Gaming can be quite twisted at times. Sometimes you feel a connection to a game because you feel good about what’s going on, and feel happy because the game works out well. But on other occasions it’s very easy to revel in the fact that everything is going horribly horribly wrong, and in the latest episode in the Walking Dead series you’ll be doing exactly that. Episode 3 – Long Road Ahead – takes all of the “woah” moments from the previous two iterations and trumps them from all angles, giving several moments that will leave you open mouthed and wondering what the hell just happened.
As usual you’ll be meeting new characters while others depart; obviously I’m not going to spoil the surprise by telling you a great deal about the story but it all kicks off in the lead-up to leaving the motel where the group have been stationed since the end of the first episode. After a brief investigation some serious stuff kicks off which leads to a bit of a gun fight, something that hasn’t really been used yet in the series. It works in much the same way as other fighting mechanisms have been used before – the times where you’ve used the right stick to move the target and the X button to clobber the zombie with whatever’s to hand will jump to mind as you move your sights with the right stick and, as you’ve guessed by now, shoot with the X button. It works ok but is quite fiddly; trying to pin down a moving target then taking your thumb off to shoot can result in missing the undead thing, so it’s worth repositioning your hand on the controller – after all, you won’t need the left stick really while it’s all going on.
Aside from that the only down side to this chapter is the occasional graphical glitch which either amuses or annoys. At one point in my play throughs Duck disappeared completely but was still being looked at and referred to as if he was. He magically reappeared minutes later. There was also a moment when the camera sank below the ground forcing me to quit and reload from the last checkpoint which was a nuisance, but only happened the once.
But apart from that I’ve got nothing but praise for Episode 3. The writing is as fantastic as it’s been so far, the relationship between Lee and Clementine continued to blossom and the shocks and surprises are all genuinely shocking and surprising. One very powerful moment, which occurs just as you think things have got as bad as they’re going to get, left me staring at the screen with my mouth wide open. It sounds like an exaggeration, but it seriously had that effect on me. There also some very difficult decisions to make relating to Lee’s murderous past, but I’ll leave you to discover those for yourself.
If you’ve got the Walking Dead season pass and either haven’t played it yet or are in the EU and still can’t download it, then you’re in for a treat. This is comfortably the best in the series so far, and the preview that appears at the end suggests it’s only going to get better. If, on the other hand, you haven’t bought it yet then I urge you to splash out. This is one adventure you won’t forget in a hurry.
Reviewed on PS3