The newest Walking Dead episode is enjoyably tense, but a more formulaic script and a greater focus on action make Around Every Corner weaker than its predecessors.
Some of the story has been padded. An early scene involving the disposal of a corpse is accompanied by a shoveling sequence that outstays its welcome, hammering home a point and then continuing to hammer. Character actions are more erratic than before. Kenny's boat plan has gone off the deep end, and it's impossible to believe that no one is challenging him on it. A new addition to the group switches attitudes abruptly and without explanation, and there is even a careless, groan-worthy moment of stupidity that you'd expect from a bad horror film, but not here.
Furthermore, a few technical glitches interfere with smoothly telling the tale. Lip movement sometimes doesn't sync properly, which is distracting during scenes loaded with emotion. There are also regular long pauses at the end of dialogue sequences that almost make you think that the game has locked up. Art remains very good, however. The graphic-novel stylings of the visuals are first-rate, and settings like the school where the fascists are headquartered are downright eerie with blood on the walls and moonlight shining in the windows. All of the voice acting continues to be stellar. The actors handling Lee and Clementine are particularly fantastic, again. Both convey emotion and sincerity while avoiding the trap of falling into melodrama.
Even though you can't help but be disappointed that Around Every Corner does not live up to its predecessors, there are some strengths here. The action scenes give the game a very different character than the earlier episodes, which serves as a change of pace. If you are playing the episodes together as one unified adventure, you might well appreciate the chance to get into some gunplay after the more traditional puzzles and dialogue of the previous scenes getting that train rolling to Savannah.
Dialogue choices continue to be the heart of the series. Even though you do a lot of killing, you also answer a lot of questions and make judgment calls during conversations that woo friends and exacerbate enemies. Emotions come to the fore on a few occasions, most notably when Kenny encounters a zombie with a familiar face, and when Lee flips out trying to locate Clementine. There are more tough decisions to be made, and everything comes to a close in a you-didn't-see-that-coming cliff-hanger that will leave you frustrated that you have to wait for episode five to keep playing.
Around Every Corner is still a satisfying Walking Dead adventure, but it falls short of the lofty levels of storytelling on display in its three predecessors. Much of this episode feels forced, with characters being maneuvered into position to wrap everything up in the finale. It also seems like the developers have painted themselves into a corner, having loaded the first three episodes with so much tragedy and death that we're left stranded with a bunch of strangers in episode four. With that said, it is still impossible to put this game down, and the stage has been set for the story of Lee and Clementine to come to a fitting, tragic conclusion.
After the end of this episode... I honestly don't have much hope for a happy ending here. Dammit TellTale, stop getting me attached to all these awesome characters.
But anyway, I'm honestly finding myself much more engrossed in the game's story than the TV series, nicely done.
i must say, 7.0? this was actually maybe one of my favorite episodes. the story may have been "formulaic" but it was pulled of very well. can't wait for the finale:)
People really don't seem to care about spoiling it for the others who haven't played it yet. Would you all mind shutting the f up? Thanks. ;)
@BrazilianBud Also got it spoiled for me in the comments :( The episode was still intense as hell though.
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I still haven't forgiven ???Telltale for killing Carley... but desperately looking forward to Episode 5 nonetheless.
It's actually about time they added more action. I'm not a shooter fanboy that thinks everything needs constant shooting, but with the way they've been building the suspense with each episode, it would make sense for the last few episodes to have more intense action sequences. Just so everyone knows, they just announced that they're releasing all five episodes on disc on December 4th.
Are the graphics improved? Perhaps it's the just size of the screenshots but I have graphics on max on my PC and it doesn't seem to look as good as these screenshots.
@Sefrix TellTale has pretty terrible art, you just have to get use to it.
You do know this game ain't about graphics? @Sefrix
the best, and dare i say,the most intense and depressing episode at the moment. though i kinda agree with some of the new characters not getting much "screen time" (most notably, chuck).
ohh, the drama, I love this game, I got up just to drink some water.
I can't wait for the last episode.
(twists and turns, enough action, lots of drama, tough decisions)
Oh, and "action-packed"? Thanks to about 4 shooting sequences with less than 15 seconds each, out of a 3-hour episode? Seriously? Even if other episodes had none of these, calling this one "action-packed" is a glaring hyperbole.
Bah, this is the best episode of the bunch as far as writing is concerned, and by a good mile.
