Decisions, decisions…

It’s not easy living in a world plagued by the zombie apocalypse, but Lee, Clementine, and whomever else you’ve saved up to this point in Telltale’s The Walking Dead are making the best of it as they continue to carry out their plan to get out of Georgia by boat and hopefully find a place they can start anew. But when they finally arrive in Savannah in Episode 4: Around Every Corner, their lives go from bad to worse as they now have a very live stalker following their every move with his eye on Clementine. All the while, the gang must uncover and then deal with a dark Savannah secret. Soon, it’s evident to Lee, Clem, and the rest of the group that the live humans aren’t as bad as the undead ones…they’re worse.

By now, fans of the first three episodes of The Walking Dead should instantly recognize the formula for how things work as Lee and the crew scavenge for whatever they can to keep surviving. Still, that doesn’t mean that the story has lost any of the qualities that have made it the achievement in game storytelling it is, and this new episode will suck you in just as easily as the others as new problems arise and require…inventive solutions. Lee and Clementine definitely have their work cut out for them this time, as the action ramps up significantly when desperate times begin to call for desperate measures.

The added action sequences also leave a few more lulls in the pacing, but rest assured, folks—these quieter moments are just as critical as Lee grabbing a shotgun to carve a path through a horde of walkers. The added drama is palpable, as it’s clear Episode 4  is all about setting up the series’ epic conclusion series in Episode 5. Although it may at first seem like a come down from the insane emotional highs of the past episode, you can bet that the groundwork laid out in this section of the story will result in a payoff that makes all the work you’ve put in so far well worth it.

The game is still mostly a point and click adventure, although there are a few more action sequences that’ll put your trigger finger to the test this time around. Aside from those moments though, the star here is really the story, especially with regard to Clementine. As she’s matured more and more with each new episode, she’s slowly become one of the most enjoyable characters I’ve ever seen in a game. The fact that you actually develop affection for this little girl you’ve been trying to protect shows just how well thought out and deeply written this story is.

When this episode concluded with the most epic cliffhanger yet, I actually stood up and clapped. Sure, there are a couple of glitches, an occasional minor plot hole, and the annoying fact that the button prompts break Zombie Media Rule #1 and explicitly label the Walkers as “Zombies,”but overall, this is one of the best written video game works I’ve ever seen. I cannot recommend this series more highly to anyone who enjoys good drama, zombies, and the mayhem they cause. If you’ve managed to miss out so far, go back and download Episodes 1-3 and get to work. You won’t regret it.

SUMMARY: The Walking Dead: Episode 4: Around Every Corner continues the landmark storytelling of the first three episodes as the situation takes a drastic turn in order to ramp up for the final episode. Fans will not be disappointed.

  • THE GOOD: Maintains the tension and epic consequences of the first three episodes.
  • THE BAD: A couple of minor glitches and plot holes.
  • THE UGLY: A barricade made of zombie flesh.

SCORE: 9.0

The Walking Dead: Episode 4: Around Every Corner is available on XBLA (Xbox 360), PS3 (PSN), and PC. Primary version reviewed was for XBLA.