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A Game Review on The Walking Dead Episodes 4 and 5 (PS3)
Game of the Year! The Walking Dead has officially been given the "Game of the Year" award for the 2012 Spike TV Video Game Awards. If you haven't played it stop reading and go get the game. You won't regret it. The Walking Dead is easily the best game I've played all year, and it's one of the best games I've played in quite some time.Telltale games announced in July that a second season will follow sometime in 2013, and now that the final episode of this season has been released we can completely speculate and look forward to the next season of The Walking Dead. So, how amazing were the fourth and fifth episodes of the game?
Episode 4 "Around Every Corner"
This episode picks up with the group having finally reached Savannah, and are now in search of a boat to finally escape the zombie apocalypse. They hole up in a house as a temporary safe-haven for the group while they figure out their next move. Lee and Kenny, while looking for a boat, meet up with a fellow survivor, and learn of a community in Savannah called "Crawford" who have strict policies, and are hidden behind a wall of walker bodies. Lee encounters a new group of survivors who claim to have been kicked out of Crawford, and when Lee's group finds a boat in good condition they realize that in order to get gas, and a new battery they must travel into this town of Crawford.
This episode is the weakest out of the five of them, with it carrying the least amount of emotional impact. After the death heavy third episode of the game, this episode takes things down a notch as the group struggles to survive in Savannah. Episode 4 comes across as the calm before the storm, as it sets up events for the fifth and final episode. The episode ends with one hell of a surprise, leaving events in the fifth and final episode to be glorious. The voice-acting is again superb, and again, the relationship between Lee and Clementine are what really drives the story. The gameplay almost exactly the same as the previous three episodes except that they added to ability to actually aim your weapon at the walkers, instead of just clicking on the ones you want to shoot. I wasn't a fan of the change at first, especially during this episode, but in the fifth episode I learned to accept it. Your decisions throughout this episode, as well as the previous episode still weigh heavy, which becomes most apparent in the final moments of the episode.
Episode 5 "No Time Left"
Although the fifth and final episode of The Walking Dead game is by far the shortest, clocking in at around an hour's worth of gameplay, it packs the most emotional punch, and by the end my eyes were far from dry. The episode begins with the aftermath of episode 4's ending; Lee is bitten, Clementine is missing, and depending on your choices throughout the previous 4 episodes you'll either be on your own, with only certain members of your group, or with your entire group. The episode begins with a really tough decision, which can lead to a gruesome few moments. The only thing on Lee's mind is getting back Clementine, and you set out in search of her, fighting through hordes of walkers, and facing off against a couple of deranged survivors.
This final episode packs the emotional punch that we all expected from this game series, and then more. While it is the most emotional, it is also one of the most action packed episodes of the game, especially when Lee is forced to fight through an entire horde of zombies alone. It is intense, bloody, and scary all at once. The decisions you've made throughout the previous episodes don't have a noticeable impact on this final episode, but it's the decisions you make throughout this fifth one that shapes your final experience with the game, though not as much as one might hope. I didn't really mind it all that much, but others may be bothered by this. I don't want to spoil too much, but I will say that you should make sure you have some tissues with you while playing through this episodes. The voice-actors are once again superb, and the gameplay remains the same as the previous episode. I was finally able to get used to, and actually enjoy the new "free aim" that the game employed in episode 4.
This episode gave us an emotional, but fantastic ending to this first season of the game. The big question is, What happens next? Hopefully they don't keep us waiting too long for the second season of the game to come out.
All 5 episode of The Walking Dead game can be downloaded through the Xbox Marketplace, Playstation Store, or on the PC. A disc version of the game is available in stores now.
Look for The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, a first-person shooter starring Daryl and Merle from the television show (set as a prequel to their appearance in the show), and the second season of Telltale's The Walking Dead game in 2013.