After dealing with Kenny’s tragedy, Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Episode 4: Around Every Corner starts with the survivors wandering into Savannah trying to find their final escape from the zombie hordes via a boat. As in traditional zombie storytelling, things never go as the survivors had hoped.
The fourth episode highlighted all of the reasons why Telltale’s adaptation of the comic book series is a great video game spin-off. For a better understanding of the series you can read the previous reviews. For you purists that don’t want any spoilers at all, this is your official *SPOILER ALERT* warning.
CATCHING A LUCKY BREAK
Do I Even Have to Mention the Story Again? - In all of the other episodes thus far, the story has been great but the fourth episode really pulled everything together showing players what each little decision would count up to create an experience that I wasn’t expecting. I really hate repeating myself, but Telltale has put together a great story and episode four was a great climax for the first season.
After playing through both of the KoToR & Fallout series and hearing about how those games had multiple endings which was pretty much just the same resolution either way, I was really glad to see some characters go the way of the dodo and others survive another day. Leading Clementine and the others through the dead city of Savannah gives a whole new meaning to ‘southern hospitality.’ Through the episode you’ll encounter a lot of horrifying things that I didn’t even think they’d put in the game.
Intense Quick-Time Events - From saving Clementine to some new friends that you meet along the adventure, you’ll play some really intense quick-time events. In previous episodes, you would only have to take on one or maybe two zombies at a time but this time around you are taking on hordes at a time. Even some of the puzzles that aren’t quick-time events keep you on your toes as you're stuck waiting for zombies to wander by.
Deadly Good Gameplay - In all honesty, for a click-based adventure game, there will be points that cause players to lose a connection to what is happening in the game’s virtual world, but Telltale takes care of that issue by creating obvious environments that force you to move from one thing to another without thinking ‘I wish I could go over there’. The gameplay is beyond what I expected from the title; from the decision making to searching the world that the characters are in, to trying to figure out puzzles, the few flaws in this episode are heavily outweighed by the strengths.
End of Episode Errors - After I finished the episode, the usual prompts revealing how players made their important decisions throughout the episode should have appeared but instead it loaded default responses. While this isn’t a big issue, it’s always really interesting to see what other people decided. I also wasn’t able to see the trailer for the final episode of the season but I’m actually fine without seeing it so I’ll have a fresh experience. Despite these few little bugs, I didn’t come across any problems with the gameplay.
Loading Screens - I don’t think I’ve brought up the fact that I really don’t like loading screens at all. I understand they are necessary but it seems every time one is loading, its like the game was cut off by a commercial break. Even after the loading screens, the cinematics still have loading issues. Maybe it’s because I have an average PC with an integrated graphics card that causes the engine to chug but I’ve noticed a similar issue when I’ve played the game on my PS3.
For the climax of the first season, Telltale’s The Walking Dead game Episode 4: Around Every Corner really gripped my heart and wouldn’t let go from the start and until the end of the episode. With few in-game flaws, I don’t see why anyone who hasn’t already played the first three episodes would stop there as the story just gets better, bringing bitter reality to all of your favorite characters.
With the introduction of new characters, the story continues progressing even when it seems like the game is just offering up more gameplay, giving players an even more exciting experience. I can’t wait for Episode 5: No Time Left which will most likely be crashing onto virtual store shelves just before Thanksgiving.
*This review was based on the PC version of the game with a review code provided by the publisher.*