Now I won’t get into the atrocity that is PS3 Europe owners not getting to play this game for nearly a month after our USA counterparts, or how UK Xbox Live customers were also able to play it for nearly a month before we got our hands on it. I won’t get bogged down in the bureaucracy that is international publishing rights, that’s saved for another article. What I will say is how happy I am that the episode is finally here.
Telltale games have been doing a great job with The Walking Dead game, a game based more on Robert Kirkman’s comic book and less on the TV show. Every month a new episode comes out and every month I’m waiting with breath held to see what will become of my character Lee Everett.
When we last left Lee he and most of the crew had just escaped the clutches of some unsavoury farmers, they had headed back to their motel base camp and depending on your decision making skills there were some people not too happy with you. When I first began playing The Walking Dead I tried to be non-committal, a kind of middle of the road character but in this game word that has become an impossibility. It really is a dog eat dog world and you have to decide what dog you want to be.
Telltale have succeeded in making me care about Lee and his young companion Clementine, it’s also let me care for some characters and based on my decisions made me hate others.
Food and medical supplies are running scarce for your group and it turns out that someone has been making deals with the local bandits; they have been giving them medication to leave the motel alone. After a confrontation the group is forced onto the road where they have the worst road trip in the history of road trips; forget National Lampoons Vacation and Planes, Trains and automobiles this road trip is where it’s at when it comes to brown stuff hitting the fan. When on the road Lee has to make some hard decisions, I’d say the hardest yet and without giving too much away towards the end you will be questioning some of the decisions you made back in episode 1. I never thought a simple decision game with cartoony graphics would hold my interest this much, not only was I on the edge of my seat but I was regretting some of the things I had done in previous games, something I have never done in all my years playing decision games. The Walking Dead weighs your decisions heavily on your shoulders and you are left wondering if you would really have made these decisions in real life.
Lee is not a hero; he is a man just like any other and is forced to make decisions whilst the world crumbles around him. I hate to think what would have happened if he had never come across Clementine on that first day, would he even be still alive and if so would he be recognisable. Clementine has some growing up to do this episode and she does it with style, this kid is awesome and very resilient. Someone I hope stays living to the end of this game series.
The episode isn’t without its problems, there was twice the game stalled on me and I had to go back to previous checkpoints, there were some unfinished graphics and there was even a moment I was talking to a game character who wasn’t there (or was it Claude Rains?).
This didn’t ruin the experience but it hindered my immersion, just as our characters found a cool locomotive the game stalled, I was left to remake some of my decisions and since I usually make them on a whim I wasn’t sure if I chose the same thing twice.
These little niggles apart I loved this episode, it is really showing me the playability of the game and I imagine when the final 2 episodes come out that I will be replaying it a few times to see how I can change the game world.
I’d suggest getting the season pass as it’s the cheaper option and you really do need to play it as a whole experience. If you have an Xbox get it on there if in the UK because there’s no guarantee when the hell UK PS3 users will get episode 4.
3.5 nerds out of 5