It’s safe to say that ‘In Too Deep’ didn’t blow me away as a series opener, with its quick time event issues front and centre making the experience rather irritating. Nevertheless it was good on the whole and therefore I’m more than happy to give Episode Two ‘Give No Shelter’ another shot at delivering the greatness Michonne deserves. Can Telltale Games reinvigorate this mini-series before it’s too late? After all, there’s only one more episode left…
Last time out we got our first glimpse at what Michonne has been up to at sea, whilst being separated from the group in the comics. Her adventure didn’t last too long on the ‘Companion’ boat as an alluring ship wreck became a bit of a nightmare. Now, captured by a violent psycho named Randall and his equally mental sister, Norma, the stage is set for a grand escape with aid from a serial thief. What could go wrong?
Well, there’s one thing I can tell you, it’s an action packed episode for sure with QTEs aplenty. For as monotonous pressing a single button can be, there’s no doubting the fighting going on during these scenes is greatly varied. It’s not all about just beating down walkers either, in fact, akin to the general Walking Dead narrative, humans are often the biggest threat. If you’re a little squeamish then these cutscenes might not be to your liking, however I loved the gory and sadistic nature of certain fatal blows.
To switch it up a bit, a couple of different interactive moments have been included too, such as picking up items and performing a spot of medical help.
Sadly, Telltale give with one hand and take away with the other, as the plentiful presence of QTEs brings more opportunities for the dreaded screen stutters to take hold. As much as I can get used to it, having seen it in their games for a few years now, I can’t comprehend why they can fix it on occasion (see Tales From The Borderlands) but not all the time.
Anyway, at least the storytelling is pretty strong, despite there being little time for deep conversation. I finally connected with the thief, Sam, whose background and reasoning for what she does became evident. There’s also the furthering of the story involving Michonne’s past, finding out what may have happened to her two little girls. She genuinely seems broken and that’s conveyed really well. Especially when I’m used to the more closed off version of Michonne swinging her katana around like a badass.
Creating the ideal environments for the goings on is another part the developers do very well indeed. A creepy forest and a spooky looking house are the pinnacle of this episode, with the tone being very dark and grim at all times. During a memory sequence which encouraged the exploration of the apartment first viewed in Episode One, there are things lying around to evoke the emotion from the audience.
The majority of ‘Give No Shelter’ is a cut above the first episode; surprisingly it creates more connections with the support characters using a lot less dialogue. Putting the highlighted issues aside, all the fighting scenes are great in the way that they are brutal and exciting. Unfortunately this is an extremely short episode, coming in at around an hour at most, which leaves me wondering whether it offers value for money when previous series have brought almost double that time for the same price.
Although Episode Two ‘Give No Shelter’ was definitely a step up in overall quality, I felt like it was cut short. But then again maybe it was part of Telltale’s plan to leave me wanting more? Either way, bring on the finale, where I can decide once and for all whether the Michonne mini-series was a worthwhile escapade.