Review: The Walking Dead Episode 4 – Around Every Corner
Title: The Walking Dead Episode 4 – Around Every Corner
Platform: PC, XBLA, PSN (reviewed on PC)
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Tagline: The Journey Continues Down its Path of Misery
Family Friendly: Click here for more information.
Verdict: Buy It Now
There were a lot of changes that occurred in the last episode of The Walking Dead that really set it apart from the rest of the series and it instantly became a high water mark for the series to date. It is tough to follow up something that has that kind of discussion and following around the web, but there were two episodes to come. Now, after playing episode four, I can say that the quality of the series continues to be on an upswing.
This new chapter continues the adventures of our merry band of survivors as they entered the city of Savannah, and all is not what it seems. In what was thought to be the end of a journey ended up adding a bit of mystery and intrigue. It is also a chapter that does pull at the heartstrings of the player once again and has us making choices that will affect not only the outcome of this one episode, but who decides to work with you in the last chapter of the series.
As with prior episodes, there are decisions to be made and choices to be had, but a new component that crept into the episode was a bit of action gameplay. In the past, the action has been limited to making sure you clicked to a specific location with the proper tool, but now, we get to look down the sights of a weapon and gun down zombies several times during the episode. It sounds a bit weird for an adventure game to add this kind of action, but it makes sense, and adds some palpable tension to the events in question.
I was a bit worried about the changing of the guard with episode four, which brought a new writer to the series with Gary Whitta. Yes, Mr. Whitta had been there from the beginning as a story consultant, but it is one thing to assist with the writing and another to actually be scripting the episode. It is not something I would normally note, but with the strength of the first three episodes, it seemed a strange choice to change over to a new writer, but it pays off as I think the drama and interaction between characters becomes stronger with episode four. In prior episodes, I only grew attached to particular characters, but here, I felt a bond between everyone and a lot of this comes from solid writing for the characters.
And it is not just the writing, but the location and story behind the city of Savannah and its inhabitants really makes for an episode that is rife with drama and tension. A lot of brewing problems come to a head and make some of the decisions far more painful in nature.
With episode four, a lot has been loaded in the chamber for the final episode of The Walking Dead series and it has left us on one doozy of a cliffhanger. It is a tough thing to make an episodic series that feels new each time, but Telltale Games seems to have perfected the model for something that grabs and hold players throughout. No one knows what the finale has in store for us, but episode four has tantalized a fitting conclusion.
- Quality writing
- Fun, tension filled action sequences
- City as a whole is an interesting location
- Late in the game to be adding new characters
- Not as many scares as in previous episodes
The Walking Dead is a game that is M rated for a reason, as it is filled with swearing, children in peril and a lot of killing. Yes, those killed are normally dead, but the idea of shooting and stabbing anything in the head virtually, should be kept in the hands of those 17 and up. Last thing any parent needs is a child dreaming of zombies attacking them.