The Walking Dead: Michonne Episode Two Review

By Marc Hollinshead, 8 months ago
The last time that we saw Michonne in The Walking Dead: Michonne, things were looking rather bleak. A simple trip across the water turned into something much worse. After episode one's cliffhanger ending, we were interested to see what trouble the leading lady was going to get into next. Telltale's miniseries continues with the release of episode 2 of Michonne's adventure, "Give No Shelter". The opening episode did an adequate job of setting up a new set of characters for us, despite being on the short side, so how does the next chapter fair?

TWD: Michonne Ep. 2 Screens 3

Episode two begins right where the last episode left off. After a useful segment that brings players up to speed with what previously occurred, Michonne is right where we left her. The episode takes no chances and plunges right into the action, so there isn't much downtime throughout your playthrough. The characters with whom we stay quickly find themselves in one grizzly situation after another and it helps to keep immersion in full flow. This is just as well because this particular episode is even shorter than the last, clocking in at an hour in length, maybe a little more if you're a slower player. While this is slightly disappointing, the content in the episode feels just right for the amount of runtime. With its fast pace, it feels like it doesn't outstay its welcome and tack on extra content just for the sake of it.

The episode also continues to delve deeper into the mind of Michonne and it does a good job of giving more insight into her past while still retaining an air of mystery about what happened to her. As she gets more and more troubled by past events, the characters around her begin to notice and it is clear that Michonne isn't simply a one dimensional character that chops off walkers' heads. Other cast members like Pete fade into the background when Michonne is front and centre, though, so the focus regularly falls on her.

A few new faces are introduced further into the episode and they have interesting personalities, despite not living up to Michonne herself. The cast isn't massive, but it doesn't need to be. It's easy to keep track of who's who and the game is quick to tell us of each of their motives and why they are where they are. With this series being only three episodes in length, it doesn't have as much time to establish a connection with certain people, so the methods it uses in helping us to understand the people that we meet are satisfactory when playing.

TWD: Michonne Ep. 2 Screens 2

While episode one set the scene for the cast, it generally retained the same tone throughout, never evoking any extreme emotional response. Episode two manages to present us with a number of emotional moments, aiming to bring out different responses from each. There is a particular touching moment, a completely out-of-the-blue shocking moment and, towards the end, a moment that will test your limits of human decency. The game wants to portray the harsh reality of this zombie apocalypse and it successfully does so, proving that those who are still living are even more dangerous than the walking dead.

The cinematic battle sequences from episode one are also back in this episode, and they even branch out to give certain non-combat sequences an extra edge. It's still satisfying to see Michonne slice walkers to pieces and she can still pack a punch even when she's lacking the strength to carry on. It's just a shame that the game engine itself can't keep up the pace like she does. Lag continues to crop up even when not in loading screens. While it doesn't ruin the experience outright, it's something with which Telltale has obvious problems.

As with previous Telltale games and the previous episode of this series, all seven achievements will come from naturally playing the game. More gamerscore is given to each individual achievement when there's only three episodes taking up the full 1,000G; with the short runtime of this episode, a quick and easy 330G will be coming your way once you load up the game.

Summary

Episode one, "In Too Deep", of The Walking Dead: Michonne introduced us to an interesting character, but never shined above previous Telltale games. After playing episode two, "Give No Shelter", there appears to be something special here. The episode itself is still very short, and isn't something that you should expect to take up an entire afternoon, but what you do play will be enjoyable. Throughout the playthrough, there is a constant fast pace and you will be subjected to a couple of interesting plot moments. Michonne is arguably one of the best characters in The Walking Dead franchise and Telltale is continuing to capture the essence of her personality very well. The game engine is still struggling and so lag is noticeable, but that shouldn't completely hinder your enjoyment. This has set the scene for a potentially exciting finale, so let's just hope that the wait will be worth it.
4 / 5
Positives
  • Fast paced episode
  • Michonne's development continues to add intrigue
  • More exciting moments this time around
Negatives
  • Lag crops up
  • Very short episode
Ethics Statement
The reviewer spent one hour playing through the episode, delving further into the mind of Michonne and earning all seven achievements in the process. A code for the episode was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Marc Hollinshead
Written by Marc Hollinshead
To summarize Marc in two words, it would be "Christian Gamer." You will usually find him getting stuck into story heavy action-adventure games, RPG's and the odd quirky title when he isn't raving about Dark Souls and Mass Effect. Outside the world of gaming, Marc attends and helps out in his church on a regular basis and has a not-so thrilling job in a supermarket.