Game Review: The Walking Dead: Episode 2 – Starved For Help [Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Mac]
Telltale surprised me a lot when they released the first episode of The Walking Dead. It involved tough decisions, engrossing story line, well-developed characters and some of the tensest moments you will find in gaming. All of this was achieved with a point and click game mechanic established in the first episde, so with the second episode, you’d rightly not expect radically different gameplay mechanics. What you will get though is everything that was so good about the first episode, dialed up to 11. Within the first 10 minutes of the game, your pulse would have been racing and you would have to make the toughest decision of the series so far.
In fact you will be making tough decisions throughout your two-hour adventure. Why are they so tough? You will care about these characters even more, a relationship has already been developed in the first episode, so now you have a chance to bond more with the characters and more importantly see the consequences of your actions from the first episode. Here’s the thing: Mass Effect did this with the three games, but somehow Telltale has managed to make your actions more meaningful in this compelling series. You will care about everything you do in this game. I guarantee it.
The writing and story are top notch and even though the story is predictable, it is still some of the best storytelling you will find in the gaming industry, and for an arcade series that is seriously impressive. The story is centered around the struggle for food and the idea of humans being just as big a threat as the walkers, it’s a story we have seen in films like Day of the Dead, but it doesn’t stop it from being intriguing and well developed. There are some instances that don’t seem right, like the idea of Lee caring so much about a swing, but it does remind you that this episode is based about humans and character development.
The voice acting is still great and out classes a lot of mainstream retail games. The soundtrack is simple but effective by adding to the tension of certain moments in the game, it’s horrifying and fits perfectly within the universe of The Walking Dead. The cel-shaded graphics look good and perfectly portray the feeling of the comics. However technical it doesn’t hold up to well and this is mainly noticeable on the Xbox 360, in some places it will freeze for a few seconds, and other times it might skip a few frames. It’s nothing big and will certainly not stop you from enjoying the experience.
The Walking Dead: Episode 2 – Starved For Help is a fantastic sequel that greatly improves on everything and proves once again that story is always important to making a great game. The gameplay is simple but is used effectively for you to interact with characters and the world. With three more episodes still to come, this is shaping up to be a very memorable game series.