Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers up to this current episode. Please play the previous ones before proceeding!
When episode 3 of Telltales’ story driven The Walking Dead released on PS3, I loved the results of their labor. What concerned me is why the Vita version was not released at the same time. Surely different people are responsible for the separate versions, but not having any word at all as to when it would be released did leave room for some concern. You may already know that episode 3 was an excellent installment in the series, and one that take the story down a darker path, one that is riddled with trial and tough situations. Episode 3: In Harm’s Way really feels like the comics and the TV show, in the best ways possible. For a change I did not feel that I was playing a something that had very little relation to its roots, but felt as if I were playing something written by the hands of Robert Kirkman. In Harm’s Way brings a new villain into the spotlight, and with the return of some of the common Walking Dead tropes, fans of the universe will feel right at home.
I have personally read every comic of TWD up to the last few issues. I’ve seen every episode of the AMC TV Show and played every episode from Telltale. TWD is a potentially endless universe where thousands of stories can be told. The fact that some themes transfer over is bound to happen, but sometimes an over reliance on things can be a downside. While I did not touch on this on my PS3 review, I think it may be worth noting this time as it has sunk in a bit deeper. Granted I was not with the comics from day one. Over the past 2 years, I consumed the entirety of TWD library. Maybe having everything so close together has made it more noticeable, but the old standbys of limb amputation and covering yourself in Walker guts just seems over-used. I understand the idea of “it it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, but I would like to see them used less and new ideas to be created. Either way, those ideas came straight from the mind of Kirkman, so they cannot be considered bad!
Episode 3 on Vita has its flaws. The story and tale that is told is top-notch and is absolutely essential for any fan to play through to completion. In Episode 2 there was an audio static that was frequent in most dialogue. This has been greatly reduced, and although it is occasionally present, it does not jar you from the experience that much. It did appear this time around that game lag was more visible. I always knew that an event was about to happen because the game would freeze, for sometimes seconds, before the next scene would load. Telltale gave this release more time which tells me that they knew about the issues, but since they released it at its current state I am sure that it is as good as it is going to get. Sadly, I don’t think they can get the Telltale Tool to run any better on the Vita than in its current form.
Telltale should be thanked by Sony and gamers alike that they are spending the time and resources to port TWD to Vita. Opening up the fun to hardcore fans or to new gamers who have never played it before shows that Telltale has the dedication to get this into as many hands as possible. Sadly, the Vita version is not on par with its console counterpart due to technical issues. You need to ask yourself: Have you already played this game? How big of a fan am I? These will be essential in your determination of buying this game. There is nothing here on Vita that will draw in anyone who has already played unless you are the strongest of fans, or are desperate for some easy trophies. However, TWD Episode 3 deserves to be played. Pick your version to play it on and have at it!
Review code for The Walking Dead Season 2 on the PlayStation Vita was provided by the Telltale PR team.