REVIEW: THE WALKING DEAD: MICHONNE EPISODE 3 (PS4)

NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER FREE REVIEW

I had really lost interest in The Walking Dead before Telltale’s first season came out and was pretty late getting around to it. I gave it a second chance because of all the game of the year buzz it was getting in 2012 and devoured the first season in a single day because it had me completely hooked and left me thirsty for more. By the conclusion of the second season and even the first episode of The Walking Dead: Michonne mini-series, I felt like I was playing out of obligation as opposed to a genuine love of what I was playing. “I can use this to kill an hour and a half” I thought about the first episode of Michonne and was left not really enthusiastic about what was to come next.

Things changed when the second episode came around where it was a complete one-eighty from what came before it. The second episode was my favourite episode of anything that Telltale has ever produced, personally speaking, and I couldn’t wait to see how that momentum would carry on to the series finale. After completing the series finale, The Walking Dead: Michonne has completely rekindled my excitement for the future of Telltale’s take on The Walking Dead and I can’t wait to see where the series will go next.

Without getting into spoilers, I felt very strong about how I choose to cap off Episode Two, but that quickly turned to dread in the opening moments of Episode Three. Even though I was told by several characters that I indeed had made the right decision in how I choose to diffuse the climax of the previous episode, I felt I had unnecessarily escalated the conflict between the group I found myself with and the survivors of Munroe. These feelings did have a positive outcome though, as my decisions produced a wonderfully tense stand-off that felt like a true culmination that made my choices feel very meaningful.

What I’ve loved about this mini-series is how Telltale stepped up their games in the department of both action and choreography. Though I didn’t care for the series premiere, a highlight of it that continued into Episode Two was that for once the action segments felt visceral despite being simple quick-time event button presses and control stick flicks. These actions were accented by the spectacular choreography on-screen that helped distinguish this character from either Lee or Clementine from the mainline series. The season finale lacks the type of up-close and personal encounters of previous episodes, however the final action set piece is still wonderfully choreographed and brilliantly marries the flashbacks that have served as the character development for the title character with the present day conflict, concluding with a send off that feels earned.

Above all else, the best take away from not only the finale but from the series as a whole, is that it really showed and developed in a meaningful way a side of Michonne that I hadn’t really seen before. I’ll admit I’m not the biggest The Walking Dead fan around, but I’ve still read a lot of the comics and seen most of the TV show. In both I just saw Michonne as the silent, deadly warrior of the group, which you certainly get here, but balanced with showing the character at her most vulnerable. I’m glad that this series was only the length that it was as it left little time for filler, but I wouldn’t be at all opposed to Michonne perhaps meeting up with Clementine in Season Three, especially given the news that the main series is set to take a leap forward in time to where the comics presently are.

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