As “The Walking Dead” episodic series reaches its conclusion one of the questions many gamers have about the series is if TellTale Games can manage to shock fans without sacrificing much in terms of character development and storytelling. Players can rest assured that after finishing the fourth episode, “Around Every Corner”, TellTale Games still has a few tricks to rattle players.
For each episode there is an underlying theme that echoes throughout the three hour sequence. “A New Day” focused on the new grim reality of the zombie outbreak; “Starving for Help” reminded players of the old nature of humanity. “Long Road Ahead” focused on action and dealt with the loss of loved ones who were important to the group.
For “Around Every Corner” the theme that kept coming to the fore is horror. When Lee, Clementine, Kenny and the others come to Savannah they find to their dismay that the town is overrun with the undead. The one safe place they can get a reprieve, a boarded house, has no supplies and is very solemn. A sad scene involving Lee and Kenny will remind players of events that occurred in the last episode, “Long Road Ahead”. However, the impact of the scene is not as powerful as players will feel they have become deadened by the common occurrence of death in the game, as have Lee and Kenny.
The term survival horror is given new meaning in the game. For example, Lee is forced to go off on his own in zombie infested sewer as he desperately seeks to get reunited with the group. He will also have to navigate an abandoned school during the night. The environment is rich with dilapidated surroundings and the sounds of hungry zombies in the background waiting to get inside the school to get at the survivors.
Towards the end of the game, players are reminded why they shouldn’t get too comfortable with any of the characters in the game. Without giving too much away, the group is again splintered, but it is up to players to convince the group to come together to ensure that everyone can make it to the end of the final chapter, “No Time Left”.
While prior episodes gave players a brief glimpse of what to expect in the next episode, “Around Every Corner” ends with nary a glimpse at “No Time Left”. Truthfully, this is preferable because it will leave players contemplating what’s in store for everyone in the group and the consequences of their choices once “No Time Left” becomes available in the last days of 2012. Players will be biting at the bit to get their hands on the final episode to bring closure to a series that has only gotten better with each episode.
“Walking Dead Episode 4: Around Every Corner” is about three hours in length, but has high replay value for those who want to see the different outcomes of Lee Everett’s decisions. “Walking Dead Episode 4: Around Every Corner” is available on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and PC.