The Walking Dead: Episode 3 – Long Road Ahead [Review]

  • Platform: XBLA(reviewed), PSN, PC
  • Published by: Telltale Games
  • Developed by: Telltale Games
  • Genre: Survival Horror
  • ESRB Rating: M For Mature
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Release Date: August 28th, 2012

The Walking Dead games have been the surprise story of the year, the games have all been really well done and the characters and gameplay are both top-notch. I don’t think people were expecting much, Telltale Games wasn’t really known for putting out really solid games in the past, Jurassic Park and Back To The Future were both average at best, some people questioned the style that Telltale took with The Walking Dead, but seeing as how these are their best reviewed games, and best-selling, its clear that they have done a very good job with this series thus far. How does the third episode stack up to the brilliant first two episodes?

Episode One introduced us to all of the characters and the problem they would all be facing together, Episode Two showed us the human element and we learned that sometimes we can be worse to each other than any monster or zombie ever could, Episode Three brings back the zombie element and we quickly find out that nobody in our group is safe. Long Road Ahead is by far the most emotional episode of the series to date, part of that could be the fact that we’ve gotten the chance to learn so much more about each of the members of our party, it’s always tough to get attached to a character only to see them get killed off, and you will see a lot of that in Episode Three.

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The story picks up where the last one left off, Lee and the gang are hold up in the lodge, they’ve managed to stave off both zombie attacks, as well as bandit attacks. Supplies are becoming scarce, and due to the actions of some of the members in the last episode, moral and teamwork are both at an all time low. The tension between Lilly and Lee reaches an epic peak, and to top it all off, there might be a trader among your group. You are faced with a choice, you can either continue to hunker down where you are at, eventually you’ll run out of food or possibly be overrun by bandits, or you can take your chances on the road, which has its problems, especially since the group is already fractured, putting everyone together in a small RV might not be the best idea.

The gameplay is just like the first two episodes, sometimes you’ll have to do a simple puzzle to progress the story, but there is a bit more shooting involved with this episode. I have to admit that the actual shooting parts of this game aren’t strong points, the cross-hairs are huge and you don’t really need to have an enemy lined up to get a kill, there seems to be a delay in the action of pulling the trigger and the sound effect, and even if you’re not really close with the cross-hairs, you’ll see the enemy drop to the ground. It was a bit laughable at how the shooting aspects worked, but given that the rest of this game is so good, I’ll forgive bad shooting mechanics, especially since that isn’t what these games are all about in the first place. Telltale did up the amount of action and violence for this episode, I thought the previous episode slowed things down and gave us a great look at how humans react and do rash things when faced with a crisis, this one throws the crap right into the fan from the start.

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When I played through the first two episodes of The Walking Dead, I always did what I deemed to be “good”, I always do things on the good side in games where they give you a choice. Episode 3 throws a lot of curve balls at you, and you start playing like you need to survive, things aren’t always black or white and you need to do things that might not be considered “good” to survive in what is left of the world now. The game doesn’t always give you a long time to pick what to do, you react fast and more often than not, there’s not a good choice. The first two episodes featured pretty standard choices, but I really enjoyed how they keep you guessing and change things up with this episode. Right from the start of the game you are tasked with a very difficult decision, and it only gets worse and more intense as the game forges on.

The price for these episodes is a perfect $5, so far I’ve replayed every episode at least twice and my total hours plays is around 26. So I would guess that playing through each episode once would garner a 10-12 hour arc. With two episodes left I am absolutely excited to see how it all ends, actually I’d love to see them carry on with more stories in the same manner. Everything about Long Road Ahead is amazing, it’s some of the slickest story telling in a video game, very emotional and definitely a game geared towards adults. Without a doubt this is the peak of the series, Episode 3 is the best to date and with the surprise ending, it’ll leave everyone wanting more.

FINAL SCORE: 9.5/10

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