This post contains SPOILERS! So, don’t get mad if I SPOIL anything with all the SPOILERS I talk about!
The Walking Dead: Starved for Help is the second episode of TellTale’s latest adventure game. I loved the first episode and was left wanting so much more, but I still had to wait over a month to get to play the second iteration.
This is not a review in the purest sense because the mechanics, graphics, and gameplay is still the same; there is no point in reviewing all that stuff again. Instead, I will just give you my thoughts on how the second episode played out. Remember, events that played out are from my choices and my playthrough, so it may not be the same as yours.
Starved for Help started off a bit wonky for me. I don’t know what it was, but maybe it had to do with the fact that the first episode really built up my excitement, and the second episode started off with feeling half the game that it could be. Sure, you get to chop off a dude’s leg in the beginning, but all the time spent in the Motel parking lot felt like filler. I did enjoy having to choose who ate that day, though, that is not an easy thing to do. That is where this series shines; it forces you to make decisions that are tough both ways. It also provides decisions that will affect the entire course of the series.
I felt almost bored when Lee and company get to the Dairy farm. It felt a lot like the first farm scene in Episode 1. “Cool”, I thought, “this is just another place that is safe for now and maybe something will go wrong.” I don’t know what it was that made me feel bored, but I think it had to do with the lack of intensity that felt inherent in the entire first episode.
Things got interesting for me when Lee has to get rid of the bodies on the fence. That scene in which you have to move the tractor, and move the zombie bodies out of the way, was intense. It is from this scene that things begin to reveal to us that not everything is as it seems on the ranch. I felt that Starved for Help was now gaining its foothold in what it wanted to be about. Looking back now, the events that play out with the dairy farm family, makes sense with the theme of the script. Starvation and lack of resources will make you do some grisly things.
Cannibalism enters the game at a break neck pace. I was literally shocked when I discovered what was in the barn because I knew exactly what that was for (I love The Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Cannabalism is messed up, yeah, but there is something graphic and twisted about the way TellTale introduces it. It shouldn’t be that shocking because the source material gets into that stuff, but it almost felt out of leftfield (in a good way) for the game. Like I said, looking back, it all makes more sense with how the episode started.
The choices I made felt...”right”...I guess but even the “better” choices filled me with remorse. Take for instance the meat locker scene, I wanted to save that old asshole, but Kenny went and killed him anyway. It bothered me because I was getting along with Kenny but now he wants nothing to do with me. I also killed that one brother in front of Clementine and it hurt a little on the inside, I always hate letting her down. The choices don't seem to have as great of impact (well, maybe the meatlocker scene) as when Lee had to kill his brother; that was a scene that really sticks with you.
One thing I would like to note is that Clementine’s relationship with Lee is not as important, I feel, to the story of Starved of Help. They put her on the backburner to attack some other themes, but I was a little bummed out because I love interacting with her. At least I got to make her a swing.
I ended up not taking anything from the car, I felt that those people who owned it would be back to get it, and I didn’t want to disappoint Clementine again. I did that enough, already. Even with the sneak preview of the next episode, I have no idea what they want to do with the story, but I am really excited to jump back in next month (hopefully).
What are your musings on the latest episode of The Walking Dead video game?