"The Walking Dead Episode 2: Starved for Help continues to maintain the same level of intensity as the first episode"
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Platform: Xbox 360 (Reviewed), PS3, PC, iOS
Release Date: June 29, 2012
The Walking Dead has been about how people reacted to one another during the end of the world when the dead walk among the living. The Walking Dead Episode 2: Starved for Help continues to use this formula well and once again places you in control of Lee Everit, a convicted killer now free. While the first game was more focused on life and death Starved for Help attempts to build on the absent of society and how people respond to the need to survive. Building on the same attributes as the first episode Telltale Games have increased the intensity of the decisions you will be forced to make while being forced to face the decisions you have already made.
Starting three months after the events of the first game Lee and his group are at the brick of starvation and set up in a barricaded motel. While looking for food with his new ally, Mark, Lee is once again forced to make a difficult decision of another man’s life. Later on at the courtyard while power struggle ensues between Lily and Kenny creating tension between the group to choose sides. The story begins to branch further from either the television show or the comic books and establishes itself into its own portion of the Walking Dead series.
Rather than focusing on action the game is mostly about the choice and consequence. Building a relationship with the people around will determine who will trust you, help you, and believe you. While the first episode focused heavily on the initial outbreak and the calamity that ensued Starved for Help centers on the greater good and talking to people. You’ll still use the four button cursor to perform certain actions, interact with objects, engage in quick time events, and move Lee. But the of what is necessary as oppose to right seeps into an array of decisions that will build or destroy certain relationships, especially when the choices aren’t in black and white. The people around you remember everything you have told them from the first episode and with the limited time you have to make up to four choices to make you will either make closer friends or enemies.
Starved for Help doesn’t leave room for you to relax and instantly opens with you chopping a man’s leg off so he can escape a modified bear-trap. Things don’t become easier as you will be forced to choose who to feed and whether to give in to your killing instinct. Telltale Games does an excellent job of baiting the player by exposing little clues before revealing what lies behind the curtain.
Some difficulties still exist. Some technical difficulties such as animations repeating, lip syncing being off, and music dropping. These are noticeable but never annoying. There was an instance where I supported both Lily and Kenny and never faced the consequences, perhaps this was simply ignored for the larger scene between the two.
It This Place Truly Safe?
Like the first episode Starved for Help can be completed in about 2 hours. However by loading up a new save with different decisions you are guaranteed to have a different experience from the first playthrough. The Walking Dead Episode 2: Starved for Help continues to maintain the same level of intensity as the first episode.