The Walking Dead: Michonne



Genre:   Zombie adventure               

Developer & Publisher:    Telltale Games            

Released:   February, March, April 2016             

Requirements (minimum):

    • OS: Windows XP Service Pack 3
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo 2GHz or equivalent
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI or NVIDIA card w/512 MB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Direct X 9.0c sound device
    • Additional Notes: Not Recommended for Intel integrated graphics



By flotsam


The Walking Dead: Michonne Ė Episode 1 In Too Deep

Telltale Games

So here we are again, Telltale doing what they do best with a piece of contemporary popular culture.

First up, I doubt that if you are considering playing this, that you arenít familiar with the game mechanics of the earlier Telltale catalogue. So nothing more from me in that regard.

If you are only familiar with the tv series, you might wonder where this slots in. Which is me. However, a familiarity with the comic world might well mean you can place this within the broader goings on.

Which isnít necessary, but I confess to being a little surprised to find Michonne on a boat, absent anyone else familiar, and soon drawn into a Waterworld-like environment, complete with simmering violence and on-edge characters. You got to hand it to those post-apocalyptic living folk.

The undead almost take a backseat here, save for some fairly intense action sequences in the first half.  As we all know, a machete is the implement of choice for Michonne, and the death dealing is inevitably a touch more visceral as a result. She stabs, hacks, and chops her way through, supplemented by the occasional stomping. Plus a fearsome battering with a cash register.

Michonne has always been tough as nails, but there is an element of fragility here, primarily seen though flashbacks and other insights into her past. She is still strong, but events have certainly taken their toll. The ultimate price is almost paid at the start, and while she drives herself on, the weariness of doing so is apparent. She seems to be busying herself, almost as a distraction.

She isnít voiced by the tv character, but she is Michonne nonetheless. She carries the episode, as she should, but the rest of the cast really only matter for how they impact Michonne. They all play their role, and while Pete seems a little insipid and Randall somewhat overcooked as the thug, choices as always will have an impact.

Clocking in at about 90 minutes, this sets us up for what will come.

Ps Ė there is a killer opening song that is worth hunting down.

The Walking Dead: Michonne Ė Episode 2 Give No Shelter

We pick up where we left off, and another 90 minutes later we are set up for the third and final Episode. A showdown is coming, one that appears inevitable regardless of the moral choice you make right at the end.

Michonne remains at the centre and is, quite frankly, the real interest. Two episodes in and, perhaps apart from Sam, I have no interest in anyone else, and arenít even sure why I saved one of them. The cast is fundamentally the backdrop against which Michonneís actions unfold.

The flashback in the middle is the most interesting bit of this episode. It is bookended by an escape from, and a siege by, the living, with some wandering around a forest with walkers thrown in. We have seen the walkers used as "pets" before as a way of dealing with others of their kind, and it remains a gruesome undertaking.

Action sequences are throughout, and your keyboard choreography will get a workout. There are some confusing on-screen directions given, and more than once I didnít realise I was now back in control and had to do something. I also failed to appreciate on one occasion that while I wanted Michonne to move forward, as she was facing the bottom of the screen I needed the back key, not the forward key. So I did my share of dying but I dealt a fair bit as well.

As always, people end up dead, sometimes surprisingly. Some are at your hand, others you can prevent. One has little to do with you, but was so obviously avoidable I almost shouted at the screen for the character to do the obvious thing to avoid it. He didnít.

While there are newly dead, itís the people already dead, or whose fate is unknown, who provide the most poignant moments.

Right and wrong remains a fluid concept, and continue to provide some of the more interesting moments. Apart from the flashbacks, the plot isnít taking us anywhere we havenít been. It isnít compelling, but much like the tv offshoot Fear the Walking Dead, I will continue to play/watch.

We are, as I said, set up for the end.

The Walking Dead: Michonne Ė Episode 3 What We Deserve

ďYou arenít the good guysĒ never resonated more obviously in the latest TV series, and while not of the same intensity here, the same claim causes a stop and reflect moment I hadnít appreciated to that point.

But then we move on, and its live and let die.

A showdown is coming, as we knew when the last episode finished, and while it takes a while to arrive, it is suitably violent and chaotic. There is talk of a trade, and negotiating a way out, but you know that there will be death so best just get on with it. Perhaps with different choices the carnage may have been less, but I doubt we could have walked away unscathed. Therein though lies the attraction in playing again, to see what differences might come from the choices made.

Michonne remains haunted by the visions of the children she didnít save, flipping back and forth between the ones she still can if she can manage her demons. When I left her, they hadnít gone away, and it wasnít clear they ever would, but to some extent she had moved on.

While the focus is predominantly on the living versus each other, the undead play their part in the final proceedings. They are front and centre in a choice involving a main protagonist, and according to the stats I was in the minority with the one I made.

I did like this finale. Perhaps it tried a little too hard to resolve everything, and at times was a little too maternal, but by the time we got to the showdown, for the first time I wanted others to live. It sneaked up on me, partly a product of the quiet down-time at the start of the episode and what goes on. It left a good impression, one which will easily translate into playing through again, and which in the end whets the appetite for the next season of The Walking Dead proper.


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May 2016

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