Release Date: August 29, 2012
Developer: Telltale Games
Platform: PS3 / X360 / PC / iOS
I’ve completed the third installment of Walking Dead and I only have one thing to say: “Holy…!” I apologize for any doubts I had for the developers of this game. In my previous review of the series, I called the episode predictable. The Walking Dead Episode 3 changed all of that, but before I get ahead of myself, let’s goes over the premise of this episode.
Tensions are soaring among our band of survivors. They’ve just drained the city of everything it has left, Lily hasn’t recovered from her father’s fate and Ken is growing weary of her deteriorating mind, and now the decision to leave the motel is upon them. The tension rises when Lily claims someone from the group has been stealing her meds. Needless to say, Lee has graciously volunteered himself to solve this mystery. This leads to some unsightly revelations with grisly results. The question of whether to stay or leave the motel has been made for Lee and his team. Now these survivors have to find home elsewhere.
There is little change in the gameplay, but I did notice that other characters acknowledged when Lee had the item of focus in his possession. This made the conversations seamless, and I am grateful for that because human interaction is the heart of this game. Speaking of human interaction, my version of Lee was the epiphany of indecision and the developers are making it increasingly difficult for me to continue said path. Sure, good deeds are honorable, but taking such high roads pits certain individuals against you. That’s why it seemed wise to be the mediator. In this episode though, choices have become black and white and neither decision is ever favorable. In addition, there is no random detail in this game. Even the least important piece of information holds magnitude in the game. An example of this consisted of Clementine drawing a picture, and even that small action was used to move the story along.
The developers have done well to continue the steady pacing of the franchise. I’m sure you all remember my comment regarding how slow episode 2 was. I now realize that was just the calm before the storm. Three is fast paced and unnerving, increasingly dark and desperate. Regardless of where they escape to, there will never be relief in their post apocalyptic world. This is portrayed well through the desolation of the scenery, the failed struggles of strangers, and you having to choose whether to take advantage of that person or not. The world of Walking Dead is not pretty, and if this episode is any indication of the future, things are only going to get much worse.
The acting: What can’t I say about this? I’ve heard a few opinions concerning the quality of the cast from past episodes. Most were good, while others were not. But in this episode, watching these characters makes it seem like the player is an unnamed character seeing the distress in the game. The characters’ voices hold conviction, uncertainty, and rage. Accompanied by the facial expressions, the voice acting is especially amazing.
Time flew by with this game. At one moment I flipped on my Xbox only to realize in my dismay that it was over two hours later. Walking Dead has endless interpersonal possibilities among Lee’s parties and self decision that will have the player replaying the game over and over again. The acting is impeccable, the mood is captured perfectly and every detail counts. It’s a shame I have to wait until October to see where TellTale Games will take Lee and his band next. It’s worth it though, because I know the results will be positive.
- Amazing acting
- Convincing scenery
- Good pacing
- Seamless conversations
- Too short