The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 4: Amid the Ruins lands with us, and we’ve played both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions to bring you our verdict of the mostly excellent Telltale Games series.
Disclaimer: This will contain spoilers from previous episodes of The Walking Dead Season 1, as well as minor spoils for this current episode.
One of the many positives of Telltale’s The Walking Dead is how the locales and scenery change so much from episode to episode. This change of environment is great to keep players engaged and wanting more, but is the reuse of main plot points reason enough to detract from Episode 4 : Amid the Ruins’ story?
Starting moments after the dire events that concluded episode 3, we are once again flung back into the harsh world of our consequences. The dynamic between characters and the way that you, as Clementine, can influence the outcome of those interactions feels really grounded in this episode and more meaningful. Seeing how characters change and how they treat you gives a important meaning to what you do. The lack of direction in Season 2, other than just surviving gives room for some excellent story potential. Sadly the writers reverted back to some plot ideas that have already been used from Season 1.
There is a character that has given up a will to live and you have the option of forcing them to come along, or you can leave them behind. That character will eventually die regardless of your choices. Sure brings to mind Ben from Season one. Another example has to do with getting accused of stealing. Even if you were not the one who committed the crime, the owner of said items still comes for you anyways. Remember the abandoned car from Season 1? Yep, it will come back to bite you.
Spoilers end… maybe.
Although the situations and people are different, it is essentially the exact same thing happening again. I wish that the writers could find some other things to do. Now this by no means makes the writing poor considering I did not see the events coming before they happened, but once they did the resemblance was too striking to ignore.
Aside from that gripe, the same beautiful colors and enhanced art design in this new season still shines and stuttering issues are about the same as prior episodes. Sadly the same cannot be said for the Vita version. While the colors do pop on the beautiful OLED display, the game requires extra patience to play. Constant freezing ranging from 2-6 seconds is prevalent anytime a scene loads, or a saving point approaches. I really hope that will all of the money Telltale is raking in from this series, that they start fresh with Season 3 with a complete new engine . I think it’s fair to say goodbye to the Telltale Tool.
With all of this said, if you have come this far, by no means should you stop now. I have every believe that Telltale will still impress and release a final episode that will leave us devastated and eagerly awaiting the next chapter. Bottom line is this still deserves to be played, but given the uninspired story for this episode, I feel that it does detract from what is otherwise a wonderful investment of your time.
My score is below, but the Vita version has to be docked half a point for the fact it struggles to run the Telltale engine smoothly.
PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita review copies of The Walking Dead S2 Ep4: Amid the Ruins were provided by the Telltale Games PR team.