Warning: Review will contain spoilers from Episode One
Telltale Games has released Episode Two of their already amazing Walking Dead series. In this episode, we pick up with our survivors from the first episode holed up at the motel, Lee and a new character, Mark are heading into the woods in hope of finding some food for the group. We learn about a few of the things the group has been up to since we last saw, them, one of which being bringing Mark and his food supply (which is almost completely gone) in with the rest of the group.
Lee stumbles upon a Walker, and to my surprise, I learn that the Walkers will eat anything, as he finds this one eating a rabbit. If this is a revelation that is made in the comics, I apologize for not knowing about it, but this just adds a whole new dimension to the groups fight for survival for me. I know that we saw one eating a cow in the TV series, but I guess it just didn’t register with me that the Walkers would eat any meat they can get their hands on.
You may remember back in the first episode, you ran into your fair share of zombies, who would all meet a fairly brutal endat your hands. That is not the case here. While there are definitely some zombies in this episode, they do not take center stage. Instead, like the comics and the TV show before it, this episode focuses on the human factor. How would groups of people react when coming up on each other? That is what TellTale is setting out to illustrate here, with amazing results!
The group meets up with the St. John’s group, a family of two brothers and their mother who live on a fortified dairy farm. The St. John brothers are looking to trade some food and supplies that they have for some gasoline to keep their generators running. So Lee and Mark set out with the St. Johns to see if their dairy farm is a safe place to bring the whole group.
All is not what it seems here with the St. Johns, some of you will pick up on this right away, and be able to guess what is going on here, I know I did. But that will not take anything away from the weight of the decisions you are forced to make in order to protect yourself, and your core group.
The game features some of the better character development that I have seen in games, and I’ve been gaming for right about 15 years now. Clementine, for example, is already much stronger than she seemed when we left off last at the end of episode one. The choices you made in the first episode are also starting to come back into play already, which will change the way you continue to play.
Aside from a bit of slowdown here and there that I was really hoping they would have fixed for the second episode, Starved for Help is heads and shoulders above the first episode as far as what you will experience. The slight slowdown does not ruin the game or hinder the story in any way, so I am not going to fault them to much for it.
Another thing I should note is after beating an episode of The Walking Dead, you get a series of stats that will show you your choices, and compare them to the choices of everyone else who has played the game, some of the decisions of others really shock me, yet others leave me wondering if that is really how I would handle a zombie apocalypse, it is a minor thing that really makes you think before you make your decisions in the game.
I am not afraid to say that the story in The Walking Dead game series is among the strongest I have encountered in the medium yet. I cannot say enough good things about this series. At $5 per episode, you truly owe it to yourself as a gamer to give it a shot.