Just finished playing it and couldn't help thinking someone would find it to be less memorable than 2 and 3 thanks to it being less... Drastic in tone and decisions. And here we are. But one of the (very, VERY) criticisms I had towards episodes 2 and 3 was that it seemed the writers thought good drama is made of chaining tragedy after tragedy, and that the plot wouldn't really advance in any meaningful way if they kept trying to 'out-shock' themselves. The last part of Episode 3 suffered because of this - with a lot of people dead and no time to start integrating the new characters into Lee's crew.
Episode 4 did what needed to be done: get the series on track by making use of the full range of human emotions besides despair. What this reviewer calls 'formulaic' actually means that episode 4 used proven plot techniques to remind us that real despair only comes when you have faith/hope on something, and that shock value only goes so far. For example, the hardest decision in this episode is not about killing or maiming someone, as often happened before, but about whether you (and I mean YOU, the PLAYER) should set aside your own feelings about someone to do what seems to be best/right to that someone. It was a necessary step-up for a game full of gut-wrenching decisions already.
And the new characters not endearing? People have already pointed out how memorable Molly is, bur seriously, you really didn't warm out on the doctor who runs a group of people with cancer and risked his life to help a stranger out of principle (at least at first)? Also, about "the ninja" going away... It is glaringly obvious, considering what she says and how the episode ends after her departure, that she'll be back in the last one - and I won't be surprised if she becomes a love interest to our protagonist.
Seriously, I wonder how far the story can deviate at this point that the reviewer would not see all this. Not complaining about the score, this is about the writing. I feel this is the most solid writing in the series to date, and one of the best I've ever seen in a game. Bioware has nothing on this episode, for example.
@RealFabioSooner how exactly would the protaganist, having just been scratched, be her love interest?
loved this EP and this whole series so far what a great experience TellTell has put together..cant wait for the next one
@q-bert39 Wow, did you even read the review? Bet you wouldn't call his reviews on the previous episodes bad because they got higher scores.
@q-bert39 Everything the reviewer stated was true, if you bothered to actually read it. He just happened to dislike some of the things you liked, thus the lower score.
Instead of making snarky comments, you could actually explain your viewpoint. But I guess that would require being rational and not a complete toolbag.
I don't have a favorite episode.... the full game as an experience has been epic, my favorite game since Dragon Age: Origins.
I'm torn between whether I like episode 2 or 4 the most. Both were so intense and had so many unexpected scenes.
@scout7 I always felt 3 was the most Walking Dead-ish.The raw pain, loss and sadness is what the comic is all about, and Ep. 3 captured that perfectly.
@neosantana the third was my least favorite episode because it wasn't executed properly. The death scenes were more towards shock value. There was not enough feeling of emotional loss. Oh Carly is dead lets just move on and not talk about it.
I thought this episode was more intense and enjoyable than the last episode which got an 8.5 I believe.
Another bad review from Gamespot...not surprising.
Lately every game they dislike I like and vice versa.
@rah_xephon23 7/10 is not bad for crying out loud... lower than most would have expected given the past ratings. The review fairly justified this person's reasoning as to why it got the score it did.
What? A seven means they dislike a game? You realize that means they think it's good, right?
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@Gelugon_baat All the new characters get killed off or go their own way. They belonged to other groups in the first place and never would have fit into Lee's group.
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@Gelugon_baat They aren't red shirts, but they are like a really good guest star that has a couple of episodes on a tv show. You are introduced to their background story and what happens in their city. The characters they introduced could essentially have their own walking dead series.
@Gelugon_baat there is no escaping gelugon_baat on gamespot now is there?
I loved this episode.
Hard to care for the new cast of characters? What about Molly? Probably my favorite character of the whole game after Lee and Clem.
About some of the characters not as developped. Sometimes people don't stick around that long. Do we really need all the characters to be fleshed out and die tragically in slow mo? Some times they don't stick around for long. And I actually like that.
About the zombie moments. There was bound to be a more action packed episodes. And zombies were never a real threat when alone and you saw them coming. If you fight them one by one, it's obviously going to be easier then when one surprises you and push you on the ground.
Anyways, this was a great chapter for me. The pace was faster, it needed to be, we saw a LOT more of the city than we did in whatever areas we were before. There were interesting twists and the cellar moment blew my mind.
Can't wait for ep5. Please come fast ! No delays please TTG !
I thought the episode was pretty good. The increased focus on combat and gunplay really wracked up the tension on my nerves. Since the previous episodes were fairly zombie-lite, with a heavier focus on intra-group relationships, being constantly barraged with zombies this time around constantly had me feeling on edge.
The section in the school was especially bad for my nerves, having to pass that door with the zombies banging on it a half dozen times. I kept having flashbacks to the hallway with the attack dogs in the original Resident Evil.
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