Walking Dead Michonne Episode II Give No Shelter, is a definite step up from Episode 1 In Too Deep. The drama, violence, gore and stakes are upped as Michonne and her companions Pete and Samantha, are on the run from the mean and nasty siblings from Episode I, Norma and Randall.
This time the choices are more difficult as you decide on the fly how Michonne will handle the traumatic events and moral dilemmas as the zombies close in. At one point you will need to decide the ultimate fate of a character. Will your Michonne be merciful, murderous or just plain old strategic in the quest for the teams survival?
Like Episode 1, the game is still quite short and is playable in an hour, which is one of the main complaints circulating about the Michonne series from Telltale games. While I don’t necessarily mind this (as its nice to have a narrative driven game that doesn’t consume days and weeks of my life), it doesn’t leave much time to delve into the motivations of the characters. For example Randall is the token asshole of the game but there’s no indication of what motivates him to be such an asshole.
Similarly Pete is the good guy but that seems to be his sole purpose. However even his token good guy role seems to fall short as he says to Michonne “…it doesn’t matter what I think…” as he knows Michonne has already “…made her decision anyway…” The characters effectively prop Michonne but a little more depth to each would add interest.
While the narrative choices of Episode 2 provide greater moral conflict hence upping the anti, it doesn’t seem to indicate any significant story branching. It leaves a sense that regardless of the choices you make, you’ll end up in the same place. Plus with the game so heavily based on story, I felt I was spending more time passively observing rather then engaging. Its like an animated comic book with the occasional button press. This isn’t to say that’s a bad aspect, I just got a little impatient and wanted a bit more frantic button mashing or to shoot a few zombies. Occasionally you’ll get the opportunity for Michonne to machete a few zombies but I wanted more. I also encountered some minor technical hiccups on Xbox One, some stuttering and short pauses, issues which have also been reported on PC, but its minor.
The voice acting continues on from Episode 1 as spot on. Sam Wiley does an excellent job as Michonne and the supporting cast of voice actors nail it. All up Episode 2. Give No Shelter, leaves the same residue as Episode 1, not quite satisfied but still wanting more, hoping that Episode 3 ups the stakes even further.
The Walking Dead: Michonne is available now for PC, Mac, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, and PS4.
Game reviews: The Walking Dead Michonne: Episode 1. In Too Deep.