Episode 1 of The Walking Dead: Michone, opens with katana-wielding Michone wandering the woods on her own. Shes off kilter, exhausted and killing zombies while experiencing traumatic memories and flashbacks. This game is based on the comic book version of The Walking Dead, rather than the Walking Dead TV series. For the comic book fans the game takes place between issues #126 and #139 where Michone has split from Ricks crew.
This is a typical Telltale game and the mechanics of the game are instantly familiar to anyone that’s played the previous Telltale Walking Dead games. The story is a familiar zombie apocalypse scenario. Michone is rescued from the woods by Pete, who becomes Michones’ do-gooder, slightly whimsical companion. They become embroiled with a group of rag tag survivors. The group is led by Norma and her unlikable, aggressive brother Randall.
The comic book art style of the game is eye candy. The combat requires some quick button hits to respond to events but with no real difficult sequences. The simplicity keeps the game and narrative moving along steadily. The voice acting and performances behind the main characters is all done well. Although as the game plays through quite quickly, there’s not a lot of time to bond with the characters apart from Michone herself. Despite its brevity its enough of an introduction and leaves you just enough curiosity and wanting to learn more in episode 2.
The strength of the game is the tension developed with the dialogue choices. The player is provided a limited amount of time to respond from several choices while in conversation. When interacting you’ll need to decide on the fly who to take sides with, when to tell the truth and when to lie. The choices effect the overall arching narrative so often I found myself wondering and hoping that I had made the right choice. There’s no take backs unless you start the game all over again.
While the game doesn’t really bring anything new to the mechanics, it was engaging enough to look forward to the next episode: Give No Shelter.
The Walking Dead: Michonne is available now for PC, Mac, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, and PS4.