The Walking Dead – Season 2 Episode 4 ‘Amid the Ruins’ – Game Review and Analysis
By Christopher Jester
Developer: TellTale Games
Publisher: TellTale Games
Distributor: Skybound Entertainment
Writer: Nick Breckon
Engine: TellTale Tool
Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Playstation Vita, Ouya, iOS
Release Date: July 22, 2014
By now we all know that TellTale’s the Walking Dead has its fair share of choice and then dire consequence. “Amid The Ruins” thrust you right into making choices and dealing the consequences of those actions. Literally, it never lets up. From the opening to the bitter and tragic cliffhanger, this episode of The Walking Dead is rife with moments with significant magnitudes. The way it leaves you feeling is scarier than the zombies that populate this game.
Seriously, this is a hard episode to play. TellTale puts the Clementine (and the player) into a predicament right from the beginning. In charge of finding the pregnant Rebecca safety, Clementine is forced to make decisions on whose safety is more important – her own or the group? This is where this episode truly makes the player make choices that will upend your emotional attachment to each and every character.
By now, we have all grown fond of numerous characters in this group just as we were from the previous season. It ultimately makes the choice selection tenser, as you do not know what is to come from that decision. In fact, all your decisions thus far come to an ugly head early on in this outing. It really places Clementine’s relationships with Kenny, Jane, and Rebecca in the forefront. It is not as if the other characters do not play a major role in this episode, as they do, but those three previously mentioned changes the dynamic of how this episode plays out.
The deaths make the player wonder, where did I go wrong? Could I have saved him or her? Those punch in the stomach type emotions fill this episode and it makes each decision all the more difficult. However, what becomes more difficult to experience is how Clementine is growing or maturing in this apocalyptic world. Most of this narrative is told through the help of Jane’s character development. Learning about her heartrending past assists in showcasing just how much Clementine has faced and survived many of the awful things that has happened to her. But most importantly, it is a demonstration of how much it has changed the way you have played with Clementine over the series.
With the death of Carver in the previous episode, this outing is left without a main antagonist. It leaves some of the narrative bland and without a major threat. This is true up until halfway through the episode where a new character is introduced and you don’t know whether to trust this character or not. In any case, the way this episode handles this newly introduced character leaves much to be desired; one that is likely to be realized in finale.
As with previous episodes, much of the story centers on the aftermath of what took place before. This episode does that briefly, more so in the beginning of the episode with one character than the rest. The particular consequence seemed a bit lax in what was expected, however. But “Amid The Ruins” do present a new and more prominent threat in Rebecca and the childbirth. This battle for safety is what pits the character into a new found sort of danger.
Although “Amid The Ruins” is not The Walking Dead: Season Two’s best episode, it does a fair job at continuing the story and building up to the finale. The cliffhanger alone left so many questions, that TellTale decided not to show an preview for the next episode. This bleak ending fits in well with that took place in this episode and should hold over fans for the next few months until the last episode is released.
PunchDrunkGamer.com Final Score: 8 out of 10
Follow Christopher Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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