Spoiler Alert: This review is written as commentary on story elements within the game. Reader discretion is advised.
The Walking Dead has become synonymous with Telltale Games in recent years, standing with its own unique characters who don’t appear in the TV series (except that one time with Glenn, but that was only in Episode One!)
Now however we have The Walking Dead: Michonne, a character that does appear on TV. This game gives us a bit of back story to her character, her regrets and the weight she carries on her shoulders. Right off the bat you’re thrust into her story, with her chopping through some brush while avoiding zombies (ahem…sorry…I mean walkers). She begins to hallucinate about what I can only assume are her two daughters.
From there, as in all Telltale titles, you’re met with amazing fight scenes in which you must kick everyone’s ass by pressing certain button combinations. This is followed by the obligatory cut-scene and finishes with Michonne uncharacteristically pulling out a gun and letting the player choose weather she blows her brains out. Being the sword-wielding bad-ass that I am, I choose not to and was soon met by some rather unsavory characters who took me aboard their ship.
From there we were floating down a river in our lovely sailboat, and Michonne wakes up from a nightmarish nap; The crew of the ship checks to see if she’s okay before receiving a distress call from their trading partners aboard another boat. Continuing on in yet again classic Telltale fashion, the story then brings you to search for a radio signal. More boat issues begin, and the ship gets stranded. You take a row boat over to the other ship that the signal was coming from, and conveniently get parts to fix your ship.
But you already know, since it’s a Walking Dead title, that nothing goes according to plan. The boat tips over, you avoid getting bitten by walkers from under the water and you make it ashore…only to be thrown into another dark scenario. This time its followed by the first Walking Dead combo cut-scene where you must push all the buttons in the right succession to survive; a twisted game of “Simon Says”.
So more exposition befalls you as a group of men break into the place, trying to get a bag of supplies, and mistakes you for a troublemaker. So they kidnap you and take you to their super secret base, which isn’t so super secret. This dark game has become even more dark, because it’s The Walking Dead.
Alright let’s stop for a minute here. The Walking Dead is a dark series. We all understand that it’s a zombie Apocalypse and that there are roughly 300,000 people left on Earth. But what bothers me about the stories is just how often these events happen with the original Walking Dead game from Telltale Games. You must see the story play out in a way that makes considerably more sense, where they’re held up in a hotel and are working their way forward. But in The Walking Dead: Michonne it feels like they’re just trying to advance a person’s story with unbelievable acts that they’re presenting as believable.
With a long string of coincidences that help make her who she is, it feels like this game is falling short of her comic book counterpart. There are two parts left to go and hopefully that will make up for that. As this is a Telltale game, it will be limited to 3 episodes instead of 5 or 6, like the rest.
Don’t get me wrong, Michonne is a great character and very well received. Hell, she actually gets raped in the comics, endures it and gets revenge later on. But in terms of how bad-ass she is, there feels to be a huge gap. It feels also that the first installment doesn’t do her justice.
The Telltale formula is getting really old and there’s almost no innovation that makes it feel like an actual game to me. It feels like Simon Says meets a story book, and not in a creative way. I honestly wish they would take a lesson from King’s Quest in terms of design, but that’s just my input.
Overall the story is a bit lacking, as are the interactions throughout. Nothing really kept me interested in playing, but hopefully the next installments will fix this.
First up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.