I’ve been pretty critical of the first two episodes of The Walking Dead: Michonne. I felt like the series didn’t have any real sense of tension and I felt my choices weren’t mattering as much as I thought they should’ve. So, did Telltale fix those issues with What We Deserve, the third (and final) episode?
I think the third episode of The Walking Dead: Michonne is definitely its strongest. One of the things I wish was explored more throughout the series was Michonne’s relationship and backstory with her daughters. Telltale delivers in the final episode with an emotional connection between Michonne and her daughters and provided a resolution that left me satisfied. It provided a nice little bit of closure, and presented a more vulnerable side to the bad ass Michonne we see in the comics.
What We Deserve is a pretty compact episode. It’s about an hour, hour and a half at most. That being said, it has a pretty good pace to it. Unlike most Telltale games, where there’s a bit of downtime and a lot of talking between scenes, The Walking Dead: Michonne episode three makes everyone of those scenes count, and builds upon their tension. What you get is good, precise, character development and some awesome set pieces.
There’s a great amount of tension throughout this final episode. Between the tense negotiations between Michonne’s group and Norma’s well-equipped army, to having players second-guessing their earlier decisions as they try to walk the line between keeping themselves safe, and getting their friends back from the enemy camp.
I’ve praised Telltale’s refinement of their quick time event (QTE) set pieces in the previous two episodes of The Walking Dead: Michonne and the third episode is no different. Telltale has done such a great job weaving QTE’s into a fantastically cinematic experience. The final act of What We Deserve is one big, riveting, set piece. Not only are these engaging to play, they continue to weave story elements into the episode and helps push the player to the finale.
However, even more so than previous Telltale games, your choices absolutely don’t matter in The Walking Dead: Michonne. I’ve had a similar complaint throughout the series and episode three really reinforced my beliefs. The choice you made at the end of episode two? It’s laughably discarded midway through the finale. And the choices that you make throughout episode three are also very inconsequential. There was one decision that took me a moment to think about, and that choice will be left up to how the player sees Michonne’s relationship with her daughters, plays out. Again, it’s no big secret that Telltale gives the player the “illusion” of choice, but at least make some of them have consequences. More than just a stiff upper lip, and a sarcastic quip.
The Walking Dead: Michonne Episode 3 played better than the first two episodes for me. While I experienced long load times and a few graphical hiccups in the prior episodes, those didn’t seem to plague me during What We Deserve. Telltale is always refining their engine, and it’s good to see that it’s in stable shape with this final episode. Maybe a little too late, now that the company announced the engine would be getting an update with their Batman series scheduled later this year.
This miniseries has the most impressive visuals of any Telltale Games production to date, sporting the familiar cell-shaded look of the first Walking Dead albeit with enhanced detail. Environments look great and blood-soaked characters fit perfectly within the gritty world.
The Walking Dead: Michonne was an interesting little project for Telltale that helped keep fans of The Walking Dead at bay as they await season three. I think that as a whole, episode 3 isn’t a bad diversion because I think it fleshes out the backstory of a really great character from the comics. The game has its moments of brevity, and some cool set pieces, but, it suffers from similar issues that Telltale Games have known. The choices you make don’t really matter, the characters you meet don’t have enough substance, and a lot of the big story moments are (very) predictable.
That being said, I really do believe that only diehard fans of The Walking Dead need to stop in and check out The Walking Dead: Michonne. The price of entry isn’t too high, and you’ll get a few hours of enjoyment out of it, and get a story that fleshes out lore.