The Walking Dead Episode 4: Around Every Corner

PSN, Xbox Live, PC

The newest episode of Tell Tale Games The Walking Dead comes with less bugs and a tuned up frightening system. In the penultimate installment, Lee and company finally make it to Savannah but find neither Clem’s parents nor a boat. Instead they find streets full of zombies, an underground group of cancer survivors and a mysterious sub-division free from zombies.

The group arrives in Savannah and the first order of business is to find a boat. But their plans are quickly waylaid by the town’s bell ringing brining in hordes of zombies. In the mad dash for shelter, they separated from Chuck, and the remaining survivors find a vacant, but fortified house. At the house they learn that animals don’t turn into zombies, and find a child zombie that really shakes Kenny up. His only concern is finding a boat and getting out. They run into another survivor named Molly (who had been ringing the bells so she could travel the town unperturbed) but get separated when geeks attack. While Lee is looking for safety he runs into Vernon, a doctor, and his cancer survivors support group. Vernon and support member Brie decided to help Lee break in Crawford so they can get medical supplies for Omen and the support group. The sub-division Crawford is zombie free but the survivors have radical ideals about surving. Children, elderly, and the sick are killed or kicked out of the compound. The group finds even more atrocities than they imagined when they break in for supplies.

The fourth installment has improved technically over the last two episodes. While some players have made complaints about saves not carrying over, I have had no issues. Some loading time are lengthy but with no disappearing Ducks or conversation cut offs, this is nothing. I was also excited to see that they made changes to the fighting system. My long complaint that you have to use the same finger to aim and shoot makes for difficult game play has been changed. For PS3 users the fire button is now R1 making the infrequent battles scenario much easier and less frustrating.

I do have one issue with the writing. When Lee finds Crawford full of zombies, an answer does seem fourth coming. But when they find a video of a pregnant woman killing the doctor forcing abortion, the group easily accepts this idea as the cause of the zombie outbreak. This issue with continuity bothers me because since this game is set before the events of the comics, how do they know that when you die you turn into a zombie and therefore an out break occurs? Are the makers assuming that viewers know this information and take for granted that the characters don’t? Or was this simply overlooked by the writers? Or do they know something we shouldn’t?

Overall Around Every Corner plays well and delivers emotional impact. As the characters brace for the final showdown, the conclusion becomes clear. Now if only the voice on the radio was just as clear.