themselves right in the heat of the action which many times led to me failing to complete an objective be it fending off a zombie or participating in a gun battle with other humans. It’s not quite game-breaking as by the second or third try I succeeded but it’s close. Very close.

If you’re looking for a reason to come back to The Walking Dead, the Vita version isn’t for you. Whilst the story remains the same and deserves every bit of praise it receives, you’re far better off playing this game on the PC or a console. The story is this game’s sole saving grace which presents very little reason to purchase this game again if you’ve already played it. The game doesn’t support any cross-save functionality via Vita and PS3 so you’d be making separate purchases on both consoles.

If you’ve never played The Walking Dead before, you’ll still be able to experience the storm we were party to last year but be prepared for a rugged experience technically.

However, this is by far the easiest game to platinum so you’ll get double your trophy count should you play through it again.


  • Great story and characters.
  • Touch controls.
  • OLED screen.


  • Awful framerate.
  • Poor transitions.
  • Poor performance overall.


6 out of 10.