Admittedly, I have been somewhat skeptical of this series over its first two episodes. That being said, The Walking Dead: Michonne - Episode 3: What We Deserve is easily the best in the three part series, and actually stands up as one of the better Telltale Games chapters across their various other series.
As is often the case with The Walking Dead games, we left a chapter in which things were looking pretty grim and good people suffered substantial loss. Instead of having the time to sit back, lick their wounds and try to recover, trouble is in fast pursuit of Michonne and her companions. The end result is an emotional tale with excellent overall focus that does justice to most of its characters, but still felt like a story that could have used more time to breathe and develop.
Since the beginning, I had concerns about the three episode format. On the one hand, the use of an established character might allow for some minor corner cutting in the narrative because there is a good chance that a decent percentage of the audience has familiarity with Michonne. I have also stated since the start that this is something of a double edged sword, because her story never quite feels completely mine to craft, because the character exists in outside media with plenty of preconceived notions. To a degree this was true of the Game of Thrones series by Telltale Games, but you were never controlling Jon Snow or the Lannisters. The established characters and storylines still took place around the actions you dictated with the original characters. It is a minor distinction, but it is there all the same.
Still, this is a story that might have been better served playing out over nearly a dozen hours, not a few and the conclusion felt a little rushed as a result. The good news is, the characters generally hold up well, the events absolutely resonated with me and there was still a great deal of emotional impact to be had. Because of the truncated format, the developers had to tell a tighter narrative, and they succeeded more often than not, especially in this final chapter that sees Michonne battling the demons of her past and the dangers of her present.
Of the Telltale Games, the action in this short Walking Dead series has been among the best. Michonne's weapons and attitude lend themselves well to these events, and we are treated to more combat sequences than a typical Telltale Game. It often makes for tense, gruesome moments that actually do an excellent job of raising the stakes. It helps that on a technical level, this episode ran more smoothly than some others I have played. It can take you out of the moment when the screens stutter or voice work hitches, but during action sequences it is downright frustrating and I did not experience any of that in this episode as I have in other ones.
Speaking of the technical elements, it is also worth noting that the visuals here are probably the best Telltale Games has done to date. They still evoke a simpler style, a somewhat painting-like one, but there is a higher level of detail and more fluid animations than in a lot of the other Telltale Games titles. I had a reminder of this while replaying The Wolf Among us recently on my Xbox One while still stuttering through a handful of screens with rough animations.
The Walking Dead: Michonne - Episode 3: What We Deserve does a nice job of concluding a somewhat uneven series of episodes that probably would have benefited from a few more chapters. The primary character is interesting as are several of the others. It serves as more of a tease than some of the longer series of Telltale Games, but the conclusion is mostly satisfactory and helps to end this particular series on a high note.
Article by Nick