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The Walking Dead Episode Three: Long Road Ahead
The Walking Dead Episode Three: Long Road Ahead

Genre: Adventure
Developer: Telltale Games
Classification: MA15+
Release Date:
29th August 2012
The Walking Dead Episode Three: Long Road Ahead Review
Review By @ 12:05pm 03/09/12
PC
We’re past the halfway point on The Walking Dead now, and it’s safe to say that Telltale’s foray into Robert Kirkman’s comic book world has been, barring any unforeseen awful downward shift in the last two parts, a success. Long Road Ahead, by nature of being right in the middle, has to spend a lot of time treading water, but that doesn’t stop it from being hugely effective in parts.

The survivors of the first two chapters must, as is always the case in zombie fiction, move on. Much of this chapter’s action centres around a train, which really is an ideal way of travelling during a zombie apocalypse, but of course there’s little hope that the tracks will end in a safe haven. Naturally, absolutely nothing goes well here, and without spoiling anything, this is the most gut-wrenching episode so far – to such an extent that you can’t help but wonder where it’s going to go from here.

There’s a turning point in a lot of media, be it videogame, television show, comic or whatever, when the people in charge need to start mixing things up a bit to keep producing shock. There’s a moment in Episode 3, an absolute gut-punch of a scene, which made me wonder whether the game was capable of hitting me so hard again without horribly killing Clementine. But that doesn’t take away from how effective the horrible moments in this game are. This really is the most horrible episode, which is exactly what we wanted.



One thing that has become particularly clear, as of Episode 3, is that The Walking Dead will demand a replay once it’s all released. The great thing about the game’s choice system is that ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are largely down to personal interpretation, and having limited time to make decisions in conversations means that you could well come away from this one with a deep sense of regret. I, for one, feel terrible about something I did during this episode.

But there are other areas where the third episode falls down a bit. The busywork of collecting items and solving rudimentary puzzles feels far more perfunctory in this episode than ever before, and there’s a bit too much time spent walking around fairly dull areas, looking for the right things to click on. The tension of Episode 2’s not-quite-right farmhouse and Episode 1’s convenience store are missed here; the settings of Episode 3 are less effective in covering up how rudimentary its adventure game elements are.

A few of the puzzles are just flat-out stupid, as well – they’re not difficult, just nonsensical. At one point you need to get a map, but you can’t because Kenny’s sitting next to it, and Kenny doesn’t want to be bothered. It breaks the immersion a bit when something like this is presented as a problem to be solved, and it’s a shame that the writers didn’t come up with something that made a bit more sense. The ending is a little muted too, compared to the dynamite finales that Episode 1 and 2 offered up, but then if all five episodes ended on a bang we’d likely experience some diminishing returns.



On the plus side, there’s an action sequence early on – a proper shooting gallery, alongside the usual QTEs – that totally works, as simple as it is. The Walking Dead has experimented on the typical Telltale formula, with a lot of success, over the course of these three episodes, and this is definitely one of the more interesting things it has done.

In any case, at this point I’m fully along for the ride, no matter where Telltale takes me. I’m not foreseeing a happy ending here, but I’m damn well invested in whatever comes next.
What we liked
  • Holy hell, that gut-punch!
  • Interesting action sequences
  • Smart writing as always
  • Your choices still feel important
What we didn't like
  • The puzzles amount to busywork.
  • We’re starting to get numb to the traumas
  • The wait for chapter 4
More
We gave it:
8.0
OUT OF 10
Latest Comments
eski
Posted 12:20pm 03/9/12
this game continues its run of f*****g awesomeness. The worst part - the wait between episodes :(

edit - actually no, the worst part was trying to get my savegames back when the game decided not to recognise them anymore.
Crakaveli
Posted 12:34pm 03/9/12
Finished this the day it came out and it's awesome as usual, i dont really want to start another play through until i've finished all the episodes but the wait time is killing me.
ravn0s
Posted 12:46pm 03/9/12
played in on saturday. i felt kind of depressed at the end when i realised there were only 3 people left from the original group. i was pissed when Spoiler:
lily killed carly
. i actually retried that part a couple of times to stop it from happening but you cant :(
Eorl
Posted 12:06am 04/9/12
Only halfway through this episode, but god damn man. This is a really gut wrenching episode, my girlfriend watches me play (she says it is basically watching a really good interactive movie) and some bits really got to her.

Telltale just really know their stuff.
Beezwax
Posted 01:20am 04/9/12
Best one yet
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