Following on from the dramatic and heart-breaking events of Episode 3 wasn’t going to be an easy task for Telltale Games, but the latest episode of their Walking Dead series takes a slightly different angle, forcing you into some difficult decisions and moral challenges. And with the series set up beautifully for a rousing finale, that assumed weak link in the series is still nowhere to be seen.
So here’s a quick recap: the group have reached a new town having found the train and a couple of new characters in Episode 4, but a spanner was thrown in the works when it became apparent that Clementine had been speaking to a mystery bloke on her radio. With Lee intent on finding out who’s been messing with them, and Clementine intent on finding her parents in their home town there was plenty to consider over the next few hours.
What we end up with is a much higher proportion of action sequences – shooting zombies, saving people and so on, as well as more difficult decisions. With the group becoming more and more difficult to keep in one piece it’s a fine balancing act that will force you into choosing who to support, and with some big secrets being revealed by certain parties your decisions become far more difficult than before. Even the most seemingly obvious choices become difficult to get your head round, and although the end of game stats suggested that I took a similar route to the majority of other players, it didn’t make me feel any better about some of the things I chose to do.
As for the action sections, some are pretty tough, needing a quick aim and accurate trigger, where others will have you keeping an eye on approaching zombies while shooting the nearest ones and trying to do something else at the same time. It’s not unlikely that you’ll be getting caught out a couple of times, but none of the challenges are unrealistic and just need a bit more thought or logic when playing them through.
It’s impressive just how the characters continue to develop; some of them have been with us from Episode 1 and are still constantly changing and hanging on-edge. Not wanting to give away anything to new players makes these reviews an utter bitch to write, but be assured that whether you haven’t tried this series yet or just haven’t got round to this episode there are still plenty of twists and turns to look forward to when it comes to characters and their mental progression.
Indeed, this episode does more than enough to set up the series for an epic and potentially tear-jerking last chapter, and events at the end of Episode 4 will leave you open mouthed and lost for words. Just how the story pans out in a few weeks when the last episode arrives remains to be seen, and there’s no preview to enjoy at the end of this chapter to give any clues away, but unless something goes drastically wrong it’s set up to be one of the most moving moments in recent gaming, and we can’t wait.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if you haven’t tried this yet, be sure you do. It’s worth every penny.