The Walk­ing Dead: Mi­chonne Episode One

Walk­ing back to hacky mess

SFX - - Reviews - James Nouch

Re­leased OUT NOW! Re­viewed on PS4

Also on Xbox One, PC, PS3, 360, Mo­bile

Pub­lisher Tell­tale Games

Tell­tale’s lat­est is a de­par­ture. In­stead of the fiveep­isode for­mat that worked so well for sea­sons one and two, it’s a three- part “minis­eries”. It also aban­dons the cast that the stu­dio spent so long cul­ti­vat­ing, shift­ing the fo­cus to katana- wield­ing melan­cholic Mi­chonne.

But in other ways this first part, ti­tled In Too Deep, feels like more of the same. A stylised open­ing sets up our lead’s trau­matic past and dam­aged present, but it plays out in an ex­tended QTE scuf­fle with a throng of Walk­ers. Th­ese en­coun­ters are as grisly as ever, but so lit­tle has changed since 2012 that the im­pact has been lost.

Of course, you’re soon tus­sling with the liv­ing too. This first episode re­volves around a scaveng­ing mis­sion gone wrong, with three sets of sur­vivors all af­ter the same goods. As the ten­sion es­ca­lates, mis­trust reigns, and you’ll spend much of your time nav­i­gat­ing di­a­logue trees as you try to fig­ure out not only who’s telling you the truth, but who you can share the truth of your own cir­cum­stances with.

But, across barely 90 min­utes of play­time, there’s dis­ap­point­ingly lit­tle op­por­tu­nity to see the con­se­quences of th­ese de­ci­sions play out in mean­ing­ful ways. That’s partly be­cause, rather than de­pict­ing a self- con­tained in­ci­dent in a larger story arc, In Too Deep is sim­ply part one of the nar­ra­tive.

With so much mis­trust and mys­tery, de­ci­sion- mak­ing can feel like guess­work, but it cer­tainly gen­er­ates in­trigue, and we’re ea­ger to learn the fate of ev­ery­one’s favourite sour­puss swordswoman. A com­pe­tent enough open­ing part, with strong vo­cal per­for­mances, but we’re yet to see the flair we’d hoped for.

Mi­chonne is voiced by Samira Wiley, who plays Poussey Wash­ing­ton in Or­ange Is The New Black.

Mi­chonne does her best Larry David face.

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