The Walking Dead Episode 3 has proven that Telltale Games can truly capture the utter despair and horror that comes with a zombie apocalypse. In my opinion I do not believe that the graphic novel or the television show really show how desperate and terrible things have truly become. It's because the gamer is the one pulling all the strings, choosing between good and bad, and sometimes between life and death. In Episode 3, we encounter unforgettable situations that are very painful to witness. The Walking Dead is one of the first games I've ever played that truly gave me shivers and nightmares several nights after the initial play through.
We continue following Lee and the remaining survivors from Macon, as they attempt to survive from not only the dead still hunting them, but from hostile supply-stealing raiders. Tensions mount from within the camp as survivors turn on one another, and Lee is right in the middle of everything. Like in previous episodes, the player takes sides and makes tough decisions that impact how the rest of the episode plays out. Early in the story it's revealed that a traitor may be within the camp, and this sets a chain of events that will move the survivors to new locations and cause them to desperately search for any way out.
In these early moments there is a very tedious and somewhat uninspired action sequence that feels so out of place in a game like The Walking Dead that I found myself almost not continuing the adventure. Normally an episode of The Walking Dead is completed in one sit down and almost impossible to put down, but the shooting was very unresponsive and really took me out of the experience and overall tension of transpiring events. This was perhaps the only real negative experience throughout the episode. However, I feel like Telltale Games should be aware that in a title like The Walking Dead, action is really not necessary.
Depending on which decisions were made leading up to this point, the group faces some very shocking moments, and Lee finds himself in a situation that's almost too much to handle. I won't spoil anything, but I will say that I was immediately shocked and utterly crushed when certain things happened without any warning. It shows how quick things will change in this universe, and how sometimes being a survivor is possibly worse than death. All throughout, I thought only of innocent Clementine, and how my choices and actions would appear to her or change her opinion of me. The character development is so rich and full of twists and turns that I find myself on the edge of my seat throughout the entire three-hour play through.
With only two episodes remaining, Telltale Games have really begun to turn on the pressure, and are not afraid to take risks and chances in storytelling. I am so nervous and at the same time anxious to see what will occur in the next installment. Episode 3 made me feel in ways I never imagined a video game would, and for that I believe it should be praised and honored among some of the best storytelling in gaming. If it wasn't for the unpolished action sequence early in the episode, I would gladly give it top marks. However, this is still a great example of how The Walking Dead is changing the landscape of video games. I encourage everyone to jump in and experience the end of the world first hand!
Four-Point-Five out of Five Hadokens