The Walking Dead Game’s Latest Chapter: Weak Story, Great Jacket

The Walking Dead Game’s Latest Chapter: Weak Story, Great Jacket
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When I finished episode three of the second season of The Walking Dead game, I thought, “Well, that sure was an episode of The Walking Dead.” Mild zombie- and jacket-related spoilers follow.

I think that, like our young protagonist Clementine, I’ve gotten too hardened, too young. I’ve seen so many people die, witnessed so many betrayals and unexpected zombie attacks that I’ve grown inured to the whole thing. That seems a likely explanation for why I was mostly unmoved and a little bored by the new episode, which is out this week for pretty much every gaming platform except the PS4 and Xbox One.

But whatever, zombies and death and murder, blah blah, the important thing is that CLEMENTINE GOT A SUPER AWESOME NEW JACKET:

I wasn’t sold on it at first but eventually, I mean, look at it:


So: Good jacket, middling episode. I think the (actual) reason I didn’t really like episode 3 was that it relied way too heavily on under-explained character motivation, rushed pacing, contrived scenarios, and genre clichés. There is literally a scene where the main bad guy sits Clementine down and says, in as many words, “We’re not so different, you and I.” I’m going to have to start keeping a scorecard of games that trot that one out.

The episode, titled “In Harm’s Way,” was certainly no match for the terrific third episode of season one, and while it moved us one step closer toward… somewhere, I can’t help but worry that the series’ narrative has lost its way.

Hopefully Telltale can keep their focus on Clementine and her struggle to hold on to her humanity, since my decision to have her stay and watch a violent murder at near the end of the episode felt more important than any of the contrived creeping and sneaking I had her do in the hours preceding it.

We’ll see how it goes, but for now, I’m getting the sense that season 2 might not quite know where it’s going.

Some other thoughts, aided by images:

It’s too bad they had to take Kenny and once again make him into the “snappy dude who wants to do shit that no one else in the group wants to do.” I’m pretty sick of that Kenny. I already miss the chilled out, happy Kenny from episode 2.

Dear Telltale: Between The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, you are officially overdoing it with the “Make players mash the “A” button but make it so they can’t succeed then bail them out with a scripted event” trick. It was fun the first time, but it’s gotten to the point where I just kind of give up because I know I can’t win and the game will eventually save me.

“We’re not so different, you and I. Well, your jacket is cooler. But other than that, we’re pretty similar.”

Nice to hear the always-funny Kumail Nanjiani, since I’ve been enjoying him on HBO’s Silicon Valley. That said, I found the writing and his performance distracting and a bit hammy, since all I could hear was the actor, not the balding one-armed guy he was playing.

This dude is the literal worst, god.

Also the worst: Sarah, who I’m 100% ready to use as walker-bait. Girl, you need to get with the program. Game, you need to stop making me feel guilty for not being able to take care of her and keep Clem alive at the same time. I know that sometime in episode four or five, I’m going to have to make a decision about whether or not to save her or let her die. Let’s get on with it.

See? The jacket even looks cool in the middle of an awkward action sequence.

I thought I’d open up a thread to anyone who’s played the episode to talk about it in the comments, but first, a poll:


  • Hey, here’s an idea, if you’re going to give away spoilers in the text, actually put A SPOILERS WARNING IN THE TITLE…

    • You’re asking too much again, weresmurf. It’s okay we all do it now and then with this place. 😛

  • Gahhh I kinda saw this coming at the end of the last episode, the preview didn’t really leave me expecting much.

  • I didn’t mind the story so much, and I thought the “we’re not so different” bit was well done, even if it is a bit cliched.

    What mainly annoyed me about this episode is the fact that it was basically one big cutscene. There are maybe two or three moments that let you walk around and talk to people and those are all insubstantial and over in a heartbeat. There are no puzzles either.

