Review: The Walking Dead Episode 3: Long Road Ahead
Due to the nature of the game, this review will contain spoilers from the previous episodes. If you haven’t played through them yet, or are still on the fence, you can check out our review of the first episode here, and the second here.
Summer had just begun when the last episode of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead had released. The weather was just starting to turn nice. It wasn’t too cold out anymore and we were a long ways from those ungodly hot temperatures. I settled in to play what was quickly becoming my GOTY, knowing that I had a good couple of hours to sink my teeth into it. Within a few short hours, I was roaming around the house in an excited delirium. I couldn’t wait for summer to be over. Also I ate steak that night. It was delicious.
The last time we caught up with Lee and company, the in-fighting between the survivors was at an all time high. Food was running low and tempers were running high. It seemed that the group was on their last legs before a ray of hope shined in over the barricades of the motel they’d been sheltering in. But like most things, the offer from the dairy farm was not what it seemed. Not everyone made it back, but we can say that they escaped a fate arguably worse than starving in the streets.
At the end of Starved for Help, Lee was left with a rather difficult decision regarding an abandoned car and some desperately needed supplies. While Kenny and Lily continued their power struggle, this was the time for Lee to step up and show the leader he can really be.
Some time has passed since the dairy farm. The rest of the survivors are still caught between Kenny and Lilly’s power struggle. Kenny still wants to leave, knowing that the group can’t stay at the motel forever. Macon has been cleaned out of supplies and its only a matter of time before the group has to leave. Lilly wants to stay, informing you that it will be no easier on the road. She also happens to inform you that someone has been stealing the groups supplies. Someone you trusted. Someone you risked your life for to keep alive is holding a knife to the group’s throats by stealing your supplies. Is Lilly right? Or has she just become paranoid?
Taking a step outside the motel, the player can see that Brenda, the crazy big-box store employee, was right. With the dairy farm gone, the bandits that have been prowling around in the forests have set their sights on the motel. Hundreds of arrows line the motel’s defenses. It’s only a matter of time before the arrows start coming over the defenses.
I was surprised when I learned what really happened to Mary. I took pity on Otacon during Naomi’s tearful goodbye, but Long Road Ahead left me in complete awe. It took me on a two-hour emotional roller coaster ride that no other game in recent memory has been able to do. The people that I thought I knew, the decisions that I thought were right, had all been turned on their head. I saw relationships that I had forged with fellow survivors shattered. The people that saw me as their leader were suddenly looking at me in a much different light.
Slow moments are few and far between, there are even more action sequences in this episode. The puzzles aren’t overly difficult, but present a challenge in themselves. A great suggestion is to turn off visual cues and play the game blind (in a manner of speaking). A cue will appear if you hover over it (with the mouse, or cursor) but won’t appear until you do.
I had some issues with some of the action sequences, something that would have been an issue even if visual cues were turned on. When having to fire a gun (yes, there are guns now!) the aim is terribly imprecise. This is an issue I experienced before, in the first episode with the crusty old cop and the shotgun. If you put the reticle even in the general location of the head, you’d blow half his head off. The game is a point-and click adventure title however, not a shooter and I’m not expecting shooter mechanics, but a little tighter control there would have been nice. The only reason I bring it up at all is because there is a little more gunplay in Long Road Ahead than in the previous episodes.
It’s difficult to explain much further without completely spoiling the first two episodes, so I’ll keep this review short and sweet. Get it. The best part about The Walking Dead, if you’re comfortable with the idea that action plays second-fiddle to uncovering story elements, is that it starts out strong and maintains its momentum throughout. To be blunt, it’s a game you should play. Plain and simple.