The Walking Dead: Episode 3 - Long Road Ahead Review

Moral dilemmas hit close to home in Long Road Ahead, the latest and grimmest episode in the Walking Dead adventure series.

by

Anyone who played the first two outstanding episodes in Telltale Games' five-part The Walking Dead series can't help but feel their stomachs flutter going into Long Road Ahead. All of the excruciating decisions about who lives and who dies, dealing with folks who want to plop you on a plate next to their hash browns, and staying one step ahead of dead folks who see you as a Happy Meal have laid the groundwork for even more unsettling moments here. This time, the moral dilemmas hit closer to home than ever before, causing strife that may just break apart the group of survivors that came together in the first two episodes.

Lee's bond with Clementine grows stronger in Long Road Ahead, even as strain within the larger group hits the breaking point.

Lead character Lee Everett and his zombie-world extended family are still holed up in the Travelier Motel in rural Georgia as Long Road Ahead opens. As in the last game, dwindling food and supplies are taking their toll on the group. Worries are mounting about the growth of the local zombie population. Lilly may be losing her grip on reality in the wake of what happened in Episode 2. A gang of marauders might be working with someone on the inside to steal medicine and other vital provisions. Kenny continues to insist that the whole gang bug out for Savannah on the coast. All of this quickly explodes into open conflict, and the group takes off in Kenny's RV with the destination presumably being a houseboat on the Atlantic. Everyone better cross their fingers that zombies can't dog paddle.

The story breaks away from the earlier links to the Walking Dead graphic novels for the first time. Where the first game had a guest appearance from comic hero Glenn and the second featured a plot that mimicked one from an early comic story arc, here the group moves off on its own. This attempt to reach the coast and find safety at sea is new, as is the mad scramble to get there on board a train. For the first time, fans of the comics can enjoy a sense of freedom and escape comparisons between the game and what creator Robert Kirkman continues to relay to us each month in harsh black and white. It's rewarding to see the game standing on its own as a new saga in the Walking Dead universe with few if any remaining ties to Rick Grimes and pals.

Grim reality remains a constant, though. Long Road Ahead goes all-in when it comes to disquieting plot points. The zombie plague hits closer to home than ever before, resulting in horrific sequences that just might make you feel sorry for whiny, selfish Kenny (well, for a couple of minutes). Just like in the comic, you're kept on notice that anything can happen to anyone. At one point late in the game, you make a decision to save one character while leaving another to a brain-chomping death…only to see something happen that you don't expect at all. At the very least, everything that occurs here makes you well aware that nobody will ever be safe, from the guy at the top of the credits to the newcomers who just arrived.

Surrounded! Hopefully she saved the last bullet for herself.

Long Road Ahead also changes up the gameplay seen in the first two episodes. This is more of a straightforward adventure. While you still take on zombies with button-pushing challenges and engage in a fair bit of timed shooting and melee scraps, there is a newfound emphasis on solving puzzles by exploring the landscape and collecting items. There isn't anything brain-busting here, though. Most of the puzzles involve little more than wandering around small areas looking for the one piece of equipment needed to bypass an obstacle, like the blowtorch you have to use to cut loose a tanker truck hanging off a highway overpass.

The added puzzles and dialogue choices make Episode 3 feel more like a traditional adventure game than an interactive graphic novel. The downside to this shift in focus is that the game lags in a few areas, most notably when you have to futz around for 10 to 15 minutes to get that train rolling to Savannah.

With Long Road Ahead, The Walking Dead has passed the midway point of its series of five episodes with every indication that the game will keep getting better right through to its inevitably depressing and unsettling conclusion. The emotional weight of your choices--made even heavier now that we are three episodes into the game and have established relationships with the characters--makes it a tough game to play in many ways, but also an extremely rewarding one that, like the comics, uses the undead to define what it means to be alive.

The Good
Plot moves away from comic-book-inspired storylines of first two episodes
Very unsettling moral choices
More adventure-game elements than in previous episodes
The Bad
Some minor pacing problems
8.5
Great
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Discussion

0 comments
Thesuperstar2k
Thesuperstar2k

Decent episode. Definitely agree that there are some lag in this game that sometimes I thought the game was frozen when I pressed the ps logo button. Too many new members in this episode. /: Game felt kinda long.


3.5/5

FAIL_TR0LL
FAIL_TR0LL

I got several awesome glitches in this episode. People's eyebrows going crazy and their heads twisting around unnaturally. Didn't have the framerate issues that the second episode had, so at least there's that.

