The Walking Dead: Episode 4 – Review

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Slow, methodical and brilliant as ever.

Opening with the grim peal of church bells, as the script ominously references long-dead metaphysical metrist John Donne, Walking Dead Episode 4 brings more grim survival action to PC and consoles.

With no let-up in the ever-darker tone of the series, this latest instalment features the digging up of domestic pets, hiding out in sewers, sabotaging hydraulic lifts, watching stabbings on camcorder, and a few interesting new characters.

There’s more moral, practical and parenting choices to be made and as ever your decisions are reflected in the events that follow them, this episode proving particularly brutal, in that you can finish it with an accompanying party that numbers anywhere between five and zero.

Like those gone before it, this episode has the ability for the angst to escalate in a matter of seconds, following long periods of calm with brief incidents of frantic chaos, a nerve-wracking section where you must secure some flimsy glass doors against a baying horde proving a tense button masher.

It’s often a case of warding against the greater of two evils, rather than merely picking the path of the lesser. Problems must be confronted head on as time runs short, and supplies dwindle. You might find yourself using less of the ‘sensitive’ dialogue options, and more of the ‘get on with it, there’s an apocalypse happening!’ routes in conversation.

Heading to the marina is the order of the day as our group of survivors try to snag a boat in order to leave the mainland and sail to somewhere free of the undead walkers. However, things don’t go according to plan, quickly dissolving into a lack of coherent direction altogether – that is, until the resourceful Clementine shows her worth, finding a welcome surprise right under their noses.

Despite her obvious physical vulnerability, Clementine is fast becoming an asset to the group and is less difficult to handle than a lot of the adults – especially Kenny, who, having lost love ones in previous episodes, is still pretty raw emotionally. We’ve seen the disintegration of a rational mind under pressure before in The Walking Dead, and no doubt we’ll see it again.

It is often said that society is judged by how they treat their weakest citizens, and upon discovering one section of the city of Savannah ruled by ruthless Darwinist pretenders, it seems that the undead outbreak really has tested these rules to breaking point and beyond. Horrific practices abound as players find themselves asking whose side they would be on.

There are a few new characters introduced, Molly and the doctor being the strongest, although neither are the mysterious voice on the walkie-talkie – that is a mystery that must remain until the last. Ending with a brutal double cliff-hanger leaves no doubt that anyone who has got this far in the series is now anticipating the final episode just as you would with a television season finale.

Pacing-wise, The Walking Dead is slow and methodical as ever, which won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but suits the ambling gait of the walkers perfectly – and it manages to change gear at the drop of a hatchet when it needs to. Graphically the game is still superb, albeit with some strangely pixelated shadows and the odd floating brushstroke, but that’s easily forgivable when the whole package is so compelling.

Read our interview with The Walking Dead: Episode 4 scribe Gary Whitta here.

By Sam Gill

Score: 5/5

Format: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Price: £20.99 (for 5 episode series)
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Worldwide ticket sales for The Lion King musical surpassed $6.2bn ($3.8bn) this summer
tvMusical is biggest grossing show or film in history
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Business Analyst/ Project Manager - Financial Services

    £60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client in the Financial...

    Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits