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The Walking Dead: The Game - Episode 3: Long Road Ahead Review


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On 09/22/2012 at 12:00 PM by Jon Lewis

The zombie apocalypse sure is depressing. Who knew?
RECOMMENDATION:

Mainly for fans of The Walking Dead, Zombies, or Adventure games. However, everyone should give this series a shot.

It was risky to take a popular known brand like the Walking Dead and create a unique and separate story within that universe, but the risk has paid off. The first two episodes have been great in their own right, but this third and latest episode entitled Long Road Ahead ups the ante not only when focusing on the action, but the emotion as well.

Episode 2 left on a somewhat somber note. Without spoiling anything, there is a great amount of tension in the group. Some members have their minds set on leaving while others aren’t so keen on the idea. With tension rising within the group, and factions beginning to form, group members start distrusting each other. I can’t elaborate too much more without spoiling major plot details, but as you probably can guess, it gets pretty ugly.

Before I dive more into the character details of Episode 3, let’s get into the gameplay. For those who don’t know, The Walking Dead employs a rich conversation system that allows for different moral options. Players can go about a conversation in multiple ways, like answering positively, negatively, falsely, honestly, or even with silence. Your choice is all up to you, but there are definitely consequences for your actions. Zombie encounters usually play out with quick time actions. Telltale has implemented a cursor that players can use to designate specific people and items which definitely comes into play during these encounters.

The first two chapters had their fair share of action sequences, but Long Road Ahead takes it a bit further. Not only do you have a fair amount of zombie encounters, but there is even a big shooting segment this time around. While it doesn’t hold a can to your average shooting based game, these segments feel refreshing for a series that doesn’t often place you in situations where a shootout is the best option. This chapter also addresses an issue that I had with the second chapter, which was the lack of puzzle type sequences. In this chapter, there are plenty of areas where you need to actually solve a small puzzle, or obtain items to advance. These areas are never difficult, but they do feel satisfying.

The place where the Long Road Ahead shines is with its story and characters. A lot of bad things happen, and the situation changes dramatically for Lee and Clementine. The solid voice work complements the set piece moments that will leave players with their jaws on the floor. On a couple of occasions, I paused the game to collect my thoughts after a shocking event. I kept playing, realizing how attached I was getting to the cast members, and it only made my experience that more enjoyable. By the end of the episode, I felt like I was taken on an emotional rollercoaster. I also couldn’t wait to see what was in store for episode 4.

If you are a fan of The Walking Dead graphic novels or television show, and you haven’t played these games yet, do yourself a favor and get them now. The quality is on par, and to some will surpass those standard set by the previous works in the Walking Dead fiction. This episode shows that this series is more than just an adaptation of a popular series, but it might even be worthy of a game of the year nomination. Unfortunately, some technical glitches and slow-down hinder the overall experience. This alone keeps it from being perfect but I still can’t recommend a Long Road Ahead any more than I already have.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:


All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.


These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.


This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.


Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.


Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.


A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.


 

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