The Walking Dead: The Game – Episode 4 review

500px-The_Walking_Dead_-_Episode_4_Trailer_-_Around_Every_Corner

The Walking Dead: The Game is a point and click adventure, set in an apocalyptic world of despair, desperation and the dead.

“Around Every Corner” finds our shattered and exhausted group entering the city, in which they find a series of mysteries – the strange markings on boarded up doors, the ringing church bells, the stalkers in the shadows, the man on the walkie-talkie – and the inquiry into each keeps you compelled until the Episode’s climactic end. Between the unraveling you’ll experience the brilliant storytelling we’ve come to expect from the game, and interwoven between the cutscenes and moral choices are some great puzzle sequences and action scenes. The latter is a considerable step up in this episode from the last, instead of feeling restricted we are given more control over our protagonist more often.

Character development continues to be top-notch, particularly that of Lee and Clementine. The relationship between the two consistently pulled at my heartstrings, and by the episode’s end I felt like I understood the relationship between the two and my (Lee’s) commitment to keeping Clem safe on a deeper level; this can be largely attributed to great writing, but also to the stellar performances Lee and Clementine’s voice actor and actress deliver.

Individually, Clementine has grown tremendously as a character, and she is quickly transitioning from mostly a necessary nuisance to needed asset. Ben however, is still a pain to have around, and continues to make his irrational and panic-inducing choices. The growing contrast between each character leads to an array of tough decisions to make, about the fate of Ben, and about the involvement of Clementine in dangerous circumstances, to name a few.

Of course, all of these choices we have to make revolve around morality, and as with every episode, our morality is the ultimate theme, or rather in Episode 4, it’s the duality of our very own nature; the conflict between our compassion and love for others, and saving our own arse. In this exploration of human nature you’ll find a riveting experience, a mature experience, an experienced that evokes the kind of emotions you’ll struggle to find elsewhere in this medium. That’s what makes the The Walking Dead: The Game so uniquely awesome.

When I began the episode, the first environment I saw was visually underwhelming. The city street lacked detail, and I was already expecting an artistic step down from episode 3. I’m glad to say this was the one and only environment that I was unimpressed with, and the game goes on to show some beautiful cel-shaded visuals throughout.

While Episode 4 is another expertly crafted story and pretty showcase of Telltale’s engine,  it still suffers from serious frame-rate “hiccups”, and whilst only occasional, they still took me out the experience on multiple occasions, which is hugely impactful considering how immersive the game can be.

The Walking Dead: The Game – Episode 4 is another incredible, heartfelt, and unique addition to a series that is shaping up to become a serious Rating 9.5contender for Game of the Year, and one of the most sentimental and truly mature games ever made.

 

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