After the tremendous success of the first episode of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead, many people were impatiently waiting for the second episode to dribble onto consoles and the PC. Without warning, the next episode, entitled “Starved For Help”, hit the Xbox 360 Wednesday and the PS3 and PC on Friday. Now the real question remains: how does it follow up to the first episode? Is it as dark and gruesome as we were told? Is it worth the two month wait? With rifle in hand, we venture into the second episode of The Walking Dead video game, “Starved For Help”.
The game starts off by showing you all the decisions that you made in the prior episode by means of a “previously, on The Walking Dead…” recap, just like the popular television show. Then we hop right into the game, which picks up a few months after the first episode. You continue in the role of Lee, a teacher turned convict who is now the guardian of a little girl. You’re currently residing with your group in the Motor Inn that you cleared out from the first episode. The whole decision-making process starts right away, and you have to make some tough calls. A few minutes into the game, you run into some people looking for gas and they invite you to their dairy farm in exchange for some food. Without spoiling anything, things go from bad to worse to messed up, quickly.
What the episode does well through its storytelling is it gives the player a feeling of discomfort, yet you can predict what’s coming. This predictability takes away from some of the tension that has been building in the story since the first episode. What you have a hard time predicting is how the allegiances you’ve made from the first episode can very quickly change based on the decisions you make in this episode. This makes it extremely difficult to either be “the nice guy” or “the complete jerk”, depending on how you choose to play. It’s not easy to stomach, but if you’re a fan of The Walking Dead series, you shouldn’t have any issues enjoying the ride.
There’s not much difference from the first and second episodes. The graphics still pay homage to the comic books in their grittiness. The QTE dialog and action sequences are just as intense. There’s nothing new or different to mention from the first episode.
Again, this game is strictly single-player, so don’t go in expecting a multiplayer experience. After completion of the episode, you see your stats compared to other people playing the game and their decisions. Its relieving to see that the decisions you end up making are the same decisions a majority of people make, which is a neat little feature sometimes overlooked. This game is episodic, so expect only a 2-3 hour thrill ride.
Fun Factor 2/2.5
Is this game fun? If you consider having to make life-changing decisions that can later screw you if you’re not careful fun, then yes, this game is fun. One thing that ruins the experience is thinking “I wonder if those people are…” and later finding out that you figured it out correctly. That can take some of the fun out of it, and some moments are too predictable. Other than those moments, the game feels a lot like the comic books or the television show ,which can make The Walking Dead fan happy and satisfied at the end of the day. That’s really all that matters.
This review is based on a review copy of the PC version of The Walking Dead by Telltale Games