Despite what I said at the end of episode two of The Walking Dead, I returned from my gaming hiatus just in time for episode three. Telltale released Episode Three with the same amount of story and gameplay, setting up the last two episodes for a momentous ending of season one. This time around, I was able to complete the episode without any issues despite finding quite a few humorous bugs. Nothing bad enough to detract from the score this time, though.
Episode 3: The Long Road Ahead leads the season down a track that will set up for a great season finale but until the fall months we’ll be stuck wondering what the next two episodes will present to us. Once again, if you haven’t played the previous episodes then you should probably avoid reading this review becuase there will be some *SPOILERS.*
Yup, the Storyline is Awesome Again - The first two episodes of the Walking Dead Game, A New Day and Starved for Help, led to some interesting plot points to keep players interested in this world of speculation and desolation. Coming back to the Motor Inn at the end of episode two seemed like a safe haven for our survivors. The writers for episode three rushed the beginning of the episode, giving players many states of nirvana in what seemed to be an anxious and tedious escape sequence, remitting some of the most emotional experiences I’ve ever experienced from a form of entertainment. Meeting up with three new characters was unexpected but was needed to add additional tension in a situation that seemed calmed. For those people who follow mystery novels or cop shows, you can see a puzzle finally falling into place for a big showdown in the next episode.
Interesting Action Sequences and Surprising QTEs - From the raid on the motel to the ensuing carnage on the road, the Long Road Ahead lingered a little longer than anticipated because of interesting action sequences and surprising quick time events. Defending party members to starting a locomotive, Lee was really left with only one objective this episode: survival. Keeping Clementine alive is the last thing that Lee has left and he’ll do anything to keep her going even if it means risking his own life to keep her goal of finding her parents alive.
BREAKING AN AXLE OR TWO
In-Game Bugs - For those who read my review of the last episode, I’m sure you are wanting me to make up my mind on whether I think The Walking Dead Game is good or bad. The fact of the matter is that the story is beyond the depth of any other video game previously released but the gameplay is below par. This time around, camera issues, similar to this X-Play sketch from 2003, just took me completely out of the experience for a short time. Some in-game decisions make characters carry out tasks that they never seem to finish until you force them to. I don’t know if this is just a bug or bad quality assurance dedication on the episode. Either way, I wish small gameplay issues like that would have been ironed out so the game would feel like a smooth experience.
After playing through three episodes of The Walking Dead Game, I’m comfortable with saying that critics will be comparing Grand Theft Auto III’s open world innovations with the innovations of the game’s choice-based storylines. While not all games will implement deep storytelling as studios give players a more open-world experience such as GTA3’s, developers will give gamers the opportunity to choose what kind of experience they want to go through. Episode 3 brought me back in to see how season one will end.
Hopefully, the Long Road Ahead won’t lead to long breaks in between future episodes and we can see the last two pretty soon. Despite some gameplay issues, this episode was the most enjoyable plus heart crushing of all the episodes, leading the next couple to be the most action packed of all. The broad story decisions and character conclusions have lead to broad experiences, while the gameplay department seems to barely have left the quality-assuarance department with a passing grade. In probably five weeks, I’ll let you all know how the next episode is.
*This review was based on the PC version of the game with a review code provided by the publisher.*