Zombies aren’t always the biggest concern…

Continuing the five-part series based on Robert Kirkman’s celebrated comic book, Telltale’s second episode of The Walking Dead will leave you horrified, disgusted, and inexplicably craving more by the time you’re done.

Subtitled Starved for Help, this tale takes place three months after the end of the first episode and sees Lee, Clementine, and the rest of the survivors from the first chapter bunkering down in an abandoned motel. Running low on supplies and even lower on food, the group starts to turn on each other, with Kenny and Lilly vying the most to assert themselves as the alpha dogs. All seems lost, but other survivors suddenly approach the gate and offer a trade that seems too good to be true: food for fuel.

It turns out these survivors happen to own a dairy farm up the road, so Lee and the rest of the gang set out to explore the grounds in order to see whether a change in venue might give the group a better chance of surviving. But along the way, they run across bandits—and, when it seems like these aren’t just any ordinary old dairy farmers, Lee realizes that the zombies aren’t the only monsters out there in the world…

If you enjoyed the first episode of The Walking Dead, then Starved for Help definitely won’t disappoint. The continued character development of the core group—with the introduction of several new members to your ragtag band of survivors—constantly intrigues. All decisions and non-decisions are even more critical this time around, and I loved the fact that the zombie invasion really serves as more of a simple backdrop for this episode—the whole motif surrounding humanity’s dark side will make you rethink a lot of your decisions as the game unfolds. And all I can say is that I can’t wait until more of my friends play so that we can discuss certain scenarios and explore how we all handled them differently. Personally, I was in the minority for some and the majority for others; the stat tracker that illustrates how other Walking Dead players approached the game is a highlight of the experience.

That’s not to say that this episode is without its flaws, though. Lee’s walking pace is dreadful, and though this understandably builds suspense at times, it just feels like a drag most of the time—it takes forever to walk from one end of the farm to the other. I just wish that, in certain scenarios, the player could hold down a button, and he’d break out into a light jog. There’s a zombie apocalypse going on, man—show some hustle! I also love how, no matter how big an item Lee may add to his inventory, it magically disappears when he places it behind himself—like he’s got a wormhole in his butt that he uses to dispose of all large items.

If you love The Walking Dead and enjoy point-and-click adventures, though, this series may well be Telltale’s crowning achievement when all is said and done. Until then, we’ll all just have to endure the painful wait until the next episode, Long Road Ahead, finally becomes available later this year.

SUMMARY: The second episode in this five-part series cranks the twisted-ness up to 11—and may push you in directions you never even thought possible. 

  • THE GOOD: A twisted story chapter that shows zombies may not be the only monsters out there…
  • THE BAD: Lee’s lackluster walking pace needlessly extends the experience.
  • THE UGLY: Human-flavored beef.

SCORE: 9.0

The Walking Dead: Episode 2—Starved for Help is available on XBLA, PSN, and PC. Primary version reviewed was for XBLA.