[spoiler name="The Walking Dead: Episode 3 Information"]Developer(s) By: TellTale Games
Publisher(s) By: TellTale Games
Rated: “M” for Mature
Price: $4.99 (400 MSP on XBLA)
Release Date: August 28th (PSN) & August 29th (PC & XBLA)
Platform(s): Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 & PC[/spoiler]
Time again for another episode of TellTale Games’ The Walking Dead game, this time titled “Long Road Ahead,” that reunites us with Lee and the rest of the crew that’s left in the aftermath of “Starved for Help”,” of course depending on what you chose to do or not do. Is our merry little band of survivors doing well, or are they hanging on by a thread? Let’s scrape together what we can, and find out.
Episode three brings us back to Macon as Lee and Kenny who are trying to scrape up what few supplies they can find in the city, namely the Everett’s Pharmacy once again. As the remaining resources are starting to dwindle the question becomes, do we stay or do we go? On top of that, there appears to be a traitor in the group that is giving supplies to the bandits we “met” in episode two as supplies keep disappearing from the stash. Soon however, the decision whether to stay at the Motor Inn or to leave is made for you by the bandits and the walkers where then everyone piles into the RV that Kenny had been fixing since episode one. Just as I warned in episode two’s review about the kiddy gloves, this episode takes and throws them in the campfire and then douses them in napalm as this episode starts off with making one bloody decision after another, and you WILL be leaving a trail of bodies behind you as you head towards Savannah, which also happens to be the last known location of Clementine’s parents, and the coast. Once more, just a quick reminder, we are now hitting only the third part of a five part story, so the story has not come full circle as of this moment, and the decisions you make will once again influence how other characters treat you as you try to find you what is lurking “Around Every Corner.”
This time, the controls are for more than just your typical point-and-click as this episode is decidedly much more action oriented as you will have to actually use the controls to move a sniper scope to shoot and kill various targets at certain points in the narrative. Not many times though, but the few times it does get used, the timing is so precise that it can get frustrating. Other than that, once again, camera angles are fixed, so finding hotspots gets to be the name of the game again and moving Lee around to where you can actually hit those hotspots can be a bit aggravating due to the fact that you can’t always see what is obstructing Lee’s movement and causing him to do the ever wonderful “hover-step” that occurs when he moves against the “walls” around him.
For the graphics, if episode two cranked the blood and gore up to 11, this one practically takes the dial and spins it about 5 times and then puts it on 20. As I stated before, this episode is definitely going to have you leaving a trail of bodies in your wake, including some long-time and endearing characters (although we could see the one coming, just not the way it happened) and none of those deaths come from passing away in one’s sleep. None of this comes with any slowdown or frame loss. Overall, the game is still using the comic book style of previous episodes, but that is to keep the look consistent as we work our way through the story from one episode to the next and it still looks great.
With the sounds, the music and sound effects really fit in with the action and the up pacing of the story as we race towards Savannah. The music really sets the right emotional tone during the sad scenes as you’re about to tear up and start bawling from the story unfolding in front of you. I have to say, the actors are still doing an awesome job of bringing out the emotions of these characters and fleshing them out even more as people that we can be, and in most cases are, attached to emotionally as we do what we can to keep them going.
Back to my roller-coaster analogy from episode two’s review, with episode one being the first hill launching you into it and episode two being a loop-de-loop that puts your stomach in knots, this episode is the corkscrew that leaves you dizzy and wondering what else can be thrown at you before the ride is over. That’s not a bad thing as it leaves you wondering if anyone is truly safe and will last until the end. Can TellTale keep us on edge through episode four and on to the end of this, hopefully, first of many rides through the world of The Walking Dead? We’ll be looking “Around Every Corner” for the answer to that. Stay frosty, Adventure Fans!