The Walking Dead: Michonne Episode 2 Review
Picking up where episode 1 left off, Michonne and pals are attempting to escape the clutches of evil(?) Norma. Just like the first episode, we’re treated to some fantastic action sequences, this time right from the off. Michonne is a badass and these scenes really do back that up – QTEs are often quite stale affairs offering little in way of game-play but much like in Tales from the Borderlands, Telltale have kicked them up a notch with Michonne – they’re still virtually impossible to fail but things tend to flow much more nicely. There are also some more ‘risky’ feeling sections – having to pop your head up over railings and not quite being sure of timing introduces this but red – bleeding in from the camera sides – warn you of being spotted giving you the hand-holding so that again, you can’t really fail.
As an introduction to Michonne, episode 1 did a decent job of surrounding her in mystery, even if it felt like Telltale were treading old ground. Episode 2 provides more of the same, there’s nothing particularly ‘new’ here but the story is far more involving, gut-wrenching actually. Call me a sissy, but delivering news to a family that their son (or brother) is dead hit me right in the feels. As the episode progresses, we’re introduced to a few more characters who – much like in the first episode – simply act as a vehicle to advance the plot. Sam is a little more fleshed out but this here mini-series is all about Michonne, her past, and her daughters.
Whilst trying to avoid spoilers as much as I can, the death of one character left me slightly disappointed. As highlighted above – most characters in this short lived series are shallow due to a short run and when one of the potentially more interesting characters is killed off (for possibly the same reason), it really did back up the fact that Michonne is the only character worth their salt in this series. That’s a shame because Telltale often rely on the group dynamic to tell the story which has worked well in the past. I’m all up for shaking things up – but these decisions feel force due to the the short running time of the mini-series – it makes Michonne feel like a cash-in.
Further backing up this feeling is the incredibly short run time of the episode itself – about 60 minutes. For a game so driven by narrative, so driven by its characters, the first two episodes have been far too short and as soon as you’ve started, you’re packing up groaning at waiting another month for the next episode. The Walking Dead Season One featured episodes around 2 hours long – there’s a huge discrepancy there especially when you factor in that this is a mini-series – just three episodes long. Michonne is a great character (based on the game alone) that deserves more – there simply isn’t enough time to get really attached to her in the way that we all became attached to Lee and Clementine in Series One.
As far as the story goes – it’s again very well told featuring two or three stand-out scenes in which Telltale don’t hold back on the gore or cringe-factor – a few scenes had me wincing throughout. These scenes felt very much in line with The Walking Dead as a whole – very gritty and dark – exactly what you want from the apocalypse. There’s plenty of depression too – Episode 2 features a lot of heavy subject matter – it’s exhausting to experience but adds huge weight to the game. Despite such a short play-time, Telltale do an excellent job of providing an involving plot while it lasts.
Coming in at around 60 minutes, Episode 2 is far too short which is felt in shallow characters and a plot points that feel forced for the same reason. It is however extremely involving, featuring a few gut-wrenching moments and scenes which will have you wincing throughout. Ultimately, a big improvement on Episode 1 and very enjoyable, we just wish it was longer.