Telltale’s Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 3 ‘In Harm’s Way’ (review)

walking dead telltale in harm's way

Telltales Games’ The Walking Dead takes shape and through amazing storytelling sets the bar for the interactive storybook genre.

Throughout the duration of my personal experiences with the Telltale games, there is always this internal struggle. Unfortunately the struggle for me has not revolved around thoughts inside the game, but instead have been the overanalysis of whether or not I am actually making changes to the story, or whether I’m just being given the illusion of change through decision making. I’m often caught wondering whether or not the decision I’m making is what I would actually do, or whether I’m just trying to reach a certain ‘cool’ outcome. I will be extremely depressed if I come to realize that I am the only insane person out there… Regardless The Walking Dead Season Two, Episode 3 “In Harm’s Way” was a turning point in the series, if not the interactive storybook genre all together.

Story

Given the nature of this franchise, story is weighed extremely heavy in the review of this game. Clementine and co. are in a very tough situation, and for the first time in a while it has nothing to do with Walkers. Over the past two episodes we have been introduced to a devious antagonist known as ‘Carver’. Carver’s presence in the game has manifest as a very slow burn, from whispers between side characters, to a high pressure face-to-face confrontation, to full blown explosion. In this latest installment we really get a look into what makes this guy tick. Following good bad-guy 101, Telltale did a fantastic job of making this guy a real sonova’ bitch while at the same time giving him the self-justification that he is the real good guy. There is a lot to process in this episode, from new allies, including an awesome new character voiced by Kumail Nanjiani, trying to keep your current team alive all while unlocking the mysteries of this new setting.

the walking dead in harm's way

Gameplay

More so than previous episodes, this installment was very light on the action sequences and offered little to no innovation or new mechanics. There was also a somewhat refreshing lack of knee-jerk ‘gottcha’ scare tactics as well. I actually preferred this as it allowed me to dedicate full attention to the storyline and focus on decision making, which works well in such a pivotal moment of the series that required full attention to detail. Less was definitely more in this episode.

Final Reaction

What ‘In Harm’s Way’ did for me personally in this franchise was eliminate ‘Me’ from the equation. I was completely immersed in the storyline-making decisions in what truly felt like the heat of the moment. I made rash emotional decisions that I later regretted, and that’s the beautiful thing. Towards the end of this episode, my decisions exposed Clementine to some of the most graphic violence I have seen in a video game to date. And regretfully both Clementine and myself enjoyed it. When it was all said and done, I scared myself a little that I had that kind of hatred in me. The game set the bar extremely high for not only future episodes of the Walking Dead, but also the Wolf Among us, Game of Thrones, Borderlands, and whatever else Telltale decides to do.

Rating: 4.5/5 Atoms

NR 4_5 Atoms - A-

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Cory Vincent
Cory Vincent 434 posts

Forged in the crucible of awkwardness and self loathing, Cory somehow manages to get himself out of bed each day and make it a priority to spend life killing Beef and going H.A.M.