Review: The Walking Dead Episode 2: Starved For Help (PS3)

Title: The Walking Dead Episode 2: Starved For Help
Format: PlayStation Network Download (811 MB)
Release Date: June 27, 2012
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Original MSRP: $4.99/Episode or $19.99/Season Pass (for all 5 episodes as they release)
ESRB Rating: M
The Walking Dead Episode 2: Starved For Help is also available on Xbox Live Arcade, PC and iOS.
The PlayStation Network version was used for this review.

Other Episodes In The Series:
walking-dead-ep1-review-banner walking-dead-ep3-review-banner

Gameplay:
The mechanics of the gameplay are largely unchanged from Episode 1, but the story has been taken to a new level of suspense and horror. Set a few months after the first episode, tensions are running high as food is running low. Salvation comes in the form of two brothers that run a dairy farm nearby. You’ll spend much of your time fending off raiders and helping around the farm.

Tough choices need to be made at many key points as before and the decisions this time around will have bigger consequences. You’re still doing what you can to protect Clementine, the little girl you saved in the first episode but you’ll find hints at a larger story and new questions about the people you’re with. I did my best to play to all sides in Episode 1 only to find characters calling me out on it this time around telling me it was time to pick a side.

Several set pieces help further the story and add some mystery raising new questions as you go. It’s clear that you’re only getting a small part of the bigger picture which will be revealed in upcoming episodes of the game.

The way Telltale carries your choices through is excellent as characters recall what you did previously and treat you accordingly. The game has a nice recap at the beginning with a “previously on The Walking Dead” showing you a quick montage of key points in the first episode along with some of the choices you made. It’s a nice touch and it really pulls you in to the story.

Visuals:
Same as before, this game has a unique visual style that really helps it stand out. The new character models fit who they are very well and the dairy farm makes an excellent setting for this episode.

Lighting is again used to great effect, enhancing the story elements. Storms roll in as things turn bad making the action more intense as it leads to the climax. You’ll see some minor glitches along the way, but nothing that really hampers the game or takes you out of the experience in any way.

Audio:
Another strong point in the game as walkers sound just as terrifying as you’d expect while bullets, arrows and other weapons pull you right into the action. Other incidental and background sounds are well thought out and the music is perfect underscoring the mood of each scene in the game.

The voice acting is great and the additional cast members hold up well against the originals and fit the character models perfectly.

Conclusion:
Episode 2 was delayed by about a month but it was worth the wait. Seeing how the two episodes are integrated and how critical your choices are becoming gives each episode more weight. Telltale was able to push the story forward in a more suspenseful and frightening way while keeping things tight. Let’s hope they can keep up the momentum with Episode 3.

Score:
9.0

Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 25 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation – minus the Switch.

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