THE WALKING DEAD EPISODE 3: The Long Road Ahead Review

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Developer(s): Telltale Games
Publisher(s): Telltale Games
Platform(s): Playstation Network, PC, Xbox Arcade, iOS
Release Date: August 29, 2012

The Walking Dead is episodic gaming done right. Not only are these short, but sweet interactive comic books only five dollars per episode, their re-playability and accessibility is what sets them apart from other downloadable games in the genre. As a fan of The Walking Dead, I highly suggest that you download any episodes you may have missed right now.

Telltale Games has worked very closely with Robert Kirkman in creating a brand-new set of survivors you care about and whom you interact with through your avatar and main protagonist Lee. I refer to him as an avatar because you will find that all of the decisions you are presented with ultimately feel like your decisions. Have you ever wondered about what decisions you would make in the wake of a sudden zombie apocalypse? The Walking Dead: The Game answers those questions with an expertly crafted narrative filled with messed up scenarios, both zombie and human alike. Lee and Clementine are now a part of The Walking Dead canon and I am hooked.

The Good
- Expertly crafted story
- Comic book art style
- Part of “The Walking Dead” canon
- Survivors we care about

The Bad
- Wonky shooting parts
- Some clipping and floaty movements

If you couldn't tell by the other games I have reviewed so far for The Game Scouts, I'm a big fan of zombies. There's just something about that undead swagger I find just so downright appealing. That being said, I also love a good drama. The fusion of these two loves coupled with the way Telltale accurately projects your decisions through Lee within this version of The Walking Dead mythos is both eerie and innovative. Episode 3 deals with a lot of death, tugs at our heartstrings, and ultimately, leaves us wanting more.


There is a lot of death in this episode. Things you wouldn't expect ultimately end up thinning out your group fairly quickly. It's intense in its delivery and full of difficult decisions. Decisions that mean life or death for some members of your group. Speaking of life and death, there are some action sequences in Episode 3 that just didn't jive well with the adventure game esthetic. As a result, these parts just seem wonky and out of place. Using the A (or X) button to shoot on a modern gamepad? Is this 1995?

The premise of Episode 3 is that you're trying to get your survivor group to Savannah, Georgia. When you get a train up and running, you finally hit the tracks, but there are some bumps along the way. Some really messed up bumps. Fans of the comics and Telltale's previous episodes will be enticed and left wanting more. Let's just hope that the wait isn't as long next time. If Telltale continues to maintain this level of excellence in its downloadable titles, it could potentially be able to branch out into other beloved franchises and due them just as much justice as they are doing with The Walking Dead game.

Review by Michael Engle

Final Score “Episodic Gaming Done Right” 9.0
Graphics
The graphics are pretty unique for a downloadable title. They match the feel of Kirkman's original comic books.
8.5
Gameplay
There were new sequences added to previous episode formats that changed things up, but these ended up being wonky and seeming out of place. Other than that, the tried and true gameplay mechanics from the first two episodes returns.
8.0
Value
If there's one thing these episodes make me want to do, it's replay them. They are not time sinks and it's fun to take alternate routes and make different decisions – throughout each individual episode. I honestly can't wait for the next one.
9.0
Sound
Solid voice acting, great ambient sounds, and best of all – zombie moans! It's all here and it sounds great. Music to my brains!
8.5

7 comments:

  1. I love this game. Although I'm surprised that the same company did the terrible Jurassic Park game. It's like night and day. This is certainly the right direction for them.

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  2. I honestly think it's their close affiliation with Robert Kirkman that's giving this thing such legs. I love his work and the man is a modern day Romero. Hands down. I think THAT'S the difference between Jurassic Park and these titles.

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  3. I agree, Kirkman's the man. That's why the TV show turned out so great as well. I love the fact that they kept it different enough from the comic to be interesting to veteran readers. Badass review btw.

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  4. Thanks man! That means a lot. More to come! I called dibs on reviewing Borderlands 2! XD

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  5. This looks great. Although I think I'll wait until they complete the series and then play it all at once. :)

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  6. Adam - That will be worth the wait!

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  7. Rumor has it that a retail version of the game with all five episodes will be available Dec. 6th according to Telltale.

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