Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Genre: Horror, Role-Play
ESRB Rating: M
Release Date: June 30th, 2012
Platforms: X360, PS3, PC
Telltale Games has just released their second episode for their rather well-received story-book video game, The Walking Dead. The Walking Dead episode two, “Starved for Help”, puts us once again in the shoes of Lee Everett as he tries to survive not only the zombie apocalypse, but the corruption of humans as everyone around him enters a state of panic… and hunger.
The game takes place directly after the events of episode one, “A New Day.” Episode two, however, I found far more intense and gruesome than the last. So let’s talk about Lee and his crew’s venture shall we? Nothing about the game has changed mechanically, so if you’re the person who’s still deciding whether this game is worth your time, you should check out my review for episode one which covers everything. I mean, you really should, because this article may or may not contain spoilers. You’ve been warned…
Meaner Decisions this time around…
The first episode in this game generally involved actions, and though there were some crazy decisions that had to be made back then, episode two puts them on steroids. There were plenty of intense life and death situations and moments that made me feel guilty for doing what I did this time around. Right away, the episode opens up with you hunting for food only to find a man trapped in a bear trap that’s impossible to remove. Axe his leg as he begs you not to? Or leave him to die? Unfortunately, I ran out of time making my choice and not only did I leave him to die, but it cost the life of another in a dramatic action scene. The hell!?
Ahem, moving on… So yea, the closer you get to episode 3, the more crazy decisions you need to make, whether they involve actions or even just answering basic questions. After all, the characters in the game remember everything, even stuff from previous episodes. Kenny still remembers I like him… only a little, so he definitely reflects that in his actions. Decisions made give you different sequences, all of which are crazy and brutal and most of the times, made me wish I chose the other option.
So what’s going down?
Like I said, episode two takes place directly after episode one. You and your gang have taken shelter at a motel and Kenny’s RV parked at said motel. Lily is in charge of everything with her Air Force experience and everyone else is doing what they can to help out whether it’s hunting or building the wall surrounding the motel. Food is incredibly scarce, and it’s been decided some people will get a meal and others won’t on certain days. Even then, I would barely call it a meal unless cheese and cracks or a slice of apple for dinner fills you up.
A Safe Haven?
Sometime during your venture, two men will approach your group and offer food for fuel. Fuel is abundant since the RV isn’t working yet and the group is absolutely desperate for food. You find out the two men are the St. John brothers named Andrew and Danny and they need the fuel to power generators that power an electric fence at a dairy farm.
You go over to investigate the place and everything is perfect. In fact, it’s too perfect. But with hunger in mind, it’s best to take advantage of the location and at least get a bite to eat. There’s something about The Walking Dead and farms… barns more specifically. Here you are introduced to Brenda, the mother of the two brothers. She finds out one of your group members is a veterinarian and offers everyone to come so she can cook everyone a big feast in exchange for help around the farm and their only cow in labor.
While helping, you’re ambushed by Bandits while outside the electric fence. Mark, one of the survivors from episode one, gets hit by an arrow as you retreat to the farm. Brenda offers to treat his wounds as Lee tries to hunt down the bandits.
“Don’t eat the meat”
I don’t really want to spoil anything, but this episode is pretty twisted… in a good way, because well, it’s kind of fitting actually (does that make me twisted too?). After dark, Brenda finishes cooking dinner and everyone begins to get ready for the feast they’ve long awaited. So let’s talk a bout a couple things. There’s mouth-watering prime rib on the table, one cow on the DAIRY farm… and did I mention Mark is missing from dinner?
I’m sure you know where things are headed now. When you discover what’s going on, things go straight to hell and the episode begins to pick-up the pace.
So is the episode good?
Aside from being slightly demented, the episode is awesome. It had me at the edge of my seat the whole time and at times made me cringe. Guess that’s the purpose, no? The Walking Dead the video game is awesome, and tells a story in its own unique way. I’m not entirely sure how many different cinematic sequences there are but with different options, there are definitely many ways to reaching the ending I so seek to see. I only hope I don’t end up being the lone survivor in some horrific ending that kills off everyone I love… But that’s for us to find out, no?