The Walking Dead Episode Two: Starving for Help

PSN, X-Box Live, PC

Rated M

The eagerly anticipated second episode the Telltale Game The Walking Dead Series arrived on-line with a few issues for the Playstation 3. The errors were quickly corrected allowing PS3, X-Box and PC user to get deeper into the world of The Walking Dead. In this entry, the plot speeds up giving players more action and more gore.

Lee and crew have are approaching about trading with a local dairy farm. The farm needs gasoline to keep the electric fences running, and Lee’s crew is short on food. Lee and a small task force head out to check the safety of the farm in hopes of moving away from the motel. While the farm offers protection from the dead, it’s not so safe from the living. A band of raiders attacks Lee and the new character Mark while they are repairing the fence. The rest of the group arrives with promised of dinner from their hosts, and Lee and Kenny start checking out the barn to see if it holds secrets. Of course, it does.

The game starts three months after the last episode ended leaving a few open questions (who was the woman screaming in the last episode? What else is around their hotel) and bringing in new characters. Mark is already integrated into the group with the game starts and you constantly wonder if he is literally going to stab you in the back. But the episode quickly amps up the action (and the gore). With in minutes of starting this installment, you must to decide whether or not to cut a guy’s leg off.

Players finally get to see how their choices affect the game. Relationships strain or build based on actions you do or statements to make. Characters remember remarks from the first episode and make judgments from previous action as well as current ones.

The tension and tone are the best part of the game. The game captures the psychological and physical horror the comic series perfectly combining the thrill with a perfect mix of human and zombie violence. The thought provoking choices and the excitement of the action causes players to use their reflexes and their critical thinking skills.

The biggest downfall is that this episode is recycling material. The Walking Dead, whether comic book, TV show or novel versions, have always been fresh breaking new ground in zombie violence and pushing the human psyche to the limit. But this episode starts to repeat material the fans of the show and comic have seen before. Lily really starts to sound like Rick, and the aforementioned leg incident is straight out of Season2 of the show, albeit with the best option left out. In fact, fans of the comic will see the dairy farm’s secret twist miles away because we’ve read it before.

Telltale Game’s The Walking Dead Episode 2 Starved for Help continues the innovation of its predecessor and kicks up the action a notch. Though several of the ideas have used in other formats, the episode is enjoyable and keeps players on the edge of their seat.