This is a review of Episode Three: for Episode One (game mechanics, story development system, etc.) / Episode Two (story development, dynamic changes, etc.)

With the group starved and alone in the prior episode, and Lily’s fathers position dramatically changed (spoiler excluded), the groups tensions are high, and not even Lee can do much to stop them from turning on one and other. Lily wants to stay at the motel, but Lee and Kenny know that staying there is suicide; it’s time to move forward, but to where? Kenny thinks Lily is losing it, and Lily suspects someone from the group is stealing supplies. With Lee recruiting Duck to look for clues, it’s time to find out who in the group is a detriment, and who you can trust.

With pressure to tell the group his story, Lee (you) must decide who you can trust enough to tell that you’re a convicted criminal charged with murder. This decision isn’t something you can take lightly, and I felt as though I really had to reflect on the relationships I’d made through prior episodes, to see who trusts me. There’s no real way to know how it’ll turn out, but with the depth and scale of the social interractions, it shouldn’t be too difficult to remember what you’ve done for your friends and crew. It becomes clear that Lily can’t keep your secret for much longer, and telling those who you hold closest seems the next best step. You don’t have to do it, but Carley seems convinced it’s the right thing to do – and doing it, for her, may lead to some interesting results.

When I first started episode 3, I really thought it’d be a bit of filler… a bit of a bottle episode. The prior episode was incredibly eventful, and took the series thus-far into some more action, with some harder choices to make. In fact, it felt as though all decisions were in your hands. TellTale Games have backtracked this time around, and Lee seems powerless to control high emotions, as he diffuses fights and tries to add cogency to a volatile situation.

One of the positive changes you’ll see in episode 3 is less of a reliance on clicking on everything and exhausting all conversational prompts in order to move on. Although, of course, you must fulfill certain criteria to move on, you don’t feel pressured to look at every single little bit of debris on the ground like in the prior episode and one before it. It’s not that this was ever tedious so much as it becoming a risk of developmental filler, where there could be substantial activity. Episode 3 eradicates this issue, with so much happening in a single episode that it feels much more fluid and cinematic than the one before it. For instance, many of the choices you make are much harder – it even seems as though there’s nothing you can do. Of course I won’t spoil it for you, but with emotions this high, the groups mentality and morale vastly out-numbers its strategy, and as old friends take it out on each-other, new ones are thrown into the mix.

We lose some strong characters in this one, and each loss hits you hard. There’s nothing you can do about it, other than picking ways in which to deal with it, or how to council the affected. Lee spends much of this episode diffusing and mopping up the aftermath, and with a journey before the group, scenery and activities change fluidly. Unlike the prior episodes, episode 3 takes place in a larger variety of places, with the largest variety of characters yet.

I was worried TellTale Games would be running out of steam at this point – and when I say steam, I mean money, ideas, effort, etc,. Not the case, at all. The series continues to better itself with every episode in every possible way, and I don’t know if they’re directly addressing community feed-back eagerly, but they’ve certainly ironed out many of the issues I’ve had with the game thus far. There’s still some stuttering with scene changes which are very odd, but nothing critical that stops you making quick interactive decisions. Technical improvements aside, the game continues to grow more fluid without losing any depth, and totaling at 8 hours long so far, The Walking Dead has already earned its meager price.

I still care dearly for the characters involved, and that really says a lot about the developers care and attention to character. I’m not someone who naturally feels anything for video-game characters, but with a beautiful score and some real, real strong character development and story driven plot changes, The Walking Dead continues to best anything else in the genre – for all gamers looking for something a little different.