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REVIEW | The Walking Dead: Season 2 – Episode Four

By
Posted on July 30, 2014 AT 07:35am

Just when you think all will be okay, another disaster is just around the corner. The Walking Dead series likes to give off this feeling a lot, be it in the comics, on TV, and in their video games. This latest episode in Telltale’s series, “Amid The Ruins,” takes any single sense of hope Clementine and the rest have, stomps it down, and pisses on whatever’s left.

**WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS**

“Amid The Ruins” starts off where we last left off, as Clementine decided to either hack off Sarita’s arm or cut down the zombie attacking her. The group reconvenes at the meeting place, only for there to be more tension in the group (depending on which choices you make). Clementine then teams up with Jane to search for remaining survivors, only leading them into more danger and other turmoil. With Rebecca getting closer to giving birth, time is running out for the survivors.

There were points in this chapter where I instantly regretted my decisions. Maybe I shouldn’t have chopped off Sarita’s arm, or maybe I should’ve kept the medicine that Arvo was smuggling for himself to help out the rest of my group. However like Clementine I had to soldier through my choices and hope for the best in the end. As it turns out, like in most of this series’ scenarios, the best is far from the grasp of these survivors.

At times it felt like Telltale Games was setting me up for failure, to see a character or two get bumped off undeservedly. Maybe that’s the point of “Amid The Ruins”: that in this world where the Walkers reign over the country, hope is not a thing with feathers, but a godless concept built up to create horror and disappointment in the end. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but when it comes to The Walking Dead they at least deliver it in a very well-written script.

This episode had its share of technical hiccups, though. On many occasions I noticed lip-synchs that were off, sometimes not happening at all. While the scenes did load a lot quicker there were some times where the backgrounds weren’t loading fast enough, with trees popping out of nowhere as Clementine walked towards a building. Perhaps if they pushed the release back a week then these flaws could’ve been ironed out easier.

PROS:

  • Still telling one of the best stories out there
  • Great character evolutions
  • Tense moments build up the atmosphere

CONS:

  • Demise of certain characters leaves a bitter taste
  • Voice synching issues in some areas

FINAL THOUGHTS:

“Amid The Ruins” may tick you off with some of the sudden turns they place in front of you, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that this is still one of the smartest video games on the market. With the way this one ends there’s no telling where Telltale Games will be taking the final chapter this season. Whatever may happen next just hope you’ll be ready to stomach the outcome that may come sneaking from behind, like the undead ready to pounce on its lively prey.

FINAL GRADE: 9.0 (out of ten)

Xbox Live Arcade review code provided by Kimberly Manuel of Sandbox Strategies

Evan Bourgault is an accomplished music, anime, and video game critic. His passion for discovering new bands, developers, and Japanese pop culture began in his college radio days and continues on today. Evan joined the ElectricSistaHood team in 2008, where he is a contributing editor and host of one of the network's weekly podcasts. Follow Evan on Twitter at twitter.com/King_Baby_Duck




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