Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Review Context: I’m no stranger to playable movies, otherwise known as interactive adventure games. I have played Life Is Strange, The Wolf Among Us, Beyond: Two Souls, Heavy Rain, The Walking Dead, and Until Dawn.
Date of Playthrough: 4/29/2016
Reader Warning: Minor spoilers may be present from previous episodes.
The second episode of The Walking Dead: Michonne mini-series picks off right where the last one left off. Michonne, along with this girl named Sam, somehow managed to escape their captors and find themselves on the run, not only from Norma and her band of savages, but also from the numerous undead looking for their next meal. The situation is rather quite dire as Michonne only has one machete at her disposal, while Norma’s men are armed to the teeth with guns. This has all the makings of a promising episode. The first go around was somewhat underwhelming. Is this an improvement, or is there still some work to be done?
The first thing that jumped out at me as I played through this episode were the noticeable improvements in the storytelling and characters. Sam’s family is introduced for the first time, and I found that their relationship came off as genuine. They are intriguing characters and I found myself more invested with them than I was with other characters from the prior episode. I also loved how this episode wasted no time in getting to the juicy parts. You know, those tense moments where the protagonists have their backs against the wall, with little chance of success. There are quite a few of these moments to be found here, and I thoroughly enjoyed every single one of them. That’s not to say that the story does not still have some room to grow. While Michonne’s battle with her inner turmoil is engaging, her character comes off as dull and empty more often than not. Sure her action sequences are show stealers, but we need more to go off on, especially with her being the main person this series revolves around.
While not as impressive as past Telltale games, the voice acting is still great and I found that they fit the characters being portrayed very well. The sounds impressed me quite a bit. The disturbing roars of the undead matched perfectly with their grotesque look, and the sounds of swords slashing, along with gunshots sound very believable. Also the intro that plays minutes after the beginning of the episode is very effective and sets the tone for the entire experience. There is nothing new here graphically; it’s the same cartoony, cel-shaded look we have come to expect from Telltale Games. It works though, so hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. It’s also important to note that this episode performed extremely well on my Playstation 4, as there were no framerate dips, stutters, or game freezes of any kind to be found here.
Now let’s get to my favorite part of any game, the actual gameplay. Besides the usual exploration, quick time events, and character dialogue, we have some semi-stealth segments this time around. How these work is you can peek out of cover to observe your surroundings for a limited time before someone sees you. These segments only last a couple seconds, but they are as tense as they are satisfying. The quick time events remain quite simple, but very effective. Seeing Michonne cut limbs with the press of a button is just awesome. Also this game holds no punches with the bloody violence, and I would not have it any other way. Towards the end this episode, you have to make a seemingly tough decision, which could have strong consequences in the next and final episode. This has not been the case with past Telltale games, but I hope that changes this time around.
This episode took me about an hour to complete, and I quite enjoyed my time with it. The story and characters improved, and the gameplay remains as engaging as ever. The story could still be better, but I do not know how much can be done with just one episode left. Either way, I’m really looking forward to the closing chapter of this experience. Hopefully it’s a memorable one.
Similar Games Liked:
The Walking Dead: Season 1 (PS3)
The Wolf Among Us (PS3)
Life Is Strange (PS4)
Beyond:Two Souls (PS3)
Heavy Rain (PS3)
Until Dawn (PS4)