Review: The Walking Dead Episode 3: Long Road Ahead (PS3)

Title: The Walking Dead Episode 3: Long Road Ahead
Format: PlayStation Network Download (636 MB)
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Original MSRP: $4.99 / Free with Season Pass
ESRB Rating: M
The Walking Dead series from Telltale Games is also available on Xbox 360, PC and Mac.
The PlayStation 3 version was used for this review.

Other Episodes In The Series:
walking-dead-ep1-review-banner walking-dead-ep2-review-banner

Audio Review:
The audio review for this game is available on Episode 284 of the podcast.
284

Gameplay:
As we reach the halfway point in Telltale Games’ foray into the universe of The Walking Dead, things change drastically as your group finally leaves the relative safety of the motel and makes a break for the coast.

So how does Telltale follow up the grand, twisted and disturbing set pieces of Episode 2? By pulling back for a more intimate drama and a closer look at the emotional toll that the events of the past two episodes have had on our characters. Depression, anger and paranoia all come to the forefront for a much richer story this time around.

This episode felt like it had the best all-around mix of exploration, investigation, action, drama and hard choices. Lines have been pretty well drawn between characters at this point depending on the choices you’ve made and you’ll come up against a whole new level of tough when it comes to decisions this time around. Each episode has been a sort of war of attrition, seeing who will make it to the end and this one is no different, actually raising the stakes.

One of the more interesting aspects of Episode 3 is the new characters that get added to the mix. One in particular having a very level headed, clear view of the situation and some tough but much needed advice for you as the main character. It helps to balance everything out in a really satisfying and unexpected way, helping to make this by far my favorite episode in the series to this point.

Visuals:
No real change here, as expected, but the new setting and situations your characters find themselves in are wonderfully represented. The RV, an overpass, a friggin’ freight train, yeah, the attention to detail brings each of the settings to life in a way that many other games lack.

It was definitely nice to get away from the motel and move on to more visually interesting situations and while the train is definitely the highlight of this episode, the station stop you’ll need to make brings the terror of the unknown and dark rooms right back to the forefront.

Audio:
Shocks and surprises abound this time around and they’re all punctuated with excellent sound design. Whether it’s in the tense dialogue, the crack of gunfire, or the general chaos of masses of Walkers coming at you, everything is made more intense and visceral by quality audio work.

The new voice actors fit their character models beautifully, breathing life into them in unexpected ways. The voice acting for the main characters continues to shine as well.

Online/Multiplayer
This game is single player only but still has a recap of your choices during major events and how they stack up to everyone else who’s played the game while connected to the PlayStation Network.

It’s fascinating to see if you fall in with the majority of players or not when it comes to some of the more difficult choices and it’s really something I’d love to see other developers adopt when their game warrants it.

Conclusion:
Telltale Games aims to make a statement with Episode 3, reminding players how brutal and unforgiving the world has become and to say that they succeeded would be a huge understatement. Twists and turns including a shocker at the end set things up for a stretch run in Episode 4 that can’t get here fast enough.

Score:
9.0

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  • i also had a glitch. after talking to chuck(homeless guy) going to talk to clementine on the side of the train the world disappeared and it was all upside down trees. tried moving and then after a few minutes he got back to the engine room?(where kenny is) and then went back out but it happened again. so i quit and went back in the game and that fixed it(i guess)..

  • Played the first two episodes and loved them. Downloaded the third one, but have not had time to sit down and play it sadly. Now, after reading this, I really am itching to play it now.

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