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REVIEW | The Walking Dead: Season 2 – Episode Three

By
Posted on May 30, 2014 AT 06:33am

In the end, I let her watch. After all that happened in “In Harm’s Way,” the third episode of The Walking Dead: Season 2, and after everything that Clementine went through and witnessed, the satisfaction of watching one of those final scenes was beyond description. It felt good, and for a video game to make me feel no remorse whatsoever about a character’s vengeance is what has made Telltale Games’ adaptation of the popular comic series one for the record books.

Clementine and the rest of the group have been captured by Carver, who brings everyone to his secured headquarters. Forced to work under his shadow the gang need to make a plan to escape, while at the same time avoid the walkers that are walking towards the barricaded walls. Children are harmed, people are killed, and the world surrounding our young protagonist keeps getting darker and bleak.

When it comes to performances this year, no one will come close to the coldness that Michael Madsen brings to Carver. Every time he opens his mouth you just want to slap the teeth right out of them. He’s ruthless, unhinged, and doesn’t give a flying f**k about any of his actions. Madsen has created a villain you cannot sympathize with, one that contains neither a heart or soul to keep himself at bay. The character of Reggie, played by comedian Kumail Nanjiani, is also quite memorable, although his short time onscreen makes him a victim of being overshadowed by most of the other cast.

During my playthrough I was initially attempting to make choices for Clementine that would be more fitting for someone her age, something that I managed to do well during the season’s first two episodes. That all changed while playing here, though. Every time a moment came along where I wanted to show Clementine have some backbone I let her go all out. Many times she got hurt by Carver and his men, but I knew it would build up to something big, something that would make my jaw drop. When it came time for the escape plan to commence, what I witnessed was something I did not expect to happen.

Presentation-wise this is the most fluid episode of The Walking Dead I’ve played. No weird sound or animation hiccups were found, and while the loading times were on a bit of the long side it didn’t mess up any of the gameplay mechanics. What’s more the quicktime events felt like they gave you a fair amount of time to make a decision, something that was an issue in the previous episode. The tweaks made here in the latest episode helped make its overall experience nearly flawless, something that Telltale Games has been working hard to perfect these last few years.

PROS:

  • Michael Madsen playing one hell of a villain
  • Clementine becomes more fearless of a protagonist
  • Looks and plays to near-perfection

CONS:

  • Not enough of Reggie

FINAL THOUGHTS:

As the final decision I had to make passed, “In Harm’s Way” took a big part of my breath away. Just when I thought The Walking Dead couldn’t surprise me anymore, it pulls another curtain filled with eye-popping moments and scenes of shock & horror. Well done, Telltale Games. Well done.

FINAL GRADE: 9.8 (out of ten)

Xbox Live Arcade review code provided by Telltale Games and 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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