Published on June 30th, 2012 | by Charlie0
Review: The Walking Dead: The Game – Episode 2
Summary: Charlie takes a look at the 2nd episode of The Walking Dead: The Game
This is a continuation of a series of reviews for “The Walking Dead: The Game”. For the review of the first episode, “A New Day”, click here.
PLEASE BE WARNED: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS OF THE FIRST EPISODE.
When Telltale announced that they were developing a game for “The Walking Dead”, many had mixed feelings, what with the critical response to both Jurassic Park and Back to the Future. Then the first episode of the game came out, and to everybody’s surprise… it was good. Really good in fact. So just how good would the second of five episodes fare? Yet again, really good.
Carrying on from your saved file of the first episode (if that’s what you did), the game welcomes you with a “previously”, which tells the story of the important story moments and the choices you made, like who’s side you were on between the characters Kenny and Larry, or even if you chose to save Doug or Carley at the end of the episode. What did confuse me about the trailer is that there was no sign of the final moments of the episode, when the power had been cut. That’s because the second episode itself takes place 3 months after the first episode. Whilst I would have preferred this episode to take place moments after the first, it makes more sense to continue the series during the time in an apocalypse where food is scarce.
The episode begins by throwing you in at the deep end when you meet a man who has been caught in a bear trap with no way of getting him out of it… well there is one way as you look at the axe in your hands. This is where things instantly begin to tense up, as you need to decide whether to leave him there or to save him (it may mean another mouth to feed). Of course the situation wouldn’t be any fun if you didn’t have walkers (the zombies) heading in your direction. There are more hard choice moments like this in the game; so much so that I even had to pause the game at one time so I could have more time to think about my choice. Depending on whatever you choose to do in the situation, you head back to the motel, where you bring along another survivor who was with the man in the bear trap. This, of course, will cause feuds with your camp since they just can’t take any more survivors or else the group will run out of food a lot faster. It won’t be long before you run into two more survivors looking for gas. They live at a dairy farm and claim that the farm is safe, what with it’s electrical fences in all… and food! This of course grabs the attention of group, and the episode itself revolves around this dairy.
Throughout the episode, there will be moments that will be predictable, but what Telltale does is make you think back on yourself, so rather than turning them into predictable moments, your thoughts are turned into suspicions, which I honestly don’t get how Telltale got into my head to do that. There will be moments that will damn right shock you and will make you rethink about your opinions towards Telltales storytelling… in a good way of course. The episode will have it’s calm moments where you’re able to reflect back on past events when you talk to other characters; in my instance talking to Carley about Dougs death. What did confuse me is that there were some moments from the “Next Time” trailer for episode 2 that wasn’t actually in this episode. Perhaps it was because of the way I played the game, but if Telltale really want to keep me gripped, they need to add moments in their trailers which are unavoidable, making you expect those moments from the trailer, as if watching a real TV series. There are also some introduction to a couple of new characters, some with better personalities than others.
If you’ve played the first episode, playing the second episode can feel a little different, since you may have learned about scavenging around for items to help speed up the process of future moments in the game. It’s almost like instincts, but in a video game. This episode also introduces a couple of new gameplay elements, like sneaking along a moving vehicle to avoid getting killed. Though it’s a simple gameplay mechanic, it adds some variety and suspense. Even when you might be ending up doing the same thing you might have done an hour ago, the music and the situation really adds power.
The game does suffer from some problems. There’s one moment in the game where you’re required to walk up to someone dangerous, but depending on how long you were pressing the “move forward” button will depend on if you die or not. This part of the game took me 15 minutes to figure out how to get past it and I even had to go on a forum just to figure out the problem; I even thought it was a bug. The checkpoint system is also in the wrong places as well. Near the beginning of the game, I was at the Motel and after talking to a lot of people and nearing to complete the mission, I decided to restart the game (for personal reasons), but when I had gone back to playing the game, I started back at the moments where the main character (Lee) went back to the motel, meaning I had to do everything I just did all over again. If I were Telltale, I would add a checkpoint after you talk to everybody, so not only can you not go back on what you just said, but it helps save time having to replay a segment all over again.
The Walking Dead game is really shaping up to be the best of all of Telltales game series. It’s a shame the game took 2 months instead of the monthly release we were told we were going to have, but perhaps now that Telltale knows they’re onto a winner, they may either pick up the pace in development or take better care in the sloppy minor moments.
Look out for the third episode of the game, “Long Road Ahead” later this summer.