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The Walking Dead: Season Two - Episode 3: In Harm's Way Review

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On 05/29/2014 at 01:30 PM by Jon Lewis

Defining the weak and the strong.

You know the drill, if you've played previous episodes give it a play.

*This review contains minor spoilers*

It took about twenty five minutes into my play through of “In Harm’s Way” to realize that I hadn’t encountered any zombies yet. For that period of time, I was too caught up in the perilous situation that Clementine and the rest of the group found themselves in. This isn't a mark against it though; for me, it was a testament to its engrossing narrative. As each progressive event occurred, I became more and more engaged before being rewarded with a gruesome and gory finale. Episode 3 was another great chapter in Telltale’s Walking Dead series.

After being captured by the sadistic Carver and his gang of people, Clementine and her group begin the episode en route to their camp. Though well stocked and fortified, Carver’s sick rules and dominion over the people lead the group to desperately look for an escape.

What made this episode particularly interesting was the dynamic between these much older characters and Clementine. She continues to come across as a mature and hardened character, though some of that is flexible depending on your conversation options. You can choose to show certain characters kindness, or you can come off as more gritty and tough. This dynamic is especially apparent towards the supporting character, Sarah. Her oblivious and unprepared nature creates many times where you have to decide to console her, or prepare her for the harsh road ahead – even if it means being cold. Other moments (especially in the finale) help build this theme of the strong versus the weak.

This episode was full of moments that elicited a physical reaction, whether it was panicking during a tense scene, or cringing at a brutal death. The final moment provided a string of unforgettable and somewhat shocking moments that have me more than excited to see where the season goes next.

If there was any downside to this episode, it lies in the established problems of the series. Playing on the Xbox 360, I encountered many hiccups and frame rate issues. On a few occasions, I worried that the game froze on me, but it was just loading something. They break up the experience and tarnish the overall package. As the series continues, I can only hope that these technical issues that plague both this series and Telltale’s other works are resolved.

Technical issues aside, “In Harm’s Way” is a great episode. The story and characters have definitely hit stride. If anything, this season has been much more about experiencing things as they come, as opposed to having a specific goal in mind (like looking for Clementine’s family in the first season) , but I am curious about where the series will go after the events of this episode, based on the fates of certain characters. The continued appearance of characters from Season One’s 400 Days DLC has me guessing that the two will continue to tie together in interesting ways. Only time will tell if future episodes will continue to meet my growing standards, but I’ll surely be along for the ride.

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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