Chances are if you’re reading this then you’re already up to speed with the story so far. So it should go without saying that previous episodes will be spoiled. Right then now that’s out of the way, in the last episode we left Clementine and the group in a rather sticky situation. As is always the case things go from bad to worse, and by the end there’s a chance the girl you once knew in Season 1 is long gone.
Of course this might not be the case for your experience, but there are choices that feel like they’re going to shape the character Clem becomes. Episode 3 should really be subtitled Wrath of Michal Madsen, because as bad as people like Lilly were, nothing will prepare you for the sheer onslaught of madness that Michael Madsen’s character of Carver brings to the table. The menacing nature that he brought in episode 2 was just the tip of the iceberg.
In Harm’s Way puts story to the forefront, more so than in other episodes. And in that regard those expecting more solid, point and click style gameplay that the series is known for, could come away disappointed. There are very few moments where you’re left to your own devices with the majority of them requiring you to just examine stuff as opposed to actually solving any kind of puzzles. And it’s quite a way into the episode until any zombies actually become a threat. So it feels more like a narrow experience than you’d expect, or perhaps want. There are some QTE that keep you on your toes, but these are few and far between.
As en episode where story rules then, it’s good then that it’s quite fantastic. As already mentioned, Michael Madsen steals the show with Carver who is the most straight up villain the series has ever had, he’s almost Governor like in his brutality. A truly vicious character, with the viciousness prominent throughout. It is one of the most violent episodes of the series thus far, with the blood flowing at a regular pace. Don’t let the comic book aesthetic fool you, this can shock in the levels of violence, more than any ‘realistic’ game out there. Madsen may steal the show, but the supporting players also hold their own. As well as the surviving crew through episode 2, new characters are introduced, each playing a role in the hell Clementine finds herself in.
Technically season 2 continues to impress when compared to the troubles season 1 experienced. It’s not perfect, far from it, but it seems that Telltale are finally getting to grips with consoles. The only issue coming from saves. Despite easily clocking in at less than two hours we didn’t finish it in one sitting (we have busy lives!). So once the “Saving” disappeared from the bottom right we turned off the console. But upon returning we were transported back to the previous checkpoint, luckily they are fairly generously placed, so only took us a couple of minutes to return, but still it’s an annoying technical glitch. When Telltale finally make the transition to the PS4/Xbox One here’s hoping these issues will be left behind.
In Harm’s Way is an apt name for the most visceral episode thus far. While lacking in actual gameplay compared to previous instalments, episode 3 is held together by a story that will shock and surprise right through to its conclusion.