pop culture | no politics
The second episode of Telltale's The Walking Dead: Michonne dropped this week, and I just wrapped up my playthrough. The middle chapter of the game, Give No Shelter, is certainly a change-up from the rather sluggish episode that preceded it. Players are treated to a lot more action than In Too Deep had to offer, but does that translate to a better overall experience? It does, but two episodes in Michonne remains a flawed game.
I'm not going to waste any of your time discussing the gameplay or visuals as they remain consistent with episode one (you can check on my review of In Too Deep here). And I won't be going into any details regarding the story, as it really is something that needs to be experienced firsthand instead of letting me tell you about it. What I can reveal is that the pacing in this episode ramps up considerably, solving one of the biggest problems that I had with the first chapter of Michonne's story. The opening action sequence is outstanding, made even more entertaining by the fact that player input is somewhat limited. Now this might sound like a bad thing, but I actually like it when Telltale lets me put the controller down and watch the action unfold. Quicktime events don't offer anything that I haven't done a hundred times before and the ones in these games are relatively easy, so honestly I'd rather not bother with them at all. Just let me sit back and enjoy the eye candy, which this chapter definitely delivers.
There's some really nice fan service provided that helps fill in the gaps in Michonne's backstory. She's a wonderful protagonist, but like episode one her character development is handicapped by the fact that she's surrounded by a boring supporting cast. Episode two returns a handful of the previous characters while introducing some new survivors, unfortunately there's just nothing that makes any of them stand out. We've seen variations of all of them before, and quite often in better form. Seeing new characters that exhibit the same traits as ones we're already familiar with is redundant and uninteresting.
Give No Shelter isn't without it's positives though. There's a high-tension chase sequence that will definitely keep you interested, and an extremely uncomfortable first aid moment that will make you squirm in your seat. Neither one is original, we've seen both situations on the TV show more than once. But the intimacy that exists only in a video game completely changes the situation, watching someone tend to a wound on TV is a lot easier to do than patching someone up yourself, even if it is with a controller.
It still has one more episode to make a name for itself, but right now The Walking Dead: Michonne feels like someone took outtakes from the previous Telltale Walking Dead games and cobbled them together into a new game. If Telltale was using a five or six episode format I'd be more confident that this one will work, but considering that we're two-thirds of the way home now it's looking more and more like The Walking Dead: Michonne might end up being a forgettable experience.