by Ben Petchey
reviewed on PC
Telltale have built up quite the portfolio of games over the last few years, but their The Walking Dead universe remains their biggest series to date. Telltale’s The Walking Dead is known for its brutal, heart-wrenching choices – going into The Walking Dead: Michonne I expected much of the same. And the game responds to these expectations pretty well: it doesn’t tweak much of the series’ well established game design formula, but what you are left with is an experience that you’ve come to expect from any game that comes from Telltale.
Michonne’s lost issues
This miniseries explores Michonne’s absence in the comic book between issues 126 through 139. If you were expecting lots of references to places, events or characters from the comic books, fear not! The episode introduces Michonne in a way that doesn’t require you to have any prior knowledge of her character.
The first 5 minutes of this episode were very intense. The game opens with Michonne sporadically fighting an ever growing crowd of walkers all whilst experiencing intense hallucinations of her two dead daughters. This sequence acts as a fantastic introduction to Michonne’s character for those that may only be familiar with the main Walking Dead game and not the comic or TV show. As the action subsides and Michonne realizes that she is in fact alone again, she contemplates suicide but is stumbled upon by Pete before she can act upon it – heavy stuff.
Pete and his band of bickering blokes take Michonne under their wing, and onto their boat to travel around Lord knows where. The group passes through an area where they usually stop to trade with a group and come to realise that there’s something eerie going on. As they come close to the shore to investigate, their boat strikes a wreckage in the water and Pete and Michonne are forced to go onto the shore.
Once on the ferry, Michonne and Pete discover that the group was brutally executed and left to rot. On the ferry they bump into Samantha and her brother Greg, a pair of young siblings that have been stealing from a group that don’t appreciate liars very much. Pete and Michonne get dragged into the sibling’s business and end up being dragged away as suspects in a stolen duffel bag situation (yes, really).
So far, the story is a fairly standard being in the wrong place at the wrong time affair with little mystery left to solve. However, this is a Telltale game, and we all know how they just love to throw a spanner in the works as soon as you get comfortable.
It’s worth noting how Pete is one of the best additions to the cast. Alongside the perfect performance of Michonne by Samira Wiley, they make a brilliant pair of personalities. Pete’s positivity and optimism makes for some brilliant exchanges between himself and Michonne who responds in some very comedic ways.
Whilst on the topic of characters, Samantha and Greg manage to avoid the annoying teenager cliché that so many games and movies fall victim to and instead create some difficult and tricky decisions at times. Their differences in personality and their stories get you into some sticky situations. The unpredictability of their behavior is frustrating, but a nice touch. The antagonists, whilst ruthless at times, fall a little flat – hopefully Telltale throw that big ol’ spanner in the works in episode 2.
Of to to a good, but not excellent, start
In Too Deep does well at introducing Michonne as a mentally unstable, seemingly cold-hearted character, but fails to deliver a wholly compelling opening episode. Telltale sticks to its well established formula, which is a shame considering they could have taken advantage of the fact that Michonne is a machete-wielding bad-ass. Going into episode 2, one can only hope that something unexpected changes the direction that the miniseries is currently going towards.
Great performance of Michonne by Samira Wiley, Brilliant opening, Good new characters
Weak story, Disappointing antagonists