From the moment The Walking Dead: Michonne was announced, I had been keeping a close eye on its release and building my anticipation accordingly. As a big fan of The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series and Michonne as a character, I was really anxious to see how this spin-off would play out and so far, I’m really enjoying it. It’s a fresh experience while being very familiar at the same time, making it all just feel right. Here’s my spoiler free review of Episode 1: In Too Deep!
Story & Characters
In Too Deep immediately kicks off with insight into Michonne’s mind and what haunts her. The story revolves around the layers of depth to her character and I appreciated how In Too Deep didn’t waste any time before starting to uncover those layers. As you might have guessed, Michonne is a very likable character. As the episode progresses, the player can make decisions either to admit she is troubled by her state of mind or to play strong, forcing herself to “snap out of it.” I decided to take the “bad ass” approach I feel she’s known for and make my decisions with that mind set. Thus, I presented her as a strong character who can talk her way out of anything and as the player, I felt confident in that. Telltale has a knack for completely immersing me into these games by taking on the role of the characters and The Walking Dead: Michonne was no different. I am thoroughly enjoying playing as Michonne.
As for the other characters development, that’s where this episode came up a little short. Some of the characters such as Samantha, Norma, Randall, and Greg really struck a chord with me for either good or bad reasons. However, others such as Pete, Berto, and Jonas hardly made as much of an impact, almost as if they weren’t really there. Pete for example (pictured next to Michonne above), was in this episode a lot more compared to the others but I hardly felt his character developed as much as I thought he should. Michonne really is the star of the series obviously and more than makes up for other characters falling a little flat. However, I’d still like to care about the others and so far, it’s been hit or miss.
Graphics & Audio
The graphics look good for the most part. I particularly noticed that the characters hands were very detailed compared to past Walking Dead seasons. The lines separating the fingers, as well as the lines around characters faces and body parts were spot on and helped present the game beautifully. I distinctly remember the past Walking Dead seasons where lines were out of place and it just looked messy. Of course, I was playing on last generation consoles then but I still wanted to make mention that Telltale’s graphics are looking a lot better these days. However, there are still frame rate issues as before. Even on PC, I had more than a few stutters with Michonne walking to and from another character or object I just had her inspect. Other than that, the graphics and performance were pretty smooth.
As for audio, the voice acting is done really well. Michonne as well as the other characters really sell the story, and make it believable. I felt immersed right away because of the characters voice acting. Music is also great and fits the tone of the episode.
Like any other Telltale game, The Walking Dead: Michonne follows its tradition of point and click mixed with quick time events. I felt there was a good balance between the two as well as “busy work” as I like to call it. I felt The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series had a bit too much “busy work” at times such having to talk to characters, search for an object, and just plain figure out what to do next. The Walking Dead: Michonne definitely had less of that and more decision making with dialogue which I appreciated. Big decisions are to be made and I liked the amount of impact my choices had on what happened next.
The Walking Dead: Michonne follows The Walking Dead formula we’re used to and it feels very familiar when it comes to sticky situations, character dynamics, and the choices the player has to make. Although other reviewers found the familiarity in the story along with the gameplay as a negative, I was delighted and relieved by it. I went into In Too Deep, wanting it to feel like Telltale hasn’t missed a beat and like I picked up where I left off. I wanted it to be fresh but not so different from previous Walking Dead seasons so that it wasn’t “in tune” with what I’m used to.
I loved The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series for many reasons and even though The Walking Dead: Michonne won’t intersect with it, I still feel like I’m connected to the same universe in a very genuine way. Telltale doesn’t just slap “The Walking Dead” name on a spin-off, they sell it and make you believe it belongs to exist. I credit this achievement to the familiar formula because as I always say: if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
The Walking Dead: Michonne is a great series in the making and I’m confident I am going to enjoy the rest of it. Sure, it may not top The Walking Dead, especially Season 1 but who says it has to? I want to treat this as its own series and won’t think negatively if say Michonne doesn’t make me cry like Lee did or I don’t want to name my daughter after her like I did with Clementine. Yes, that thought did cross my mind. C’mon, who wouldn’t want to call their daughter “Clem?” Anyways, here is my final thought and advice if you are interested in this game: Buy it. If you liked The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series and like Michonne as a character from The Walking Dead universe, there’s really no reason not to. In Too Deep was a solid episode and I can’t wait to play more. The Walking Dead: Michonne is available right now on Steam, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 and coming to Android and iOS on Feb. 25.
Have you played The Walking Dead: Michonne? If so, what did you think of In Too Deep? Comment below and tell us!