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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: TellTale Games
Developed By: TellTale Games
Genre: Adventure
Players: 1
Rated: M for Mature (Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language)
Release Date: June 29, 2012
Screenshots: Link
Price: $4.99 An Episode (PSN), $19.99 For Episodes 1-5 (PC/Mac/PSN), 400 Microsoft Points Per Episodes (Xbox 360)
Written By: Matthew Prunty

September 24, 2012 - The epic saga that is The Walking Dead is back with its next installment, “Episode 2: Starved For Help.” While “A New Day” set the stage for the main characters we have all become attached to, “Starved For Help” tests those bonds and the limits you will go to protect the ones you love. This episode is full of death, loss and other deep-rooted themes which serve to help tell the story, but to also strike a chord with the player as they strive to stay alive and survive the zombie apocalypse. “Starved For Help” is the most intense piece of art you will ever experience.

What keeps The Walking Dead: The Game interesting is the fact that it doesn’t rely solely on the canon of the comic book or the AMC television series by the same name. It borrows elements from both mediums and creates its very own experience that will have you on the edge of your seat, not wanting to miss a single moment. While this is only the second episode within the 5-part episodic release, you can easily tell the writing within “Starved For Help” is ramped up and is more engrossing than the first installment. Heck, I’m more intrigued with the video game adaptation that with the comic book or television series, though each is a quality engaging piece of art worth experiencing.

What helps makes for a convincing story is the cast of characters, which are present and accounted for in Starved For Help. There are several distinct relationships going on between the cast of characters, however none are quite as passionate as between characters Lee Everett and Clementine. Not related in any way, they fight for one another and protect one another in ways other than simply killing the walking dead. Another relationship that begins to blossom is between Lee and Carley. Though you don’t see any hanky panky within the game, you see a change in attitude and feelings each has for one another. It’s very subtle, but potent and an example of the depth Telltale has put into the story. The other characters that make up the main roster also pack interesting backstories and personalities, which add to the overall intrigue of the story, while at certain points steal the show.

From the ending of “A New Day” and throughout the second episode “Starved For Help”, we are shown the darkness and depths that humanity would and will go to in order to survive. There are moments; especially within episode 2, that will strike a chord with you and not in a good way. I found myself shocked and disgusted at what was happening onscreen; which is exactly what the developers intended to happen. The adventure is all about emotions; the emotions the characters have for one another and themselves, the emotion we display for said characters when something happens, and how we interpret those actions on a personal level. There is never a moment within the game where you are not thinking about something about to happen, already have happened or the ramifications of decisions you made earlier in the journey.

For those who have read our review for “A New Day”, you know what to expect from the visuals within “Starved For Help.” For those who haven’t read or experience the first installment of this episodic release, I suggest going back and reading our review of Episode 1: A New Day. The change that does come to the visuals in episode 2 is in terms of locales; however the same great detail put into the character models and environments is present and accounted for. Something you will notice is different is that majority of your time will be spent outside, which present a dichotomy with “A New Day.” The onscreen dialog is spot on, often at times a little intense. Each voice actor played their character’s part perfectly, offering up variety, intense emotion often bordering on manic.

Just like with the first installment, depending on how you approach this episode, it can take anywhere from 2-4 hours to complete. And just like the first installment, if you want to experience the content from a different perspective, you are given the ability to replay through the experience from the beginning, seeing how things would have played out if you made a different decision.

Very few games have been able to do what Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead: The Game has done. Never has a game been able to use violence and horror in such a way that has a dramatic affect the person playing the game. It’s clear that this developer/publisher has done their homework and created a masterpiece that will go down as one of the greatest releases of this generation. With two episodes behind them and three more on the way, the skies are the limit in what we can expect from The Walking Dead: The Game. If you are reading this review and debating on whether or not to pick up this game, you should put down the Starbucks coffee and head over to your digital retailer and pick up a copy of The Walking Dead: Episode 2 – Starved For Help. Heck, just purchase the entire 5-part episodic release and enjoy the experience from beginning to end.


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