The Walking Dead: Episode 4 Review
The Walking Dead series created by Telltale Games is back with its fourth episode called Around Every Corner, released in the month that Telltale Games promised to boot! If you’re unaware it’s an episodic point-and-click adventure game set in the world of the popular comic book series by the same name. It’s the same series that the AMC TV series is based on, but it’s the comic book and not the show that this game shares its universe with. If you haven’t already downloaded the game’s previous episodes then check out our reviews for: the first, second and third. This review will contain spoilers for previous episodes.
Set straight after episode 3, Lee and the gang have finally made it to Savannah when their already vague plan to find a boat and sail to someplace else starts to fall apart. Mysterious church bells start ringing drawing a huge crowd of zombies to the group’s location, a cryptic message is delivered by an unknown male through Clementine’s radio and Omid’s leg is infected. What’s worse is that Kenny has started to fall apart due to the events of the last episode, who can blame him, but his rage is blind sighting him to the obvious and making him dangerous to be around. In short they’re not only up shit creek without a paddle; they haven’t even got a boat.
Previous episodes have been about building up the recurring characters, I’m sure you’ve got your favourites. There is even a small cult devoted to Clementine, so it’s fair to say that Telltale Games have done a wonderful job on creating likeable realistic characters. However this episode is where the game starts to break away from the personal rivalries which dominated the story beforehand. They’re still there of course but the episode is much more focused on introducing new characters and pushing the story forward. That means less time wandering around talking to everybody and more time scavenging and cracking the skulls of zombies. It works though; we already know their personalities now we want to see them react while under some new pressures.
As such the game feels like it has a grander scheme. Before you were limited to houses, farms and trains while now you’ve got a sizable chunk of city to explore with more people outside the group to interact with. Also before this episode the group had always been at the whim of chance and the manipulations of others; this time the group gets to make plans and actually follow through with them in the same episode. It gives the sense that the group has grown, become stronger and now is fully ready for the world they live in; hardened by their experiences.
There are of course tough choices to make, none more than the final few before the episode ends, so don’t think the series has deviated too far from what made it interesting in the first place. As always it’s hard to talk about the episode without giving to much away but there is a lot of action and one character you meet up with really steals the show. Part Altair, part Chuck Norris, 100% awesome.
My previous issues with episodes seem to have been fixed. Suddenly the voice-lip-sync no longer crops up, or at least I never noticed it in any of the conversations I had. Also when you select something for Lee to say, he no longer just shouts it over the conversation cutting off the last sentence spoken. Even the puzzle solving is better with Lee not giving out blatant clues and the puzzles themselves being slightly more engaging. Not saying that they’re in any way challenging but they were never as simple as flipping batteries around or taping up a gas hose.
Episode 4 doesn’t have the same emotional impact as Episode 3; which is nice as that was a very dark story. It does however manage to give the player a greater sense of dread, at just how desperate things have become and how unlikely survival really is. If you’ve made it this far into the series then you do need to pick it up, while episode 5 can’t come soon enough.