AMC's The Walking Dead VS Telltale' s The Walking Dead

Written by Alex Crilly-Mckean Both share the same apocalyptic world, but whose walkers have the bigger bite? Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll pitting AMC’s The Walking Dead TV series against Telltales’ The Walking Dead video game series. Be warned that we will be going into major spoiler territory here, so you have been warned! Special thanks to our user DaveVsTheWorld for suggesting this idea, check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/AMC's+The+Walking+Dead+VS+Telltale's+The+Walking+Dead
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AMC’s The Walking Dead vs. Telltales’ The Walking Dead

Both share the same apocalyptic world, but whose walkers have the bigger bite? Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll pitting AMC’s The Walking Dead TV series against Telltales’ The Walking Dead video game series. Be warned that we will be going into major spoiler territory here, so you have been warned!

Round 1: Tone and Atmosphere
No one can forget the moment when Rick Grimes woke up from his coma to find the world left in ruin, and there have certainly been some foreboding moments throughout the ongoing series that reflect the bleak narrative of the graphic novels. However, more recently the series has taken things in a more action-oriented approach. Don’t get us wrong the violence is far from camp and cheery and lends its way to some of the saddest moments of the series, but more often than not it’s pretty clear that Rick and company are going to carve their way out of a walker horde. Have to admit though, Negan has certainly offered some fresh despair as of late.

Lee and Clementine’s stories of survival certainly have their fair share of confrontation, but for the most part there is a greater amount of emphasis placed on character interaction, and with that comes a true sense of hopelessness. In every single episode, any sliver of hope is crushed before their eyes, almost always ending in the death of a favourite character. Not only does this reinforce the few decent relationships left between our protagonists, it also makes it perfectly clear that death lies around every corner, whether it’s from the dead or by some truly disgustingly people.

The chaos of AMC’s The Walking Dead definitely provides some stern action and heart-breaking moments, but Telltales’ The Walking Dead is completely immersed in a sense of sorrow that never leaves the player for a moment. Look no further than the endings of each episode and just try not to tear up.

WINNER: Telltale
AMC’s The Walking Dead 0 / Telltales’ The Walking Dead 1



Round 2: Survivors
There are no saints in the world of the Walking Dead, and even the most well-intentioned of people can be led astray. The main group has had many members come and go, the core of which remain everybody’s favourite archer Daryl Dixon, the tortured and badass swordswoman Michonne, doomed lovers Glenn and Maggie, the manliest of men Abraham Ford, and of course there’s (insert montage of “CAAARL!”). Of course, carrying the show on his shoulders is Rick Grimes, the former sheriff who starts out as a beacon of justice but is slowly changed due to his numerous losses and will to survive, and sometimes not for the better.

Survivors come and go far more frequently across both seasons of Telltales’ episodic video game, and while more significant individuals like Kenny, Carley, Lilly and Jane made quite the impact, the reason while we all adore these games comes from the surrogate father/daughter relationship between former convict Lee and the adorably strong-willed Clementine. While players ultimately choose the major decisions that these two make, it’s their constant faith and trust in each other in the face of insurmountable odds that keeps us wholly invested. The world may have gone to hell around them, but it only made their bond stronger.

The flawed heroics of Rick and company definitely make them interesting characters, but Lee and Clementine’s genuine connection combined with their own personal struggles just pushes them ahead of the others.

WINNER: Telltale
AMC’s The Walking Dead 0 / Telltales’ The Walking Dead 2



Round 3: Villains
More often than not the walkers are just a natural disaster that swoop in on occasion, but the title of villain definitely belongs to the living, and Rick has encountered some of the worst. The most infamous of these would be The Governor, a man who puts up a sympathetic front but whose violent tendencies and lack of remorse led to quite the body pile, including Hershel Greene. Of course we can’t forget about Rick’s one time bestie Shane, whose desire to have Lori all to himself pushed him to try and murder his old friend. Not all have hit their mark, but then they weren’t Negan, whose debut has brought a new level of suspense and fear to the series.