SolidTy
SolidTy

I got into this series because of PS+. I got Episodes 1 & 2 for free. Digging it! :P

elvispesic
elvispesic

epic game series anyone know when episode 4 comes out?PS:Best Point&Click game i played ever

Vodoo
Vodoo

This is by far the worst episode yet. It's extremely boring and shorter than the others. I don't understand why so many people claim this is the best one yet. In this episode you have very little interaction with the undead, and more contact and talking with your group. Sure hope the next one goes back to the formula of the previous episodes. It really pisses me off that I waited 2 months for this garbage.

trophywhore
trophywhore

I'm already looking forward to playing through this game again, only this time being  a raging dickhead to everyone.

de-ci23
de-ci23

Finally I can get to play episode 3.  To bad I had to stumble across so many game spoilers before hand.  At least now I can play episode 4 and 5 without any spoilers when they later release.  I had to download the US version's season pass since the EU PSN was taking too long to release episode 3.  But as it only cost £12.60 it's worth it since I practically get back the money I paid for the UK versions of episode 1 and 2 considering the season pass gives you a game for free and the UK season pass cost £16.00.

Zenwork21
Zenwork21

I loved the first 2... I can't wait

chinchillables2
chinchillables2

Wow. Didn't even know there was a game for this.

 

Love the series (comics were better though) and can't wait for Season 3 to come out.

ydnarrewop
ydnarrewop

Huzzah! I'm glad this is finally released! I had to stop reading the review though...too many spoilers.

Vodoo
Vodoo

Personally, I will never get sick of zombies. As long as it's done right, it'll always be a game I'll look forward to playing. To do a zombie game right, they can't have the undead running at you. ZOMBIES DON'T RUN! They slowly lumber at you, ever increasing in their numbers. Almost like they have zombie telepathy that yells to other nearby zombies "Hey, fresh meat over here." They pop out of the least likely places, swarm you, and eventually corner you like a pack of rabid dogs. That's why I love The Walking Dead. They do zombies right.

GreySeven
GreySeven

So in a world where the voices cry about how sick they are of zombies, how overused they are, and how tired the zombie theme has become, these same voices continue to support zombie games.  No wonder the industry is in a rut...

Ima_Grey
Ima_Grey

I got so angry at Lilly that I just left her behind on the side of the road without hesitation.   This was a great chapter, but I found a couple of sequences on the train a little slow.

xsurf187
xsurf187

the thing i don't understand is why more people chose to save lily i mean either way she gonna betray you and steal the rv

abhirajgoldy
abhirajgoldy

playing it & loving every minute of it, choices in this one are the hardest.

Hurvl
Hurvl

This is so NOT what I expect from an adventure game. Glad too see that in a industry riddled with uninspiring sequels and genre specific stereotypes there are still some games that defy and shatter your preconceptions.

SoNin360
SoNin360

Can't wait to get the chance to play this, had to avoid reading most of the review to not spoil details, but I'm glad to see it receive another solid score.

scout7
scout7

Very good and emotional episode.  Now comes the "1 month" wait for the next episode.

Bayonetta2013
Bayonetta2013

 @Vodoo Psst! This is what you call an episodic game! Crazy how they don't spend the majority of the time picking of zombies instead of interacting like human beings unlike the majority of Resident Evil crap. This series actually cares about its reputation. It goes away from the boring formula that has plagued the "zombie apocalypse" genre for years.

Batnut92
Batnut92

 @Vodoo Wait, lack of zombie interaction? Which episode are you talking about? Ep. 3 had waaay more zombie interaction than say episode 2.

-Spoiler Alert!!-

 

-You get away from a bunch of zombies in Everett Pharmacy in Macon, including pushing an undead walker into a spike.

-Mow down 6-8 walkers during the raid on Bandit Camp with a rifle

-Slam that zombie's head in with a car door after you find the train.

-Slam a spike remover into the brains of two zombies and shoot one other in the head.

I won't count that one scene with the swarm cause didn't really interact with them. But yeah, I think I made my point. Ep 1 and 3 had the most zombie interaction.  

standarddamage
standarddamage

 @GreySeven Because whether the idea behind the game is underused or overused, a good game is still a good game.  And The Walking Dead has turned out to be an absolute stand-out with a very faithful following.

Karnage108
Karnage108

 @xsurf187 First of all how were we supposed to know she would steal the RV... second, it's like Lee says when explaining himself to Kenny, leaving her behind would have been the same thing as murder. Maybe she deserved it but I ain't a murderer.

scout7
scout7

 @Gelugon_baat Telltale might add Walking Dead to good old games once the series is done.  After you finish each chapter there is stats on what choices other people made.  So they needed some sort of tracking system like Steam.

xsurf187
xsurf187

 @Karnage108 but still not knowing that she would steal RV b4 doesn't mean she might be the good guy and why would you shoot ur own people and not knowing who did it and blame it on everyone or maybe it was an setup so i think she is complete lost it after what kenny did to her dad

adam1808
adam1808

 @Gelugon_baat The reason the choices in these games improve with each episode is precisely because they mine data for information on which choices are effective or not. I think it's a fantastic social experiment after listening to some of the TellTale guys talk about how they changed episode 2 after looking at the data from the first epsiode.

adam1808
adam1808

 @Gelugon_baat Tell-tale use that data to adjust the future episodes. Similarly Steam makes it easier for the game to find the save data needed for your choices to carry over.

The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series More Info

First Release on Dec 11, 2012
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The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series is a zombie game that lets players experience the true horror and emotional impact of being a survivor of the undead apocalypse.
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