The next episode of the eagerly-anticipated Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead is finally here – Season 2 Episode 3, in Harm’s Way. Why is it that it takes a whole extra day to get it on X-Box 360? I don’t know but I don’t like it. It adds a little too much disappointment for me to be screwed over by one day. Plus it causes the game to be out on Wednesdays, which are the days we usually have new episodes of the Asked Internet Radio Show, and therefore I’m always running around busy and feeling rushed while playing the game. I’ll try to make this as major-plot-spoiler-free as possible as always.
While I love The Walking Dead video game series, and also have been enjoying The Wolf Among Us (which I also reviewed episodes 1-3 recently), I have to feel like this particular episode of Season 2 is the one that might be a bit “too short and too sweet.”
“In Harm’s Way” is the episode we get to really see more of the tyrannical dictator, William Carter, who is the game’s answer to other Walking Dead “community leaders” (see also: dickhead villains) such as The Governor and Neegan. Clementine & friends get forced into imprisonment in Carver’s community, which doesn’t even have a name so I will refer to it as “Carverland USA.” Carverland is where all your dreams of canned goods come true! It’s also the point where all these little inane decisions you’ve been making through these games provides the reward of virtually nothing.
Remember 400 Days? This is where your 400 days decisions really play up but all it really amounts to is a bunch of inconsequential characters making cameo appearances. Whether or not the characters continue that didn’t go with “the group” at the end of 400 days will re-emerge remains to be seen (and is rumored that the next episode will involve the characters you DIDN’T make go with the group). Still, the 400 days characters seem to be about as consequential/inconsequential as zombies themselves: walking around with little to no impact anything whatsoever, except for Bonnie, who goes with the group no matter what ANYWAY.
Speaking of Bonnie she’s one of several characters that will become more prominent this episode along with a few new allies, including Mike, a black guy who I have dubbed “not as cool as Lee,” and Jane, with her “ugly little boy” haircut. You’ll also meet possibly the “gayest Telltale Games Walking Dead character ever made” when you meet Reggie.
There were two gay gentlemen in the previous episode of The Walking Dead, and they were much more masculine and more interesting than this lisping creepy incompetent who will annoy you any time he speaks. You’re supposed to feel a bit sorry for him because he’s missing an arm due to a walker attack but I find myself saddened that he’s not missing a head. He’s one of those types that makes you audibly groan in annoyance every time he speaks.
Of course, if Reggie isn’t enough of a hindrance to you there’s always Carlos’ daughter Sarah, whom probably already has gotten on your nerves from dealing with her in the first two episodes – however it is here in Episode 3 of this game that even if you have a saint’s patience you’re going to find that babysitting this overgrown, tall-for-her-age moron is quickly becoming a liability. I’ve really, really had to fight the urge to not hit rude responses to this character thus far but by episode 3 I’m like “screw it, she’s a pain in the ass,” and I really want her out of my hair.
We are also introduced to Troy, Carver’s second in command, who might be an even bigger dickhead than Carver. There’s not one moment you don’t want to kill Troy, which makes him a very good character – my one gripe is that you don’t really get too many conversations with options when he’s around in which to be defiant of this annoying, head-lice-looking little shit.
And of course you can play Clementine as just that – defiant – or you can try to continue to be Bambi through all this and try to play Democrat. Democrats don’t last long in zombie apocalypses. I tend to play Clementine very much as a character who has changed because in my perspective and opinion everything that happened in the first season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead WOULD change someone. It WOULD make them different. It would stir something darker, and it doesn’t matter who you are or how young or old you are, the zombie apocalypse would make changes.
Storyline and character development is very important in all of Telltale’s games, especially here in the Walking Dead – now naturally you are in Carverland and you are a guest (prisoner) so don’t expect there to be a whole lot of free-form or wandering. I found that a little disappointing because it felt like there was a lot less freedom in this episode than the previous episode (where your choices could cause the deaths of quite a few people). It also felt maybe about half the length of the previous episode; it just felt short – maybe it’s because after having completed Telltale’s “Wolf Among Us Episode 3” I’m using that for comparison as well, but generally this one felt like the video game equivalent of “premature ejaculation.” Sure the ejaculate feels good… but you also finished really fast and now you and everyone around you has a feeling of immense emptiness. If you’re trying to clear a few hours to play this one don’t bother because you’ll likely breeze through it. That’s not to say it isn’t without payoff as suddenly the storyline jumps in a big way towards the end (not to mention gives you a pretty decent sense of satisfaction for something so short). Just realize this one is a quickie and you won’t be all that disappointed. And if nothing else in this episode is worth it I want you to know ONE thing:
There is a point where Clementine & company reminiscence about Duck and come to the realization that Duck was a goddamn retard. And that moment of clarity alone was worth the price of admission for this episode.
…I really don’t like Duck.