Telltale returns to The Walking Dead universe with a promising opening episode to the Michonne mini-series. While the first episode may not offer anything revolutionary, it adheres to the typical Telltale format with quicktime combat and dialogue options which can lead to negative consequences. As the mini-series is a separate entity to Telltale’s main series, it welcomes both newcomers and players who eagerly await the release of the third season.
For fans of the comic book and TV series of The Walking Dead, you’ll be familiar with Michonne, and be glad to know that Telltale have been able to recreate her badass character as a sword wielding zombie killer. She’s a refreshing change from previous protagonists Lee and Clementine, as she is well adept at killing walkers (zombies).
While playing as Clementine in season 2, her physical limitations are emphasized during combat, making every confrontation with a walker a struggle to survive. As Michonne, the combat is much more fluid and fast paced, meaning you have to be alert to keep up with quick-time events. It’s extremely satisfying to slice your sword through the hordes of walkers, but while Michonne excels combat-wise, her fragile mental state burdens her with a great weakness.
Michonne is haunted by her past, particularly by her two children. Throughout the first episode, there are moments when Michonne is unable to distinguish between reality and her memory. There’s a couple of occasions when the sudden appearance of creepy looking children can catch you off guard. This provides an engaging depth to Michonne’s character, which is the game’s greatest strength.
Story-wise, episode one does not disappoint, but neither does it impress. The plot isn’t very original, especially in The Walking Dead universe, but is still able to engage the player with great pacing and a good balance of dialogue and action. Side characters provide mixed results, with many being underused. The antagonist is successful in invoking hatred, yet also feels stereotypical and unimaginative. There are a couple of characters that were able to develop a connection with the player and I’m interested to see where the storyline takes them.
Telltale’s ability at storytelling has led me to becoming emotionally invested in characters on a number of occasions, only to be distraught by their deaths at later point. There’s little change in this regard, as you feel responsible for your actions, which can invoke fear, guilt or relief. The episode finishes on a very sudden cliff-hanger, which is frustrating, yet also makes me excited for episode two.
While episode one of The Walking Dead: Michonne may not be one of Telltale’s strongest, it’s still very engaging and fun to play. I’m looking forwards to seeing more of Michonne’s story and genuinely have no clue of what’s next in store. It may not satisfy my hunger for season three of The Walking Dead, but it’s a nice treat while we wait. There’s nothing new for a Telltale game, but their formula is so strong that I’m content with them playing the safe game
+ Michonne’s character
+ Fast combat
– Offers little originality
– Weak antagonists
Episode one of The Walking Dead: Michonne is a promising opening, yet is ultimately unable to stand out from previous Telltale titles.
Ryan Jones is a writer for The Game Bolt. Being a Welshman doesn’t mean he only has sheep in his heart, as he loves film, tv and video games. Follow him on Twitter.