Continuing through the previously untold pages of Michonne’s comic book side-story I start out after a fairly dramatic ending. The consequences of which impact the narrative immediately. The second episode of Telltale games: The Walking Dead – Michonne, has some evident branching storylines that may have further consequences in the finale. Escaping from your captors is your first priority. There’s a distinct difference to what happens next depending on the last choice you made in Episode one. There’s a story being told here that spreads out yet, you never stray too far from the main plot.
Through your decisions you essentially get to choose if Michonne goes it mostly alone or gathers companions that tend to be helpful for the most part. There are a series of new characters that seemed to fall by the wayside in preference of the more established Pete and Sam. There are some really nice elements where split second decisions can affect how the episode plays out. However, there are also key moments where you can’t change the outcome no matter how you’ve played. As this is a Telltale adventure you can expect the usual arbitrary choices that litter the game from, the looking at things and walking away to different routes that end up with the same things happening regardless.
There’s a lot more action throughout which was a nice change of pace from the heavy exposition last time. The reticle interaction combat mechanic that was sorely missing really changes things up this time around. It gives much more engagement with what’s happening on-screen. As such you’re more involved which makes the impact of certain extremely visceral scenes stronger. The narrative lulls you into a false sense of security to then sucker punch you brutally to snap you back to the hellish reality you’re in. You are on the run from the waste of carbon that is Randall and he’s made it personal. Though, the real question being ask by the game is, have you?
As this is the comic book incarnation, Michonne is constantly slipping in and out of reality. The phantoms of her daughters still plague her, becoming more frequent as the story progresses. There’s a decent amount of back story of what she went through when the walkers became an epidemic. Michonne tries to hold it together under the pressure and that translates well to the player. Interactive sequences are well paced and change things up with a sense of urgency behind everything you do. There’s a variety of ways you interact that kept me on my toes because I never really knew what kind of prompt would be up next. This could be a good case for lack of cohesion that could throw the player I would agree and point out that’s kind of the point. It keeps you on edge switching what has become a library now in Telltale’s arsenal of interactive mechanics. There was easily enough to keep me far more engaged than the previous episode.
After my last experience it was good to see Telltale games bring us an episode to the quality they have made us accustomed to. The dialogue is excellent as ever with many of the options authentic to Michonne’s personality. The variety of choices clearly expresses how you want Michonne to feel at that moment in time. Some choices are actions that distinctly change the way that things play out. A second run through is highly recommended because of the payoff for the decisions you’ve made and possible future implications. There are some segments where you do little more than just walking forward and nothing happens. However, I can see this as method of building tension, keeping you uncertain of when something will happen that you will need to react to.
I’m still not certain as to why The Walking Dead Universe has communities that won’t allow people to just leave and go their own way. Why the antagonist feel they must hunt down individuals usually at the expense of a lot more lives and resources. I guess I never will but that doesn’t change the fact that this is roller coaster of an adventure. It’s clear Randall has no saving graces at all and serves to constantly bait Michonne into decisions that may affect her circumstances later on. Even though, Give no Shelter, is distinctly shorter than, In too Deep, it’s a case of quality over quantity. There’s a very similar decision at the end of this episode as was at the end of the last. It’s kind of predictable though I’m not going to say more other than that it’s highly likely to have distinct consequences. We can only wait and see what happens in the next part of this mini-saga. There’s no denying Michonne’s second chapter of her miniseries delivers a captivating, engaging and morally challenging experience. I brace myself for what is shaping up to be an explosive finale that I’m looking forward to.
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