    The cutscenes and dialogues are the best bits, but I reckon there needs to be a few more opportunities for the player to go at their own pace. The previous Walking Dead had hub areas that did this, but they seem to be phasing them out with this and ‘The Wolf Among Us’.

    • To be honest, I don’t mind the whole “One big cutscene”. I never really enjoyed the “hub-like” areas as I knew all I had to do was go check out stuff, Though talking to the people was fine.

      But.. each to there own 🙂

  • ****Following comment has more spoilers than Forza Mororsport, BEWARE******

    I had a big problem with Carver, Michael Madsen’s performance went back and forth between natural and cue card, plus the quality of his audio sounded like they recorded it at his house or something. Acting/quality aside, they tried to make him despicable via disproportionate retribution, eg: making Sarah’s Dad slap her for talking and killing Reggie for not having 2 little girls do a stellar job picking berries, this just felt so lazy when there have been really threatening characters in TWD in the past, like The Stranger, that they’ve written so well. Despite that and a few nitpicky issues, I still enjoyed it, like every other episode so far and the last scene was intense as hell with that blink and you’ll miss it massacre of several main characters that last season’s EP 3 became infamous for.

    @kataphrut was right about this episode being mostly cut-scene, but to be honest I think ‘adventuring’ segments is where the game bogs down, between that and the quick-time events it feel like TT needed to remind us that we’re playing a video game. The story, dialogue and choices however have been top notch from Telltale and that’s what keeps me coming back.

    Finally I was distracted by Reggie, but not because of the VA’s role in Silicon Valley (never watched it, never will) it was because he sounded a lot like Tommy Wiseau

    • *******************************SPOILARS1!!11!!!11!oneone!!!1eleven*********************
      What made me disappointed is that I chose to not help the other girl because I wanted something bad to happen to the dodgy one armed cunt. And then on my 2nd playthru I learned that he got murdered either way. It took away my initial satisfaction of “I got you killed cunt” and replaced it with disappoint.

      • That’s the biggest problem with this series imo. It doesn’t matter what you choose, the outcome is the same. That and when it says “So-n-so will remember this” it usually doesn’t mean anything. I’m really enjoying this game but there is so much more potential.

  • “Dear Telltale: Between The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, you are officially overdoing it with the “Make players mash the “A” button but make it so they can’t succeed then bail them out with a scripted event” trick. It was fun the first time, but it’s gotten to the point where I just kind of give up because I know I can’t win and the game will eventually save me.”

    That’s where they catch you off-guard and you die and lose every single bit of progress in all of the episodes because you didn’t mash and just let your face get eaten. 😛
    (this sounds like something Kojima would do)

    • I have a mechanical keyboard, and game (Often with headphones) in a room where other people are doing things. Mash a key as quick as you can is SO ANNOYING because it is like a machine gun going off. And then it turns out to be pointless and I am all ‘What, really? You made me annoy my family for that?’

      • Could be worse: any guitar hero instrument on a range from guitar (loud, frequent clicking and button mashing) to drumkit (violent ear rape for anyone in your household)

        At any rate, I was having a laugh with it – away with your practicality 😉

  • ****SPOILER ALERT****

    Was it just me or did anyone else get excited when Sarita got bit and it went into slow-mo? All I was thinking was “Yes!, cut it off!” which I chose to do so and I was pretty happy about it. Though Carlos died! What the hell? I liked him :/

    Also that ending song fited well for this ending. I’ve always liked when in the walking dead T.V they’d have Beth sing a song or some other artist singing a song, it concludes the story/episode very well.

  • I disagree about Sarah, but only because I am not sure you aren’t missing a point: She, like Duck (Though less obviously) is mentally challenged, possibly autistic. She is coping as best she can but she literally doesn’t have the faculties to handle the world. Sure, the cruel and coldhearted will say ‘Yeah, well, then she should just die, because the world isn’t for people like her’ but I think it makes keeping her alive, and as intact as you can, part of what keeps Clem and the people around her human.

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