The Walking Dead: Season 2: Episode 3 Review
Telltale Games’ strength lies in their ability to tell an a provocative story. After the Season 1, I found it doubtful that Telltale would be able to live up to the hype surrounding Season 2. It seems, however, that Season 2 has proven itself not only a worthy sequel but also one that’s hits all those same emotional sprites that made the first season great and then some. Episode 3 does not let up by providing the same experience as you pick up where you left off with Clementine and company captured by the oppressive Carver and his community. All the choices you’ve made thus far follow you into this latest episode of The Walking Dead and the choices that you make in this episode will undoubtedly impact the adventure you continue to carve out for yourself.
In terms of gameplay, you can expect the same experience here as in past installments. Pressing X to make this choice or toggle the right analog stick to escape the walker that just grabbed you, performing the correct actions during the quick-time events, making choices, using the analog stick to move Clementine around; these are pretty much what characterizes the experience in terms of gameplay. Don’t think that just because the control scheme is overly simplistic, it take away from the game. In fact, the emphasis of the experience lies elsewhere such that the way the controls work are the furthest thing from your mind when playing through the latest episode of The Walking Dead.
The graphics are pretty much the same as previous installments. The comic book art feel greatly enhances the feel of the story being lifted from the pages of a comic book. Yet somehow the comic book feel of the animation doesn’t take away from the realism of the story or the character interactions. While the detail is not as detailed as some higher end games, there is enough detail to make you cringe at the right moments.
While sound has never been a major factor in these types of story book games, the voice acting has. There are times when games have well known actors cast in the main roles where the players’ attempt to discern the voice actor distract from both the gameplay and the experience. Luckily, The Walking Dead is studded with a virtually unknown voice cast, thus ridding players of this distraction and immersing them fully in the game.
The story is hallmark of both Telltale and The Walking Dead. It’s what keeps gamers coming back to these types of games and it’s also why I keep coming back for the next installment. With that said, this latest installment doesn’t disappoint. It certainly keeps you riveted as does the other episodes. However, if you have been keeping up with The Walking Dead Season 2 then you know that all everything that has happened has been building up to this point. And while the story does keep you riveted, it does also give off a sense of going through it a little too quickly. Luckily, that doesn’t take away from the experience. You’ll still find yourself hanging on to every moment until the end. And while Season 2 has, to some degree, predictably led up to this point, the resolution of one plot point really leaves what comes next a complete unknown. This is also compounded by the introduction of new characters like the mysterious Jane. This episode also saw the return of more familiar faces. However, they seem to exist more in the background than being part of the main story and, thus, the excitement at seeing them fades as the episode goes on.
In terms of replayability, there’s plenty of it here. As with all these episodes, you could probably get through it in one sitting or two depending on how long you tend to play. I myself finished it in one night. There are multiple outcomes and the decisions you make and the actions you take as Clementine have a bearing on who lives and who dies, who will trust you and who will not, how your decisions will affect your relationship with other characters, etc. To that end, you may find yourself playing through the episode again trying to get different outcomes. The replay value is definitely there and in a game like this you would be doing yourself a disservice if you try out different decisions for different outcomes.
I didn’t experience too many issues with the game except an occasional lag that took me out of the experience for a moment or two. However, it didn’t affect my overall experience as despite that, the game runs smoothly overall.
The Walking Dead: Season Two: Episode 3 “In Harm’s Way” is another masterpiece in The Walking Dead series. Any issues or problems are negligible, if not nonexistent. The gameplay elements, such as decision making and quick-time events, as well as the art and graphics, are the same as past installments. However, that’s not exactly a bad thing. It keeps the player engaged in the story, which is the game’s major strong point. All the episodes in this season have led up to this point and though it gets resolved fairly quickly throughout the course of the episode, you still find yourself hanging on to every moment. And while one point is resolved, the mystery of what comes next just goes to show what a masterpiece The Walking Dead Season 2 continues to be.