The Walking Dead Season Two: Ep 4 – Amid the Ruins

8.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Gameplay: 8/10
Performance: 6/10

Choices matter this time | Lots of feelings in the story | Player is more engaged

Performance issues continue | Waiting for episode 5

Game Info

GAME NAME: The Walking Dead Season Two: Episode 4 – Amid the Ruins

DEVELOPER(S): Telltale Games

PUBLISHER(S): Telltale Games

PLATFORM(S): PlayStation Vita

RELEASE DATE(S): July 22, 2014

(The review below will contain story spoilers, though attempts were made to keep them vague.)

Previously on the The Walking Dead Season 2, there weren’t a whole lot of zombies, which is weird for a zombie game.  Episode 3 focused mainly on the story of the survivors.  And while it was my favorite episode of the new season, it easily could have fit into a multitude of story structures, save for a spot in the middle and the ending.  However, Episode 4 goes back to its brain-eating roots and brings the undead.

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Episode 4 starts up literally right where 3 ended, with Clementine and pals covered in zombie guts as they try to escape the herd by making their way through it.  It’s all very intense and tells you right away that this episode will be different from the last.  Lots of key decisions are made as you make your way out to meet up with the rest of your new crew, and then deal with the aftermath.  I especially liked how they treated Kenny and how he processes all that happened to him at Carver’s and during the escape.  Pile on what happened in season 1 and it’s amazing he’s still somewhat sane.

You get to learn a little more about supporting characters too as you go scouting for resources and find more of your team.  Motivations are revealed and you begin to understand them a little more.  In other words, damn good story telling.  After you return to camp, you get to deal with the funtimes of a baby ready to enter the world, but they don’t know nothin’ bout birthin’ no babies, save for depressed, catatonic Kenny.  You actually get to do real adventure game stuff while searching for supplies and a good place to have the baby that is safe from the Walkers.

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I much preferred the blend of action, searching, and story that is present in this episode.  While the last episode had great story, there was hardly anything for you to do.  This time the user is much more engaged in what is happening on screen and I felt the decisions that matter actually mattered this time.  I played through making each set of choices and the story was very emotional either way.  It ends on another cliffhanger as they set up the season finale and I can’t wait for it to arrive.

By now you know that the game looks and sounds great.  You also know that it runs pretty poorly on the hardware.  Nothing has changed for this episode.  Great voice acting again.  Great sound effects again.  Poor stuttering video during transitions again.  You know what you’re getting into.

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THE RECOMMENDATION

Episode 4 is the best blend of adventure game story telling so far in season 2.  Plenty of stuff for the player to do.  Great story to watch in between.  While the story isn’t as riveting as episode 3, it has many more feels and the action is more intense.  One episode remains and it should be a doozy!

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Author: Shaun Zimmerman View all posts by
Still waiting for the Commodore 128... Find me on Twitter @Zimm108

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