The retail edition of The Walking Dead is susceptible to severe issues with save games and hitching, according to reports posted on the Telltale Games forums from players of both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 disc versions.
Xbox 360 players are reporting in a seven-page thread with over 130 replies that the game is "practically unplayable" due to hitching and temporary freezing issues. Similar problems, along with audio skipping, exist in the PS3 version as well, according to a two-page thread with over 20 posts. "It's essentially unplayable when it freezes so long that I can't make a choice and then someone is upset with Lee for doing nothing," said forum user Kahlusha.
A more serious problem that 360 players are suffering is that their save games from the end of episode 1 onward are being reset to the beginning of episode 1 when they attempt to play a subsequent episode. This is an issue that exists across the latter four episodes; once episode 1 loads up instead of the selected episode, the game autosaves over the save file, overwriting up to four episodes' worth of play time. "I am hoping for a solution without having to start over from the beginning (which there is no way I will do)," said forum member lightthespiral.
We encountered the save game issue on the Xbox Live Arcade version of The Walking Dead, so it doesn't appear to be restricted to the disc version of the game. We'd recommend making a backup copy of your save file before loading up a new episode, just in case.
players are reporting the game is "practically unplayable"
Telltale released a title update for the Xbox 360 version in mid-December to address the save game issue, but players continued to experience the problem after downloading the patch. According to Telltale developer MattP, the studio initially found that the stuttering issues only affected owners of the 4 GB Xbox 360 slim console, but users of other 360 consoles also encountered poor performance.
As of yesterday, MattP told forum users that Telltale is aware of and still "investigating" both the hitching issue and the save game problem. We've reached out to a Telltale representative for more details and will update this article with any information we receive.
The Walking Dead launched on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 at retail Dec. 11, four days after winning Game of the Year, among other honors, at the Spike Video Game Awards.