The Walking Dead: Episode 4 - Around Every Corner
- Street Date:
- October 10th, 2012
- Reviewed by:
- Nick Hartel
- Review Date:1
- December 14th, 2012
- Game Release Year:
- Xbox 360
- Telltale Games
- Telltale Games
- ESRB Rating:
- M (Mature)
IntroductionThe following review assumes you’ve played the first three installments of “The Walking Dead” and understand to discuss this latest installment; spoilers regarding previous entries are unavoidable. When players last left Lee and company in “Long Road Ahead,” we were on a train to Savannah in search of both a boat to fulfill Kenny’s plan of escaping the doomed land by sea as well as to see if against hope, Clementine’s parents are still alive. “Around Every Corner” begins with a mysterious voice on the walkie talkie asking about Clementine to Lee’s horror, but before any headway can be made in even deciphering the cryptic, ominous message, the group finds itself under siege by a mob of walkers, which results in a tense, action-based series of events for the player to participate in as well as some split second decisions by characters of the group that will set events into motion that make the journey into Savannah one of the most intense and expansive journeys in the series yet.
The Game Itself: Our Reviewer's Take
Nothing related to core game play is changed in the fourth (of five) episode of the series and that’s perfectly fine, as the game’s real draw, the smart, adult level of writing continues to push gamers down a compelling narrative path forcing them to make decisions that from a base complexity standpoint are rather simple, but carry far more emotional weight than anything you could possibly accomplish through controller-based wizardry in a watershed game series.
What “Around Every Corner” does do that makes the game feel like a step-up form previous installments in a minor way is to give the installment’s setting a more expansive feel. Lee and the gang traverse quite a variety of locales in Savannah and the game’s constant narrative advancement creates a disorienting feeling that quite admirably puts players into Lee’s shoes more snugly than before whether they realize it or not. The installment can be confusing to a fault, introducing a lot of concepts up front and then slowly building to some answers (with more than a few big questions left hanging) while managing to pull the rug from under any smug players who think they have it all figured out.
The urban environment offers one memorable set piece that completely overtook my expectations by heading in a direction I couldn’t have possibly predicted or dreamed of. The new characters introduced in the episode really show a polish to the series’ writing, and one in particular is naturally fleshed out in a way that allows players to make a connection all while furthering Lee’s journey forward in a method that is never once gimmicky. On the same note, your party continues to evolve and with that comes poignant moments of connectivity and bitter conflict, often in the same sentence. By the time the game wraps up with a major step towards denouement in the upcoming, final installment, the player’s emotions may be as frazzled and tried as Lee’s.
“Around Every Corner” is one of the best installments in the series so far by managing to feel like a self-contained game when possible and still manage to further an ongoing plot and set-up what by all foreshadowing, should be an epic finale. Those upset with “Long Road Ahead” feeling like filler with a few jaw dropping gutpuches should be pleased at what is to be experienced here. Like a top-notch penultimate episode of a TV season or series, “Around Every Corner” leaves players satisfied and wanting more. If “No Time Left” manages to even partially fulfilling the promises the series has alluded to and the high-note this installment ends on, “The Walking Dead” is a strong lock for Game of the Year.
The Video: Sizing Up the Picture
The Audio: Rating the Sound
- Digital Download
- Dolby Digital 5.1
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