It’s been almost a month and a half since the last episode from Telltale Games, but The Walking Dead is finally back. After the events that occurred in the most mournful episode yet, gamers knew that Telltale would continue pushing the envelope in terms of storytelling and evoking emotions. With only one episode left, the series is ready to provide closure and entice gamers with a retailed limited edition, which includes the entire Walking Dead compendium. The fourth episode, entitled Around Every Corner, delivers on almost every possible count – gamers can expect another fantastic, gut-wrenching journey from the penultimate episode of The Walking Dead series.
The latest episode aims to set-up the final installment and start tying things together, and more importantly does it all fluently and in entertaining fashion.
Lee Everett and the remaining survivors have finally made it to Savannah, where it quickly becomes apparent that walkers aren’t the only threat. Players will feel true bouts of paranoia as they set about protecting Clementine from the unknown, and will have to face what may be the toughest choice of all in regards to the child: talking about her real parents. Most gaming studios shy away from endangering children in fear of offending gamers, but TellTale’s Around Every Corner runs head-first into this challenge several times throughout the episode – and more importantly, it succeeds. By the end of episode four, the Clementine storyline has an impressive amount of depth and the pegs are all in place for an exciting final episode.
While the Clementine storyline has seen consistent expansion, none of the other longstanding characters grow much in terms of development in Around Every Corner. The only character who gets a notable amount of screen time for himself is Ben, who is understandably less popular than the rest of the cast. With the episode feeling so long, it was surprising to see so much of the storyline focuses on Clementine and Ben – granted, one of them has been the focal point for the entire series. Regardless, the episode does a good job of advancing the plot from scene-to-scene and sets up episode five for a gut-wrenching showdown.
Around Every Corner is the longest episode so far, and it seems fitting that as gamers progress through, they’ll confront a number of emotions. Whether it’s pure panic, rage, empathy, fear or even hope, episode four delivers what may be one of the most adrenaline-packed episodes yet. The urban setting of Savannah allows for hordes of zombies to appear within seconds, which creates some truly frightening situations as players try and keep everyone in the group safe. As the episode closes, gamers have the potential to be aligned with several different groupings of characters – of course, whoever Lee ends up staying with depends on several of your actions, some of them reaching back from previous episodes.
There’s no shortage of combat in the episode either, with Lee and the others fighting through a variety of situations, some more one-sided than others. The characters are no strangers to taking down walkers at this point, though some are more in-tune with this ability than others. As gamers should expect, Lee will be forced to make several quick choices which could potentially lead to the demise of his companions. As the group’s plan of either finding a boat or Clementine’s parents winds down to the wire, the pressure is on to adapt as the situations change. TellTale will throw some puzzle-based problems alongside the usual flow of combat, which provides a nice break from the usual fight-and-run tactics that are central to the episode.
In short, TellTale has done an excellent job of shaping the gameplay throughout the series, and Around Every Corner is simply more of the same (in a good way). This is one episode where great entertainment can truly be found, one might say, around every corner.
The Walking Dead: Episode 4 is available now for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. Game Rant played the PS3 version for this review.
Follow me on Twitter @Makelevi.