In the case of Telltales, the characters tend to switch between friends and foes on a dime, Lily and Larry being prime examples. In terms of straight up antagonists however, The Stranger and Carver step above the rest as bitter enemies towards Lee and Clementine respectively. Their deception, enigmatic identities and level of violence secured their places as respectable villains forged by the new world they inhabited. We also have to give a shout out to the family of cannibals, who were not only as creepy as hell, but they also killed Mark! We loved Mark!

The Stranger’s final confrontation with Lee was practically a suspense masterpiece, but in all honesty the brutality and ruthlessness of the Governor and Negan just can’t be matched. Look no further than the latest series premiere!

WINNER: AMC
AMC’s The Walking Dead 1 / Telltales’ The Walking Dead 2



Round 4: Shocking Moments
Oh boy, where to begin with this one? In the world of the Walking Dead shock often equates to the many brutal ways that our favourite characters bite the dust! Glenn and Hershel especially suffer in this regard, with the former supposedly being eaten by walkers before actually getting horrifically beaten to death by Negan, while the latter has his leg forcibly amputated by Rick with an axe as a way to save him from a walker bite…only to have to Governor cut his head off with a sword. Throw in the reveal of the cannibals at Terminus and very bloody ends to the likes of Lori and Abraham and you practically have a roller-coaster worth of shock value.

Random deaths are also aplenty in Lee and Clementine’s struggle as well, some of which players are in control of while other just come flying out of left field. Just like the show, we also had a revelation of a cannibal family, Larry getting his head smashed to pieces, having to mercy-kill Duck, the events at Crawford, not to mention the death of either Carley or Doug as well as finally confronting The Stranger. Of course all of these pale in comparison to the endings of each season’s final episode, where Lee’s fate and Clementine’s painful decision left gamer’s jaws hanging open.

The video games gave us plenty of moments that made our hearts race, but considering we have a Top 10 list dedicated just to the shocking moments of the TV show; this one isn’t even close.

WINNER: AMC
AMC’s The Walking Dead 2 / Telltales’ The Walking Dead 2



Round 5: Story
Obviously the television series has had much more time to tell the story of Rick and his group’s tale of survival. There have definitely been great highs, with the escalation from camping in the wild all the way to the prison, where in-between we had Shane’s betrayal and Rick battling the Governor, however there have also been lows. With so many episodes there is bound to be a lot of filler, including the antics on Hershal’s Farm, the trek from the ruins of the prison to Terminus and then even more trekking to Alexandria. The emotional moments definitely hit home, however one of the most common complaints about the show; is that the character constantly make really stupid decisions. (Show the Zombie in the Well) I don’t know about you, but I’m not drinking that water even if Glenn somehow got that walker out.

In contrast, the video games are much more concise, with each season made up of five episodes. As such the pace moves a lot faster and has a much more narrowed focus on the characters and their goals. For the first season, Lee must protect Clementine as the world falls apart around them, all the while dealing with the ghosts of his criminal past. For the second season, a much older Clementine must fend for herself, learning that alliances can quickly fall apart. Packed with decisions that lack clear moral consequences, highlights such as Lee vs. The Stranger, the cannibal family and Kenny vs. Jane, Telltale’s storytelling can definitely be considered far more compact.

No one will be forgetting Rick’s trials and tribulations anytime soon, but as a whole package we have to give it to Lee and Clementine’s battle for survival for giving us a far richer narrative experience. Bring on the third season!

WINNER: Telltale
AMC’s The Walking Dead 2 / Telltales’ The Walking Dead 3



It may be inferior in terms of budget size and lack the realistic visceral edge of its live-action counterpart, but climbing its way to the top of the bodies as the best interpretation of the graphic novel is Telltales’ The Walking Dead.


Do you agree with our decision? Who do you think should have won? With new versus on the way be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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