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Posted by on Jun 4, 2014

Review: The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 3

Review: The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 3

Title: The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 3
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, PlayStation Vita
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Release Date: Out Now
Price: $4.99/£3.99/€4.99
Tagline: Clementine Comes Into Her Own
Family Friendly: Click here for more information.
Verdict: Buy It Already

With the last episode of The Walking Dead Season 2, I was left a little adrift with the plot and the direction of the main story. Nothing about it really captured me in any way, and I wondered if I was sensing a bit of fatigue with the formula and the characters. And then, I played “In Harm’s Way”, the third episode in the season, which takes characters in new directions, and solidifies the notion that The Walking Dead is still as good as it always has been.

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The story continues from the last episode where we have the two merged groups of characters captured and brought back to a compound that is run by a man who is a bit of a tyrant. Order is the idea, and those that do not get into line are punished and if needed, killed. Of course, this does not mesh well with Kenny and the rest of the captives who work to find a way out of the camp and back to a sense of freedom.

The story this time around still meanders a little bit and never really pushes any major plot points, but it does put Clementine into a bigger focus as a character. Here, we start to explore her interactions with this new world and if it is starting to change her, for better or worse. Some darker paths are investigated, and the choices that are presented to you have profound effects on the character that Clementine will become moving forward for better or worse.

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Sadly, the puzzle aspect of most Telltale Games titles are going down in scope and difficulty and this latest episode of The Walking Dead is no different. There is one point where you have to do a little work to find a radio, but the “adventure” part of these games is becoming more and more passive in nature. Instead, the focus is more about story choices and dialog choices with the puzzles taking a backseat to narrative. It is not a bad idea as the narrative here ends up being fantastic with the choices that are presented to you, but for those that want some puzzle solving in their adventure title, you will be disappointed as you have been for the last few entries from Telltale Games.

With the focus being on more development for Clementine, it does make for some thrilling decision for her and those decisions might be the first impactful decisions that will affect the story going forward if done right. The decisions here were great with the scope of the decisions that had to be made and how they define the character moving forward. It represents a change in the formula that is long needed, adding for the possibility of stark changes based on the way characters play the episode. The choice will also leave you a bit shocked at how far Telltale pushed with the design of this new episode of The Walking Dead.

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So the puzzles are long gone and the story as a whole does not do much, but the choices and character introspective on Clementine make “In Harm’s Way” the best episode of the second season of The Walking Dead and possibly one of the best in either season so far to date. It offers impactful choices that take the character down some disturbing roads and a change in the saccharine treatment of Clementine.

Clementine:

  • Great character development
  • Interesting scenarios
  • Excellent dialog options

Zombies:

  • Complete lack of puzzles
  • Story is a bit weak
  • Might be a bit too dark for some players

Family Focus
While all of the episodes earn their M rating in The Walking Dead, this latest episode might be the one that pushes the rating the most. It asks the player to make several choices that might feel a bit uncomfortable when making them and does portray Clementine in a darker light if certain decisions are made. Keep this one for the upper teens and older to be safe.

Joseph Haygood

When not writing news and reviews for GGS Gamer, or hosting the truly terrible You Like the Worst Stuff podcast, I am actively seeking an on-call arch-nemesis.

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