Whatever advantage I got out of meeting with the Telltale Games developers of The Walking Dead game at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles is long since gone. At the Expo, they played through the beginning of Episode Two - Starved For Help and gave a little bit of insight into the choices players would make and the long term consequences of said choices. Now, in the third episode of five, we are getting more choices, none of which prove easy.
For those who are reading this review and unfamiliar with The Walking Dead game, it is an adventure game based on the comic books from which the TV show is adapted. The game does borrow heavily from the original comic book art style. Unlike the comic and TV show though, The Walking Dead game tells a new story that starts right at the beginning of the outbreak. The game puts players in the role of Lee, a convict who escapes custody during the outbreak and ends up as caretaker for a young girl named Clementine. A couple of familiar characters have interacted with Lee and his band of survivors in the title, but for the most part, the group Lee is in has nothing to do with the original comic book characters.
Long Road Ahead is paced a little differently than the previous episodes. If Starved For Help was too macabre or over the top for your taste, Long Road Ahead is a little more languid and sentimental.
Though The Walking Dead game is mostly an interactive story, there are many adventure game elements to it. This third episode is the most adventure-y of the bunch so far. That is not to say that there’s not action but, it’s more rare this time. Less action is a good thing, as the control scheme isn’t the most efficient and the awkward controls are often the culprit when Lee dies.
With the slower pace of Long Road Ahead, the clunky-ness of moving those crosshairs around and then selecting the correct action is magnified. There are only a few occasions in this episode that require quick reflexes, but they can be a little frantic and frustrating. The majority of this segment is old school point-and-click adventuring with some puzzles thrown in for good measure. The rest of it is dialogue decisions. These, as in the last episode, are starting to become a little frustrating as the choices you're given regularly don't provide options that players would actually take.