Review: The Walking Dead (The Game) Season Two: Episode Three

Originally Published on the Official Blast Away the Game Review Facebook Page
“Dead in the Water” – A review by Josh Turner
 
 
Pros:
+ Enjoyable new character.
+ Great voice acting… as always.
+ Surprisingly more violent than the others.Cons:
– Story drags along, and can be predicted at every turn.
– Very little interaction in this episode.
– Actions taken during the episode are mostly pointless.
– Frame rate issues are STILL present.

Final Score – 6.5 out of 10.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

(Recap)

During our last outing in this zombie filled fun-land. We made a few major advancements in the sense of plot progression, I.E. main bad guy was revealed, as a team you decided to hit the road, you encountered other survivors including an old friend. For the most part however, the episode seemed to drag it’s heels in the dirt feeling like the developers had an overall idea of what they want the episode, but failed to really figure out exactly what they needed to do between their pivotal plot points.

The overall fallout at the end of the episode was expected, for the most part. However it was a welcome change of pace. What wasn’t expected was when they started killing off so many characters. This was exciting. This was The Walking Dead that I remembered, not this toothless zombie that has been trying to scare me.
At the end of the episode we find everyone being led off back to “Home” as it’s called, Alvin, and Walter lays dead after the stunt you and Kenny try to pull, and Luke is now seemingly separated from the group.

(Current Episode)

We open on our band of misfit survivors being hogtied in the back of a moving truck, currently on a bumpy road to “Home.” (Carters stronghold in which everyone had escaped from.) Everyone is panicked, and fearful of what Carter has in store for them once they are behind locked doors.

True to his character, Kenny isn’t about to take whatever is coming lying down. After an extensive argument with the others on finding something to free themselves with, Kenny spots a break in the metallic interior of the truck, and begins to cut his hands lose. Now logically there is only two ways out of this situation. Option one: Kenny somehow pulls some really sweet Matrix move, disarming/killing all guards and you guys get to walk away unscathed. Option two: In a attempt of being the hero, Kenny will get shot, and we lose yet another character.

What happens though was unprecedented. The van comes to a abrupt stop suddenly, catching Kenny off guard and making him become one with the trucks door, rendering him useless for those few precious moments when the door was opened. Even though it was a welcome event to be able to sit there, and be blindsided by an event for a change, there was a slight bit of annoyance left in it’s wake with the realization that you weren’t truly in control of this characters destiny. Be it you talked him down from the proverbial cliff, or you egged him on your outcome will be the same.

Going into this season of TWD, we were told that we would have more options to shape the outcome of these characters, however this episode more than the others proves contrary to that belief. I felt like I was stuck in a rail cart for the major majority of this episode, watching cut-scene after cut-scene of dialogue, only having input on what is being said from time to time, and never having a chance to truly control Clem till later in the episode. Now don’t get me wrong here. I love having this story progress, and have a feeling like it’s building to something bigger, but this episode pulls the same stunt about three times.

What stunt you might ask? Having the group work towards a goal, just to have the rug pulled out from underneath you, and everything that you just did for the past thirty minutes is completely void. I can not begin to express how frustrating this was to me. I really didn’t mind it the first time with Kenny getting knocked out, but two additional times is a bit uncalled for.

Also, just like the previous episode. This episode finds a way to drain every last second out of every event that happens to these characters, making it feel extremely drawn out at some points. I know that some people will disagree with me, and say it was building the human aspect of the game. Which I am all in favor of, but a five minute sequence about cutting dead branches from plants is a little overkill.

One thing I do tip my hat to the team to is the introduction of the amazingly awkward, yet awesome character Reggie. From the awkward pat on the head he gives you, to the “I’m going to burn this place down” personality he has make him a very fun character to interact with. There is another few characters that are introduced, and yet to be known how much of a major roll these individuals will play in future episodes. One of the characters seems to be this seasons version of Chuck, (the homeless man from season one) due to a few lines of dialogue that was revealed in the closing moments of the game.

(Character Development)

I’m proud to say that this episode has the most character development that I’ve seen so far this season. Most notably is how Clem, as well as the others as beginning to accept her as their group leader. Though, the whole notion of a 11 year old becoming the leader is still absurd to me. The developers seem to be all for this idea though, even putting a lengthy conversation in here where Carter lectures Clem on how they are more alike then they think, and how her words hold the most sway in the group.

Besides that, Kenny is becoming more unstable as the episodes drag along. He is beginning to have a homicidal side to him, which could lead to a heartfelt showdown one day. Sara is starting to lose grip over her already fragile emotions.

All in all, the characters in this story arch are starting to develop in one of two ways. Either they are becoming stronger, and harder to the situation around them. Or they are growing weak under worry, and are beginning to give up.

(Final verdict)

I’m starting to grow concerned with the future episodes. I can’t help it. While episode one started strong coming out of the gates swinging, episode two, and now three has been lackluster at best. Granted, just like any Taletell game there is always those few moments of “Oh my sweet baby Jesus!” but playing through a episode that quite literately had me dozing off just to get to said moment isn’t exactly exciting.

My biggest gripe with the series, which is the random fluctuation in frame rate, still has not been addressed which does take the player out of the experience when some of the larger plot points of this episode in mangled under a choppy frame rate.

We are just now reached the halfway point in this season, and there still isn’t a clear reason for their journey except for the soul fact of survival, which yes is a story to be told, but not exactly what I was signing up for. Hopefully the next episode that is released will begin to move things forward in the way of a cohesive, continuing story arch. Which I honestly think it will with the tease they have at the end of this one. However, I did think the same thing about this episode…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s