As a huge fan of Telltale’s The Walking Dead titles, both seasons 1 and 2, I had high hopes for their take on one of the franchise’s most iconic characters, Michonne. The sword wielding ex-lawyer has always been a fascinating character, and one I looked forward to learning more about in her very own adventure game.
Sadly, the first episode of the three-part miniseries, ‘In Too Deep’, wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped (you can read my review of it right here). It was a bit of a weak entry from Telltale. In fact, as a Walking Dead game, it was actually rather disappointing. Surely though, the second episode would pick up the pace, and hurtle Michonne’s story into something a little more memorable?
It pains me to say this, but sadly no, ‘Give No Shelter’, isn’t any better than the first. If anything, i’d say it’s a bit worse overall.
How Telltale have managed to do this is beyond me. This is the world of The Walking Dead we’re talking about after all, and thus, one would assume that there are almost endless ways to exploit and explore moral dilemmas and such.
Yet, just like the first episode, I felt like I was playing through something I’d already experienced before. That, and making decisions, bar maybe two of them, didn’t weigh on my conscious nearly as much as I’d have expected from a title of this nature.
This is a gory setting, filled with opportunity to really toy with a player’s emotions. The first two seasons of The Walking Dead did that almost flawlessly, which leaves me wondering why now, with such a great lead character, Telltale are floundering.
Though, to be fair, Michonne herself is done almost to absolute perfection. Danai Gurira does a stellar job in bringing her character to life vocally, and in that regard, you’ll hear little complaint.
The real problem for me really, lies in the rest of the forgettable cast. Overall, they just feel forced, and ultimately, forgettable.
I turned a blind eye in episode 1 because, well, we’re still getting to know these people. After playing through episode 2 however, it seems like not much has changed, and the characters themselves haven’t really developed. They feel a little shallow and unimaginative.
Pete for example, despite being in the middle of the zombie apocalypse, despite having witnessed much death no doubt, tries just a little too hard to come across as the ultimate good guy. He’s a moral compass in a world where quite frankly, such a thing arguably can’t exist. I get that he is trying to preserve his humanity, along with all those he encounters, but realistically, I just don’t see that being possible given the circumstances. How has such a nice guy survived for this long?
Then there’s Randall – the main antagonist of this whole miniseries. He comes across as being just a little too evil, and for no real reason either. What motivates him? Why is he such an asshole? That’s never really explained or answered (maybe not yet), and it’s honestly very frustrating. Put him up against other series icons, like The Governor and Negan, and he really does pale as a villain. He’s just a stereotypical bad guy, and one that doesn’t really stand out at that.
The same could be said for just about every other cast member. I feel little connection to any of them, and I can’t honestly say I’d be too sad whether they lived or died.
Thankfully, ‘Give No Shelter’ isn’t all doom and gloom (bar the setting itself). The fight sequences, though short-lived, are fantastic, and a joy to play. I don’t think anything will ever top the intro for ‘In Too Deep’ (at least not for a little while), but based on that and what I’ve now seen in Michonne’s second episode, I have high hopes for any future action scenes this series will bring.
That, and I really hope that episode 3, ‘What We Deserve’, will wrap up the miniseries nicely. It’s not much time to rectify all the issues have in general, but I can only hope that Telltale have some amazing jaw dropping conclusion that will make me feel like this whole trip was worth it.