Telltale Games has been doing a fantastic job with their Walking Dead arcade exclusives. The point and click type action game, reminiscent of Lucasarts’ games of old add a very nice touch to The Walking Dead series as a whole. They’re emotionally dynamic like the comic book and constantly give you a sense of helplessness, whether that be in moments of combat or arguments with other survivors. Episode 3 “Long Road Ahead” was the most action oriented and destructive episode yet.
The strength of Telltale’s strategy for their Walking Dead games are emotional exhaustion. The games stress you out, period. So why did Long Road Ahead not affect me as much as I think it should have? Because I cheated. I tried to alter the game by rewinding chapters and choosing different scenarios that fit “my” plan, but everything I chose, no matter how different ended the same way, abandoning the motel, one member dead, and us left stranded. It left me a little soured, thinking a game that is dictated so strongly on choices “I” was making would all end up the same way.
There’s a traitor in the group, giving supplies to the bandits, keeping them at bay. I do some investigating and have my suspicions who it is. During the confrontation I blatantly spell out who it is, and the outcome was always the same, murder, and not the person I had intended. Why was I making these decisions for no reason? This is where I realized The Walking Dead is much deeper than I had previously thought. In a “true” zombie apocalypse, sometimes, no matter how hard you try, people are going to be unpredictable, and outcomes won’t always be desirable. It’s a fact, and Long Road Ahead brings that thought process and punches you in the stomach with it.
Besides Long Road Ahead being the most cutthroat and bloodthirsty, it was also the episode to kill my character the most. The Walking Dead‘s combat is not it’s strong suit, but no one said shooting a zombie directly in the head was going to be easy. The Walking Dead game continues to be an emotional exhausting and terror filled game, something rarely found in any video game of this generation.
Back to the Farm.