The Walking Dead: Michonne Episode 1 Review – (Re)Born on the Bayou
With TellTale’s The Walking Dead series, gamers know the drill. You fight zombies, you make tough decisions and you make do with the end result. But what happens when you put the spotlight on an already established character, like the fan-favorite warrior Michonne? You get The Walking Dead: Michonne, a miniseries that manages to tread all-too-familiar ground with an all-too familiar protagonist.
The Walking Dead: Michonne Episode 1 Review
Familiar with the TV show or comic series? Good, because none of that matters. Sure, Michonne may have seasons and chapters of character development, but her personality present here is almost polar opposite of what she is known for. Her backstory as (spoiler) a troubled former parent is touched upon, but her usual demeanor is thrown out the window for a more sullen, pessimistic attitude. This is reflected in many of the choices offered, with only silence reflecting her usual persona. Even her samurai katana is MIA, replaced with a more generic machete – though this lines up with the comics’ timeline, it is still a noticeable omission of her arsenal.
The rest of the cast is brand new for this episode. Though many characters are introduced early on, they are abandoned about 20 minutes in for a new setting and a second set of characters. Whether either group will appear later on is too early to tell (the entire episode is about 90 minutes long), the sudden change is still shocking nonetheless. Still, the characters that are here are solid enough, and having Michonne as the focal point helps move things along.
So how do these characters tie into the plot of The Walking Dead: Michonne? The game revolves around Michonne’s adventures on the bayou, as she serves on a ship with a crew that took her in. Coming across a distress call from a nearby ship, she checks it out to scavenge for supplies. However, in true Walking Dead fashion, everything is not what it seems. The way the plot is set up is straightforward enough, if a little unsurprising. It may be a tried-and-true setup, but it’s one that allows the characters and setting to really shine. This is one game that focuses less on the zombies and more on the human element, which is what makes up any good zombie tale. Again, the episode is over before any serious development occurs, and the villains are a bit one-dimensional, but the potential for growth is there.
Of course, a TellTale game is nothing without its choices, and The Walking Dead: Michonne has those in spades. Other games the company has created give the player some serious weight to their decisions, and some of the ones present here set new standards in terms of guilt. Time will tell whether these actions will matter in the long run, but it sets a precedent for future entries.
The Walking Dead: Michonne is slowing building a solid framework. There’s no clear direction yet, and the personalities of some characters shine brighter than others, but the potential for something great (if familiar) is there.