Review: The Walking Dead: In Harms Way
By Sean Booker
June 4, 2014 - 23:09
Studios: Telltale Games
Rating: M (Mature)
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Episode two of this season was already fantastic and it's awesome to see that In Harm's Way continues this success. The situation is bleak as we deal with the conclusion to the last episode. New characters are introduced that create some very engaging plot points. The new setting is scary and has us playing through some very tense moments. Episode three feels almost self contained with such a strong narrative arc from beginning to end. This is easily the best episode in this season to date.
The episode starts off with a strange new setting that we find our survivors forced into. There’s a major threat and it adds some serious drama to the story. It’s a good opening for the episode that, surprisingly, wraps up in a way that allows for a full narrative arc to take place here. In Harm’s Way almost feels like a self contained story in how it concludes and where our team is set off to at the end. In fact, the ending shot is incredibly harrowing by itself. The episode feels quite strong in how it can almost stand alone.
We are treated to some really gruesome and intense events the whole way through. New characters are introduced who add very interesting and different outlooks towards our situation. The characters are unique and feel impactful and their roles help us become more immersed in all sides of the ongoing struggle to survive in this world. You may want to help the weak and put yourself out there for scrutiny or act out more standoffish in order to protect your own. These allow for some good situations of real hesitancy when the major choices come into play. It’s easy to wonder, and appreciate, if you doomed certain characters to fates that otherwise could have been avoided.
Although the dead don’t play much of a role in the tension in this episode, the human drama is at a maximum here. Having to sneak your way around without being noticed by the enemy leads to some real stressed filled moments. Clementine is a character that you can play as apologetic or cold and distant. It’s interesting to see this dynamic explored when we are constantly being depended upon. She once again shows us how much she has matured in this third episode. Along with this the usual character deaths are brutal and sad. There are a number of truly depressing moments that will pull at your heart strings or infuse you with anger. I found myself wanting a “f*** you” option on several occasions. On the other side, when the fleeting moments of happiness or relief showed up I was grateful for the *hug them* choice. There are some great emotional moments here.
Episode three, In Harm’s Way, is easily one of the best we have seen from Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead series. Much like the first season, it is a great middle chapter to an already impressive five episode arc. The self contained nature of it makes it incredibly strong from beginning to end. There isn’t really a bad moment to be found. New characters and the setting they inhabit will keep you engaged and interested all the way until the final dreadful moment. This episode has made me very excited to see where this season goes.