Full of Tough Choices
Clementine just can’t catch a break can she? The previous two episodes of The Walking Dead Season 2 were absolutely fantastic. However, the great waves Telltale Games were riding from them started to level out with the release of Episode 4: Amid the Ruins. That being said, Episode 4 was still a great episode.
(Spoilers from Episodes 1-3 ahead)
Right from the start you see the impact of the final decision you made in Episode 3: will Sarita live or die? Did you save her or not? Your actions as Clementine in that final moment will affect how Kenny treats you the rest of the episode. After escaping the giant mob of zombies, the exhausted group of survivors try to find the rest of their group and find shelter. During this time, Clem gets help from Jane, the loaner of the group. Jane gets them into a few tough situations that will affect how Clementine is treated by the rest of the group as well. What I am getting at is that by the end of the episode, Clementine could have been hated on by just about everyone she knows (depending on your choices).
This is one of the few times this has happened in the series, and I am not sure I liked it. It was weird for Clementine, the sweet girl we used to know, be treated a villain. On top of that, it just felt like many of the conversations weren’t written very well. Telltale’s The Walking Dead is known for its amazing writing, which is the biggest reason it won Game of the Year on so many websites in 2012. So imagine how strange it was to play an episode where if felt like the conversations were there to simply push the story forward, rather than actually telling a story worth listening to.
I only ran into a few technical hiccups during Episode 4 (other than the usual). During a few scenes when a character would be talking as I wandered around, I sometimes cut them off by talking to them directly; this made both conversation audio tracks play over each other. I was pretty upset that this made me miss entire sections of both conversations. This feels like it should be an easy fix for Telltale; there aren’t too many scenes where you walk around at the same time as another character talks.
Amid The Ruins is full of extremely tough choices. Most of which I found to be tougher than any other in the entire series. Do you want to save your friends? Leave them behind? What about a stranger with supplies? What do you do about that? Will you trust Jane? Even though she seems a little off? What if she can help the group? As off as the writing was in this episode, Telltale still managed to put Clementine in several extremely tense moments that made the episode great as a whole.
The Verdict: 8.6 out of 10
The Walking Dead Season 2: Episode 4 — Amid the Ruins had some of the weakest conversations in the entire series; but was that enough to make it a bad episode? Absolutely not. However, I hope Telltale comes back with their A-Game when they release the season finale. The best thing they did during this episode was pull at our heartstrings several times by putting us in impossible situations and telling us to make a decision quickly. Episode 4 wasn’t up to the Telltale standard, but it was still another great episode in a great series.
For more information about what the score means, check out our official review scale.