The Walking Dead Game
Episode 2 “Starved For Help” Review
After Telltale games brought out one of the most underrated titles a few months back with The Walking Dead Episode 1 “A New Day”, the bar had been set for the next four episodes of this soon to be adventure classic. In Episode 2 “Starved For Help,” the stress filled environment from Ep. 1 continues and piles unrelenting tough decisions on your plate. This is what the zombie apocalypse and The Walking Dead are supposed to feel like.
The nostalgic style adventure type gameplay returns in Ep. 2, accompanied by the translucent D-pad. Scenes where actions are needed run smoothly, QTE prompts are responsive, and you’re beginning to learn that Lee just isn’t that strong of a man. The choices you make are becoming tougher, and the timed responses are becoming more important (and stressful) since you can see the division in the group, and it’s already becoming difficult to stay neutral (if that was your intention).
[VERY MINOR SPOILERS TO FOLLOW]
“Starved For Help” differs from “A New Day” because it forces you to get involved. The silent protagonist is still a viable option, but if you chose anything else in Ep. 1, you’ll be forced to choose a side. You’re beginning to learn that Kenny holds grudges and wants to leave the Motor Inn, while Lilly feels digging in their heels and planting firm there is the best option. Rations are low, and you’re forced again, to choose sides, this time splitting four rations between ten people. Will you give it to Larry even though he’s a dick because it will put you in good favor with Lilly, Duck and Clementine because they’re young, but let the work horses become weaker? It’s terribly difficult, and I love that Telltale makes it that way. Andy and Danny from a Dairy farm down the street, approach your group for gas, proposing a deal, food for fuel. Will you take it from the “too good to be true” boys, or do you decline and possibly starve? This is survival, and this is The Walking Dead Episode 2 “Starved For Help.”
I’m in love with this series, it’s the best game for the price, and the most emotionally draining title (in a good way) I’ve played in months. The game genuinely makes me nervous, like the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books from my youth, except I can’t cheat and go back if I make a poor decision. My feelings for Clementine remain the same, I’m her protector, and since she is the cutest little girl who’s ever tasted a salt lick. But throughout my adventure I’m finding Kenny too emotional, decisions based solely on what’s best for his family (much like Rick from the comic book), and not the most beneficial choice for the group as a whole. Lilly is the more level head, the fighter, and the person I have chosen to ally with…well her and Carly since since she also has a gun. All of these decisions don’t come without a cost, and one wrong answer could mean disaster or worse, death.
The Walking Dead game is so incredibly thought provoking and emotionally demanding. Telltale Games ability to make one of the most nerve racking games to date is mind boggling. I don’t get emotional, I really don’t care about video game characters, unless their name is The Boss and I’m Naked Snake standing over her in a field of white flowers ready to execute her for the sake of our country, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. I unfortunately care for some of these characters, it’s strange, maybe it’s for my own benefit, but the bond I’ve created with Clem is uncanny. It’s within the drama, suspicion, fear, and other events where these bonds are either strengthened or destroyed. In the end of “Starved for Help” the story goes from dramatic to down rite 1970′s horror flick. It was an amazing transition, and the devs at Telltale did a magnificent job. Because everything that you just went through wasn’t enough, let’s just leave you with a decision to loot a possibly abondoned car of it’s supplies, or leave them for the people who left them, pending they’re still alive. I’m with the 54% who took the supplies, why would you not?
The Walking Dead Episode 2 “Starved For Help” is this close to an emotional breakdown. It’s a thrilling story driven by quality characters, great voice acting, and the all important will to survive. You will not find a better game for your hard earned cash on the market.
Back to the Farm.