The Walking Dead Episode 3 – Review
The latest Walking Dead episode moves the series beyond the merely great, to the downright essential.
Michael Plant is chief editor and writer of gaming ezine and blog GamesCatalyst.com, as well as editor of 'The Independent'’s games review printed in the Saturday supplement 'Information'. Established in February 2011, Games Catalyst endeavours to bring its unique brand of fact and satire to the videogaming community and, in tandem with 'The Independent', hopefully turn a few non-believers on to gaming while we’re at it.
Friday 07 September 2012
After playing the first two episodes back to back and enjoying them thoroughly, anticipation levels were fairly high for the third instalment of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead.
Titled ‘Long Road Ahead’, the action resumes a week after the events of Episode 2, as we find our intrepid survivors still holed up in the motor inn, in search of the last of Macon’s meagre supplies, and sees group leader Lilly becoming increasingly paranoid about disappearing medicinal stock.
The time comes to up sticks and leave the town, particularly with homebase under siege by both the living dead and the living living, in the form of a parasitic bandit group intent on letting your group do all the hard graft to gather the supplies before grabbing them for themselves.
It definitely feels like the series is really settling into its stride (a shambling, slow-moving, arms out-in-front kind of stride perhaps, but a stride nonetheless). With the announcement of a second season to follow, it feels like there’s breathing room in the plot to allow the characters to develop – although which characters develop will of course depend on who you’ve chosen to rescue previously.
Inevitably, the spectre of death hangs over much of the game, with Lee still reeling from the confrontation with his zombified brother, searching for the pharmacy keys back in Episode 1. You see how he looks differently at the walkers, haunted by the likelihood that everyone he ever knew or loved will (or already have) fall foul of the undead – and that every one of the walking dead themselves was once beloved of someone.
This is a somewhat different attitude to most video games, where death is merely the order of the day as mindless cannon fodder line up to sieve your bullets. The contemplative mood, scarcity of weapons (at one point I was left imploring Lee not to give his axe away, cursing his nice guy impulses!) and emphasis on variety of gameplay means that when you are attacked and must feverishly tap ‘Q’ as part of a quicktime event, it still has an impact.
Puzzle-wise, there’s a fun sequence where you and your crew have to stop the ever-reliable RV and must navigate somehow past a huge, partially de-railed freight train. It’s classic point-and-click stuff, and while not particularly challenging, it’s pleasant to have a relaxing, thought-provoking sequence in this blood-and-thunder digital world we gamers have adjusted to.
Without giving away too much of the plot, there’s another heart-rending climax to offset the triumph of movement once you solve the train conundrum, and then I’m afraid there’s a long wait until October or thereabouts for the next instalment.
As those who are addicted to any long-running series knows, be it videogame, TV or comics, the wait for your next fix can be brutal. The fact that I’m already feeling restless pangs of zombie withdrawal means that The Walking Dead has got all the ingredients of a classic serial.
By Sam Gill
Format: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Price: £3.99 (requires Ep 1 & 2 to play)
Developer: Telltale games
Publisher: Telltale games
Life & Style blogs
DNA hope on schizophrenia: Research breakthrough points at over 100 genes
Husband creates spreadsheet detailing wife's 'excuses' for turning down sex
UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
Man takes most pointless Uber cab ride of all time
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
- 1 Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
- 2 Fight Club 2: Chuck Palahniuk sequel is a 'meta-fictional comment on the cultural response to the original'
- 3 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 4 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum 23 days holiday plus Pension scheme: Clearwater Peop...
£20000 - £25000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: The 1st Line Suppo...
£450 per day + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Deployment Manager-£4...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Junior Automation QA Engineer (Specflow, BDD, C#...