The Walking Dead S2- In Harm's Way Review

What awaits inside the prison?

Publisher(s): Telltale Games Developer(s): Telltale Games Consoles: PC/MAC (Steam), Xbox 360, PS3, Vita Genre: Survival Horror Point & Click Release Dates: Steam/PS3: May 13th, Xbox 360: May 14th Player(s): Single Rating M (Blood&Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language)

Publisher(s): Telltale Games

Developer(s): Telltale Games

Consoles: PC/MAC (Steam), Xbox 360, PS3, Vita

Genre: Survival Horror Point & Click

Release Dates: Steam/PS3: May 13th, Xbox 360: May 14th

Player(s): Single

Rating M (Blood&Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language)

Telltale Games has done it again! Episode 3 or 'In Harm's Way' is the peak of accumulative episodes in Season 2 and I'm not just saying that because it's the most recent one. I thoroughly enjoyed the way tension and suspense was kept at an alarmingly high rate from the moment it began to when it all ended. Picking up some time after the last episode finished, Clementine and the mismatched group are in the custody of Bill Carver, this season's main antagonist. Brilliant performances all around especially to the voice actor of Carver, esteemed actor Michael Madsen. With only two more episodes to go before this season's end, speculations are running high as to what may or may not occur for the finale.

Speculations aside, 'In Harm's Way' is a fine way to show that even though The Walking Dead is closing in on its 10th episode, it still knows how to make people question their decisions. From the moment I begun this episode to the shocking conclusion, I never felt safe even when I was supposed to feel so. How is it possible to feel safe being in a situation where your safety is in the hands of a madman? In terms of length, this episode felt rather short and I suppose it makes sense. Normally, I chalk up 2+ hours into each episode but I only clocked in one hour this time. There really wasn't a whole lot of exploration involved because of the dire circumstance and is the source of a shortened time completion. Clementine faces task after task, only breaking to converse when necessary. Is this bad? No, not necessarily and it's only a minor complaint of mine.

Things get bloody this episode

Things get bloody this episode

We also finally find out what became of the survivor group from the 400 Days DLC episode, which came out last year July. Unveiling the story in a very Pulp-Fiction way, 400 Days focused on a completely new group that eventually came together after enduring hardships of their own. Depending on the choices of the player, the group could stick together by the end of the episode or split apart. Those choices manifest in this episode and while I won't say how; it was nice to see those faces unexpectedly and go "hey, I know these people"!  The way decisions affect later episodes will always be a main draw for this series in my opinion.

Some new characters are also introduced including someone who just may become a favorite of mine. Her name is Jane and at first, I thought she was Molly who appeared in season 1 episode 4. The character models are similar and Jane has the same standoff-ish personality as Molly did. Hopefully, Jane opens up more in the next two episodes because I would love to know her backstory somewhat. While the new characters help the group in their own way, I found Jane to be more likeable even with her distinct self.

Kidnapped by Carver's group

Kidnapped by Carver's group

'In Harm's Way' is the most brutal episode this season offers up thus far. Two extremely violent beatings occur before the episode comes to a close and I even had a moment of wondering when it would end, accompanied by the occasional flinch. I also stated earlier that episode 3 veers away from the heavy exploring in favor of more conversational and story driven moments. Not a bad move but for those who prefer the puzzle elements of this title, could potentially be slightly put off at the lack thereof.  As for myself, I didn't mind the lack of puzzles because The Walking Dead to me has always been about the emotional investment between characters. My only complaint is the shortened length span resulting from the lack of exploration.

 

Pros:

+ More of what to expect from TWD

+ Tension, suspension and brutality all captured this episode

+ Cliffhanger leaves off with an "Oh" but the good kind

 

Cons:

- Lack of exploration

- Shortest episode yet

 

I give The Walking Dead 'In Harm's Way' a 9 out of 10

I give The Walking Dead 'In Harm's Way' a 9 out of 10

Regardless of the shortness, 'In Harm's Way' is a necessity to own for those of us who have been keeping up with The Walking Dead on a regular. This episode made me question many of my decisions and one moment was so nerve racking, I accidentally made the wrong choice. My recommendation? Download this episode at your earliest convenience because Telltale Games is on a roll with releasing new episodes quickly. Before you know, this season will be nearing its conclusion and I can tell the staff at Telltale is hard at work, ready to shake up people's emotions once more.