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E3 2012: The Walking Dead: Episode 2 – Starved for Help (Impressions)

Posted by: Travis at 6/11/2012 11:00 AM
My appointment with Telltale Games during this year's E3 graced me with twenty minutes from the upcoming second episode of The Walking Dead, titled Starved for Help. The second episode takes place three months after previous events and transitions from surviving a zombie outbreak to a full-fledged apocalypse. Starvation and conflicts within the group of survivors greet players as they begin the second chapter. With the quest to survive more dire than before, every decision that the player makes will have an effect on the narrative's outcome.

I won't provide too many details about the footage that was showcased to avoid spoilers, but instead focus on the second episode's presentation. Interactive sequences have returned with a few in the beginning that had the entire audience either cringing with disgust or all together looking away from the screen. The developers aren't afraid to force brutal decisions upon players that have truly intense and gory results. Decisions can also pull at the moral strands of a player's conscience by asking them to choose who receives the last supply of rations. As the developers framed the game's context, every decision is ultimately one that's both negative and tough.

The spectacular cell-shaded and gritty visual style returns in the second episode, which includes even more blood splatters and detailed facial expressions. The environments in the upcoming chapter will include various visual differences based upon decisions made in the first episode. Dialogue between characters is beautifully executed with gripping voice performances. Conversations between the survivors were often infused with a sense of ever-building conflict that made choosing decisions even more difficult. Between intense dialogue and frantic encounters with zombies, players will have to wrestle with their nerves if they wish to survive the zombie apocalypse.

Put best by the developers at Telltale Games, the training wheels are off and players are now in zombie hell. The second episode of The Walking Dead, Starved for Help, is scheduled to launch at the end of June for the game's previous platforms of Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, Windows PC, and Mac. An iOS version of the game is expected to launch later this summer.