Game Review: The Walking Dead’s latest episode takes a dark turn for the series.
Warning: Spoilers, but no death spoilers 🙂
Let me just start this review by saying that Telltale keeps impressing me with each and every episode that’s released into the Walking Dead series. I start each game with a certain level of expectations and they are exceeded every time I play a new episode. While playing through the opening scene of In Harm’s Way that involved Clementine being smacked to the ground by Carver, I realized this game was going somewhere it never have before.
Depending on how you play through this episode and answer questions, you may have a whole different experience than me, but after playing through episode 3, I wondered if I should have made different decisions.
A scene that illustrates this sentiment is early on in the game when Sarah is speaking while Carver is explaining the rules of the camp and Carver makes Carlos slap her to show her some discipline. When it first happened, I laughed because I’m not particularly fond of Sarah, but soon after I felt bad about what happened, and I felt bad about my reaction.
Those feelings carried on throughout my playthrough of the episode; I kept feeling bad. I didn’t feel bad just because of the decisions I was making, but also because of the fact that because of the things Carver did in Episode 2 and the things he was doing in this episode, I wasn’t sure what he was going to do next and that made me nervous.
Not all of the scenes in the episode were dark and depressing. Some of the scenes were funny thanks to the one-armed character named Reggie, who was voiced by Comedian Kumail Nanjiani. Even though Reggie brought some comic relief to the episode, the humor was far and in between.
Speaking of characters, depending on your decisions in 400 days, you will see the characters that left with Tavia at the end of the of the DLC in Carver’s Camp. Their appearances were brief, but it was still nice to see Vince, Russell, and Wyatt again at the camp. Becca was there too but she’s annoying so I don’t care about her.
Finally, let’s talk about Clementine. Since I’ve started playing season 2 of The Walking Dead, I’ve had the mindset of Clementine shedding her innocence and becoming a much more mature and colder character. Even though that may be different than what other people decided to do, I felt Clementine would be very defiant towards Carver and be relied upon by others, and the game perpetuated my feelings.
Throughout In Harm’s Way, I could see Clementine growing up right in front of me and I made choices to keep that going. Whether it was sneaking into Carver’s office to steal walkie talkies or turning on the speakers to alert the walkers nearby, I made sure Clementine wanted to do all these things because she wanted to get her friends out of this situation.
Earlier I said that Clementine will never be the same after this episode and I wasn’t exaggerating. In the last 20 minutes of the game, there are going to be two specific decisions involving Carver, Kenny, and Sarita that depending on your choice, will drastically change Clementine and how she sees this world. This episode made me feel emotions I never have before while playing any game and some of the scenes shown during my playthrough shocked me because I didn’t think Telltale would make In Harm’s Way so graphic and depressing.
Despite everything I’ve said in this review about the game, I’m not criticizing the episode at all; in fact I loved almost every minute of it. Do I regret some of the decisions I made? Yes, but the regret made my playthrough that much more enjoyable and that is why I wouldn’t change any part of my experience with this episode.