The Walking Dead - Episodes 3 - 4 - Review
Posted by PlayDevil.com Staff on Nov 29, 2012 14:38
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Written by: Ian
Walking into Legend?
After some decreasing quality from Telltale, the first couple of episode of the Walking Dead proved to be something of a revelation. Can they keep up the quality?
Being adventure games, the story has to be top notch, and so far Telltale really delivered in spades for the first episodes. Despite only drawing influence from the comic series, rather than lifting directly out from it, the developers and writers have come up with a plotline that feels drawn straight out of it.
It’s a dark, dark world, and episodes 3 & 4 take an even darker turn. It’s difficult to say more without giving away spoilers, but some of the characters you’ve got to know in the first couple of episodes will die, and there’s nothing you can do about it. And the ending to episode 4. Wow.
Well, I’ll just leave it and say that it will be a really interesting end to the season after the explosive endings to events there.
Interestingly, Telltale have decided to add in some new little gameplay tweaks and sequences as the episodes have progressed, whilst keeping the core gameplay very similar to that which we’ve already discussed in our previous review of the first couple of episodes. The game remains pretty slow paced, with a mixture of walking and interaction, with a number of important choices and timed dialogue sequences.
There are a couple of action pieces squeezed in though, including a first-person shooting sequence and a section with infinitely respawning zombies in Episode 4. Unfortunately, whilst tense, these sections fall a bit flat because the controls are a bit loose, meaning you feel that failure is more down to the game’s timing than your own.
There’s enough new in terms of the plot, dialogue choices and environments to not have really needed any of these new sections. Kudos for trying at least. Thankfully these action-orientated parts are pretty small, and the core gameplay is so tight and well crafted, and you’ll care so much about these characters by this point that you’ll just want to keep on going.
It’s worth noting that Episode 3 is probably the strongest episode to date, whilst 4 is probably the weakest. It’s not exactly a comedown, but it tries too much new, and had a lot to live up to after the incredible pace and dark plot in Episode 3 that it was always likely to struggle a bit.
Telltale again took inspiration from the comic book series, and the game looks like an awesome interactive comic, with an art style that just really suits things. It doesn’t take away from events at all, and that’s impressive, given the emotions the game has made me go through so far. The game really adds some nice new variety in these two episodes, going out to a train, and then pulling into Savannah that keep the environments looking fresh.
The voiceover work continues to amaze me, with an ensemble cast that pull their weight with each and every line. The dialogue has been expertly written, and you really feel anguish as you’re forced into making the decisions. A couple of times I even reloaded a checkpoint because I wasn’t happy with the choice I took- such is my investment in the characters by this point.
Telltale have kept the magic going and have crafted an even darker couple of chapters than the original two. Whilst it’s nice they’ve tried to mix up the gameplay, the additions are a bit hit-or-miss, but don’t let that put you off. The story alone is enough to make this an XBLA must-have. I can’t wait to see the season finale in Episode 5, and just hope that this impressive series doesn’t finish with a let-down.
+ Dark middle chapters
+ Bring in new gameplay elements
Some additions are hit and miss
- Occasional illogical puzzle
- Sometimes the player feels too helpless