The Music of the Walking Dead

One of the standout elements of The Walking Dead throughout the every series has been the music. Whether it is incidental orchestral music or one of the eclectic choices of alternative rock, there is ample scope to discover new music by keeping your ears out whilst watching.

Jamie N Commons – “Take Me Home”

Perhaps the most memorable track is the Jamie N Commons song “Lead Me Home”. It played over the end of episode 12 of season 3 – “Clear” – as Michone and Rick drive back to the prison after a failed attempt at taking Morgan back there with them. This is quality blues music and the raspy vocals perfectly fit the scene.

Nine Inch Nails – “Somewhat Damaged”

The perfect song for an angry family mourning the death of a beloved relative whilst deciding whether or not to seek revenge for the death, Nine Inch Nails track “Somewhat Damaged” was a genius choice. It featured at the start of the penultimate episode of season 5 – “Try” – and completely altered the mood of the episode. If you aren’t having a great day, why not try to listen to this on full blast?

Emily Kinney – “Hold On”

Wait, is The Walking Dead actually a musical? For this brief moment, it sort of was. Emily Kinney is a singer in her own right and this brief scene allowed her to showcase her talent. Admittedly, it does feel a little wedged in, a platform to promote her album, but when it sounds this good do we care? It’s a beautiful rendition of an excellent Tom Waits song, which fades out to let the main man perform the end of the song over the end credits.

How to Buy

There are a few official The Walking Dead CDs out there, the best of which is titled The Walking Dead Original Soundtrack Vol. 1. Before you rush off to buy it, however, it’s worth noting there are only eight songs on it. You may consider the second release The Walking Dead Original Soundtrack Vol. 2, but that is even worse with just five songs on it. Or you could try the Global Stage Orchestra doing covers of The Walking Dead songs, though they don’t seem overly accurate. My recommendation is that you seek out the individual artists’ respective releases and see if you like other tracks by them before buying.

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The Walking Dead: Road To Survival (Scopely, 2015)

Robert Kirkman has just taken to the official The Walking Dead Twitter account to reveal a new free-to-play game available from the Apple Store and Google Play Store. Titled Road To Survival, it is a global strategy game that focuses on The Governor period of the story timeline. The visuals are a sort of full-colour beefed-up interpretation of the comic book, but looks of the same universe.

Hear Robert Kirkman talking about it here.

Have you played it yet? Is it any good?

The Walking Dead: The Game – Season One (Telltale Games, 2012)

One way to further your total immersion into the Walking Dead universe is to take on the emotionally-tiring episodic video game series from Telltale Games. Be warned: do not attempt if you have a history of heart conditions.

Whilst most modern games push for bigger and better graphics, more epic explosions, larger guns and loud noises, this take on the interactive adventure genre instead induces panic by forcing the player to make incredibly tough decisions in a snapshot of time without much prior warning.

The action takes place in the events immediately after the outbreak of the apocalypse in the same Atlanta locations as the early parts of the comic and TV series. You take control of convicted murderer Lee Everett, a character we are yet to meet in any other canonical Walking Dead media, as he comes to terms with the loss of his family, whilst trying to keep himself and young girl Clementine alive.

The character Clementine is the masterstroke of the game, giving it an emotional edge seldom seen in video games. The decisions made aren’t on the level of which zombie to kill first to keep us alive, but rather how can Lee earn the trust of Clementine to make sure she sides with him and can be kept safe. In this way, whilst there are always choices to be made, there is a tendency to take the moral high-ground and sensible options to ensure the right impression is made at all times.

Decision, decisions.

Decision, decisions.

This is easier said than done. Often the prompt to make a decision flashes on the screen and a button input must be made immediately. There may be four options displayed but there is always the fifth option available too: doing nothing at all often leads to the worst outcome. Mild panic ensues each time the decision prompt appears – a great way to keep players on edge.

There are some nice touches, with several familiar characters appearing to help Lee and Clementine on their early missions. Hershel, his son Shawn and Glenn appear, though these are the only ones seen in the first game.

The game was released as an episodic series in 2012 in five parts, with the 400 Days DLC released soon after. As a result, each episode is left on a slight cliffhanger, a nice touch that makes it necessary to go back for the next part (much like the comic and television series).

Stylistically, it stands on its own away from the designs of the comics and the TV series. Yet, somehow it inhabits both worlds. This is testament to both the design team and the guidance offered by the fully realised world of the source material.

As an immersive experience, The Walking Dead: The Game – Season One is one of the most accomplished video games this genre has ever seen. If you’ve completed it, you can always check out Season Two and the upcoming Michonne DLC, due in December.

The Walking Dead: The Game – Season One is available to purchase as a Game of the Year Edition, featuring all episodes and DLC, now.