The Walking Dead – “Long Road Ahead” (Episode Three)
Welcome back to the third review of the series. As I explained in the review of episode one, all future reviews (including this one) will be a plot summary with my thoughts added in as I go. There will be spoilers, so do not read any further if you want to experience this episode for yourself.
There is a non-spoiler review in episode one, in case you’re interested in buying the game and want more information, located here:
Editor’s Note: This game is pretty graphic and describing the plot requires me to be so as well. If you are squeamish, then reading the following would not be a good idea. You’ve been warned.
So far, things were looking pretty bleak. My relationship with Kenny was strained for siding with Lily when her father suffered a fatal heart attack and we almost all became dinner for some hungry cannibals that were running a farm. We learn at the end of the episode that the bandits were not attacking our fort because St. Johns farm was regularly giving them food…which won’t be possible anymore now that those lunatics are dead.
I expected to see more bandits in this episode and my instincts were spot on. Before I go into that, however, we are treated to a scene where Lee and Kenny are scrounging for supplies in the town of Macon. Things went to hell in a handbasket rather quickly when a random woman showed up and started screaming, as she was being chased by walkers. I had the option to end her misery with a rifle shot or to let her screams buy us time to get our supplies and get out. I attempted to shoot her to end her suffering, but I apparently missed. I quickly find myself looting a store while the zombies are busy with this mystery woman and after an intense escape scene, Kenny and I make it out.
At the motor inn, we learn that the bandits have been attacking and that someone in the group is stealing supplies. The power struggle between Lily and Kenny continue while I investigate the stolen supplies. I eventually find a bag of supplies hidden outside the motor inn, which confirms Lily’s suspicions. Before we can act on them, the bandits attack and I’m treated to some action sequences that involve me shooting bandits and zombies. Kenny revs up the RV and all of us make our escape.
It’s not soon after that we’re forced to stop after hitting a walker with the RV, but what happens next was something I didn’t expect. Lily starts accusing Ben of being the one who stole the supplies and Carley quickly comes to his defense. In an intense, heated argument, Lily shoots Carley in cold blood. I was pissed as hell having really liked the Carley character, and when the time came to choose whether or not Lily should be left behind, I did. To make matters worse, Kenny tells me that Duck had been bitten in the bandit raid…this episode was by far the bleakest of them, all of these characters dying off and all. Duck wasn’t dead yet, but I had a feeling that it was just a matter of time.
We meet a homeless guy by the name of Charles after running into a train that we attempt to get working. After some puzzles that involve me getting the train in working order, we quickly head out. Duck’s condition worsens to the point where Katjaa (Duck’s mother) asks Lee to tell Kenny (Duck’s father) to stop the train, and I’m forced to confront a father in denial. It was at this point that I began to really feel for the two parents…I was hoping that Duck would be spared but it didn’t look like this was going to be the case. Kenny and Katjaa take their son out to the woods to shoot him, but we hear Kenny’s cries instead after the gunshot. Lee runs over to see what had transpired, and apparently Katjaa shot herself instead of her son. I offered to finish the job and with hysterical Kenny nearby, I shot Duck. As a parent myself, this was the hardest scene to get through and I’m not afraid to admit that I teared up a little. Telltale really, really outdid themselves in this scene.
Kenny, Ben, Clementine, Charles, and I continue on our journey…though shortly afterwards Ben admits to me that he was the one who stole the supplies all along, giving them to the bandits so that they won’t attack. He expressed his desire to come clean with the group, which I applauded, but the timing would be incredibly bad. For now, Ben clams up and doesn’t say anything more about it. There’s also a short scene where I give Clementine a haircut and teach her how to shoot…it was a great father-daughter bonding moment between the two, even though they aren’t related.
We meet two more survivors after being forced to stop by a roadblock. Omid and Christa seem to be a friendly, so they join our ranks and assist us in clearing the way. Clementine is forced to grow up a little in a scene where zombies attack her and Lee is helpless to do anything about it, though she manages to come through. It pained me to see a child being forced to grow up like that, but as Charles pointed out to Lee, it’s the only way she’ll survive. The episode ends after we get the train moving again, though Clementine’s walkie goes off and a mysterious man comes through saying that he’s happy that Clementine is going to be there soon. Creepy…
This is, by far, my favorite episode of the three. As a parent in real life, I was torn as I had to watch two other parents deal with the death of their son and I was at ends about what to do with Clementine. Despite this episode’s high kill count, the character developement was excellent. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next episode to see what would happen. On a technical note, I didn’t experience any issues despite some Windows 7 users claiming to. I played from beginning to end in about three hours time.
If you haven’t picked up this game yet…you MUST do so.
Final Verdict: 9/10
Stay tuned for my plot summary / review of episode four!