Published on November 9th, 2012 | by Charles Johnson15
The Walking Dead: Episode 4 Review
Developer(s) By: TellTale Games
Publisher(s) By: TellTale Games
Rated: “M” for Mature
Price: $4.99 (400 MSP on XBLA)
Release Date: October 9th (PSN), October 10th (PC & XBLA)
Platform(s): Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 & PC
Welcome back once again, Adventure Fans, as we delve deeper into TellTale Games’ The Walking Dead game with episode 4, “Around Every Corner”. This time we finally make it to the remains of “civilization” and find out how the rest of the world has fared since the outbreak. As it turns out, not all is as it seems as we find the streets alive with the dead. Will Lee be able hold on to his humanity as he slogs through what’s left of Savannah? What about the rest of our merry band of survivors? Time to jump into fray and get into it.
Episode four finds us disembarking from the train we were aboard at the end of “Long Road Ahead” as the group arrives in Savannah and attempts to find some semblance of civilization or a boat to escape to sea on. As the group makes their way to shore, church bells start ringing out and the Walkers start moving. After taking refuge in an abandoned house, the group looks around to see what they can find and to plan their next move. With this episode, the game has a more expositional story and is more puzzle driven than reliant upon action, but that doesn’t mean there is no gunplay mini-games. Also gore and guts being spilled everywhere will be present as well, so no kiddie gloves here either. As again this is an episodic adventure, this is only the fourth of five episodes for this season’s adventure with Lee and the gang, and, as always, decisions made in previous episodes carry over in to this episode and will influence the final episode to come when we find there to be “No Time Left.”
The controls again are context sensitive and will change depending on the situation from standard point-and-click reticule that has various interactions around it to a targeting reticule for shooting a weapon. All of this is again handled very smoothly so that you don’t need to try to go rummaging thru a cluttered inventory as you evade Walkers. As with the previous episode, the shooting segments can be a bit unforgiving as you need to be precise with your shots and their timing or you’ll have to start all over again. As always, you have no direct camera control and again you might find Lee doing the “hover step” dance as you bump him along an invisible wall or two in your search for the next hot spot to advance the story.
With the graphics, once again the game maintains the moving comic book character graphics that have been used from the start. It still works very well and looks great at all times because of the game’s roots. Since this episode is heavier on the storytelling, there is noticeably less blood and gore, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there, and when it shows up, it is still well done and doesn’t slow down the game in the slightest.
Sounds still sound great, with the music setting just the right tone at just the right time to keep you wondering what is coming next. The voice actors keep up the great work conveying the emotions of the characters as everything is going to hell around them. Again, these actors keep us attached to these characters by making them feel as real as your best friend or your next-door neighbor.
Once again, going back to the roller-coaster analogies from the previous episode’s reviews, with episode one being the first big hill, episode two being the big loop-de-loop that puts your stomach in knots, and episode three being the corkscrew that leaves you dizzy, this episode is a series of long loop-de-loops that make you wonder if you’ll ever make it out of them and make it to the end. With the twist ending of this episode (as readers may have noticed, I do try to keep spoilers to a minimum), we’ll see if TellTale can make this ride worth another trip when they launch season two of this series after there’s “No Time Left” for season one.
Summary: Episode features great voice acting, clever puzzles, and a staggering huge surprise ending. Too bad it's just another long wait till the final episode, and the graphic hiccups could use some fixing as well.