Alex Lynch Reviews: TellTale's THE WALKING DEAD; "Around Every Corner"
The fourth installment of TellTale Games' much-loved The Walking Dead video game has been released, which was sure to top the previous episode's quality. However, does it top it, or is Lee's newest adventure a flop? Click for my take...
Telltale Games has unleashed yet another episode of their famous video games series, The Walking Dead. Over the course of the previous three episodes, The game has evoked many emotions from me such as disgust, heartbreak, shock and even devastation, yet each episode always finds a new feeling to pull out of me. In all of my years of playing video games, I have never felt so connected to characters such as Clementine and Lee, and even the most annoying of characters like Ben and Duck allowed me to care for them. Each person in this series is genuine, acting like any person in the real world. This is not only thanks to the writers, but also the voice actors who bring these characters to life.
In the newest installment written by Gary Whitta, Lee Everett and the rest of the gang arrive in Savannah following their eventful train ride. Upon arrival, they seek shelter in an abandoned house, which is just the start of a series of unfortunate events. Within the first 25 minutes, the decisions and actions you have to make are just down-right disturbing. I don’t know what goes through the minds of TellTale’s staff, more or less the director and writer, who are also responsible for bringing this grotesque experience to life. The Walking Dead is probably the most incredible and interactive experience I have received from a video game, even ahead of the Mass Effect trilogy. The Walking Dead actually pulls you in, allowing you to control Lee Everett in every possible way, giving you every possible choice. The latest chapter, Around Every Corner gives you the most possible choices, ranging from ways to kill a walker to assigning tasks to the rest of the character roster like a true leader.
There are, however plenty of hard things that the game forces on you, most of which feel completely unpredictable. The Walking Dead has also created incredibly unique situations – some of which we have yet to see in the rest of the franchise -- while it also eliminates plenty of horror or zombie apocalypse clichés that you may expect to see while playing the game. Even though there are still loose ends and unanswered questions, you can’t stop thinking about the story and its shock. The game – underneath its bloody, violent and cruel shell – is horrendously scary, and doesn't rely on shock scares or torture porn but instead utilizes terror that strikes you emotionally and psychologically. It makes you afraid of yourself and the decisions you’ve made, because no matter what you do in this world, the consequences just make you feel like shit. I firmly believe that Telltale has crafted a perfectly believable zombie apocalyptic world chalk full of realistic characters, environments and situations.
This episode will mess with your head emotionally, providing terror about not only the world and characters around you – but yourself as well. In short, this is the perfect video game drama and deserves every award it is nominated for. Stating that Around Every Corner is incredible is a huge understatement.
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