Published on May 11th, 2016 | by Nathan Misa0
The Walking Dead: Michonne – Episode 3 – What We Deserve Review
Summary: The final episode of The Walking Dead: Michonne runs out of time to provide a truly satisfying character arc, but still leaves us with a bloody, violent, thought-provoking conclusion.
All That Remains
“We are the walking dead.”
When Rick Grimes first shouts those famous words in Issue 24 of the original The Walking Dead comic book series, it is the pivotal moment. The characters say out loud what we knew all along: Humans are the real walking dead, not the zombies. The many stories exploring how the surviving members of mankind deal with this reality have been extraordinary, heart-breaking and fascinating to experience – in comic, television, or video game form.
What We Deserve immediately kicks off after the events of the second episode. Depending on how you chose to handle Randall and if Pete is with your group or a hostage of Norma and the Monroe community, Michonne addresses the fallout of the situation and how the group will handle the impending meet between the two groups.
Michonne is put to work to organise the defenses of the house against the incoming attack. Most of the following hour or so of gameplay is spent exploring the Fairbanks house and interacting with the various new characters introduced at the end of Episode 2 – Paige, James, and Alex, as well as the distraught and wounded Sam.
There are some interesting character interactions in Episode 3 that juxtapose against Michonne’s increasingly unstable visions and internal guilt of her children’s deaths at the beginning of the zombie apocalypse – namely she has to speak to and prepare two very young children (James and Alex) of similar age to her deceased daughters to stay vigilant for the upcoming attack.
Michonne’s stern advice and parental instincts (or cold lack of empathy, should you choose) shows various parts of her personality I enjoyed exposing further in dialogue, but it’s just a shame the supporting cast isn’t as well fleshed out. The game expects players to care more than we should at that point, given the lack of time with these characters – and part of me realised I would have enjoyed a full five-episode series because what little we do see of them is well-written.
Most of the final episode is a scripted affair save for the final confrontation between Michonne’s group and Norma’s. There was a surprising amount of scene and dialogue variation in the very tense, very violent conflict which depend on Michonne’s choice of words as well as past choices in previous episodes (how you handled Zachary, Pete, Randall and your actions at Monroe) and despite my criticisms, it is one hell of a ending battle.
The final choice we’re presented for Michonne to choose from ultimately loses its impact and brought down the overall package for me because all players know she will survive her story no matter if we make her selfish or brave, due to her current status in both the comic book series and television show (the game takes place between Issues 126 and 139). It does give some closure to the recurring guilt of her daughter’s deaths presented as the crux of the series, but too little time was given to explore it further for it to feel truly satisfying, especially considering the final episode clocks in at around just an hour or so of game time.
The Walking Dead: Michonne was meant to be a closer look into a legendary character at her most emotionally vulnerable, a slice of her traumatic origin story we had never seen before. But while the first episode set the scene for a seemingly promising journey, the second fell flat, and the third and final episode unfortunately never quite comes full circle to provide a satisfying conclusion – even if Michonne herself seems to get some form of mental closure. At the end of the day, fans of the comic book and video game fans of Telltale will still enjoy it regardless – as I have.
Primary Format – Games – PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Mac OSX, iOS, Android
Game Genre – Episodic interactive drama graphic adventure
Rating – MA15+
Game Developer – Telltale Games
Game Publisher – Telltale Games