If you’ve somehow been living under a rock for the past year, maybe you haven’t yet experienced Telltale’s Walking Dead, which closed out 2012 with more Game of the Year awards than you can shake a stick at.

And with good reason: Telltale’s narrative-based episodic adventure is some of the most heartrending, gut-wrenching gaming you’re likely to ever experience, forcing you to choose the outcome of numerous horrifying moral quandaries in a world whose ethics have been tossed aside in the name of survival.

Simply put, Walking Dead is brilliant. And if you haven’t played it yet, now you can download the first episode of the five-part series for free on either PSN or XBLA.

No word on if offering the first episode for free is a permanent thing (though it seems like it may be), maybe as part of a push to get people excited about the equally promising-looking Fables joint The Wolf Among Us, which Telltale is starting this month.

Regardless, play E1 of The Walking Dead – you’ll be hooked. And the other four chapters only ratchet up in intensity. It’s what video games should be. If you haven’t played it, don’t miss out.

Via Telltale