Three down and two
still to come. I played these two episodes back to back so intend to
review them as a whole.
A few months have passed since
our team first holed up in the motel, and food is low and harder to
find. The foraging is becoming more difficult and further afield. A
scream and a bear trap herald the first confrontation.
The Walking Dead
continues to be compelling. The story is the thing, and it shines. And
surprises. I did not see several things coming, and their impact was at
It remains brutal, the more so
because much of it is directed at the living by the living. Whether it
is out-and-out confrontation - kill or be killed - or a smouldering
undercurrent of suspicion that eventually ignites a rage, it’s clear
that the zombies aren’t the only “inhuman” things around.
Further, the fact that you have
a role to play makes it all the more powerful. There are times you have
to choose how to behave. Do you go with the anger and take revenge at
the dairy, do you shoot a young woman so she dies quickly or allow her
to live so that she draws the zombies away from you, do you abandon a
person by the side of the road because of their actions? The choices you
make then determine how the story progresses.
It seemed there were more of
these choices in Episode Two, and that what I did in Episode Three had
less of an effect on events, but to me it didn’t matter. True, I would
have liked a certain event to have played out differently, and despite
choosing a variety of responses it never did. But looking over some
bulletin boards it seems there may be a way to make a much earlier
choice that will affect that particular event. Which makes it far more
attractive to play again.
Not every choice is life or
death. Tell the truth, obfuscate or outright lie. Side with one
character, or the other, or walk a middle ground. Keep things to
yourself or share. It’s the little things that help make a difference.
You can also choose not to
choose. Or you can fail to choose. On many occasions there is a nothing
response, or the time which you have in which to make a decision will
lapse before you decide. I was genuinely conflicted about what to do in
one spot, and in another just flat-out failed to react in the time
available. The game went on, presumably based on my inaction.
Lee and Clementine continue to
be front and centre and it’s becoming a two-way dependence. Who else is
around depends on what you did or didn’t do. And what you will do. Pick
favourites by all means but don’t get too fond of anyone.
There are touches of The Road
in the events, particularly in Episode 2, and the dilemmas – moral and
otherwise – are in keeping with many survival epics. You can’t know what
you would be capable of if you ended up in a world like this one. The
Walking Dead does an excellent job of exploring these situations,
and making you confront them.
At the end of every episode, you
get some statistics on the choices that other players made in various
situations. It will say something like “you and 73% of other players
chose to save X”. I have taken a deliberate approach to try and think
about what I would do, not what I could do, which has resulted in some
fairly callous action. Interestingly, I am rarely in a minority, and
never a large minority either. Which may tell you something or nothing,
but I still find it interesting.
Everything you need to know
about how the game works is in the
review of Episode One. Nothing has changed and the game remains high
quality. There was the occasional graphic glitch (a character puts his
hand through a door at one stage), and the eyes of the characters now
strike me as a bit googly (like a ventriloquist’s doll), but these are
small things in what is otherwise an impressive production.
Episode 3 seemed a bit more
“actiony” than the other episodes, but it might have been because there
were a number of scenes where you were sniping with a gun. There was
also some keyboard pecking and the need to do some things reasonably
quickly. But there was plenty of down time, and some good old fashioned
adventuring to do. The sequence trying to start the train is probably
the most like a traditional adventure, although the difficulty is mild
In the end though, The
Walking Dead is about the story and how you drive it. It ebbs and
flows and meanders and then kicks you. It develops the characters,
starts to build relationships, then rips them apart. It has quiet
moments and then punctuates them with fury. It still rates an “A” as a
work in progress, and if you haven’t played yet, you probably should.
I played on:
OS: Windows 7
Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz
Video card: AMD Radeon HD 7800 2048MB
The Walking Dead
series can be purchased via download from
GameBoomers Review Guidelines