“The Walking Dead – Season 2, Episode 3: In Harm’s Way” Review
Season 2 of The Walking Dead has been pulling no punches, thrusting fans into scenes of intense violence and devastating choices that has so far given Season 1 a run for its money.
The last time we saw Clementine, she found refuge in a cabin and reunited with old friends while trying to hide from a crazed madman named Carver. That hiding was short-lived, however, and after a few choice deaths, Carver has dragged Clementine and crew back to his safe house, threatening to kill anyone who escapes. In Harm’s Way showcases a more human element than past chapters, and although it is light on the zombie killing, the dialogue and tension make it one of the best chapters yet.
What Is It?
In Harm’s Way starts immediately after the events of the previous chapter, with Carver leading Clementine and her group of old and new friends back to his base for “saving.” Carver is a unique character in the way that he acknowledges that humans have a basic urge to want to be free but only Carver himself can keep them safe. It is this ideology that makes him a vicious leader; his urge to want to keep everyone safe under his watch while doing whatever is necessary to see that his rule is followed. Carver, voiced Michael Madsen, adds a layer to the character development the game has been lacking since it began, a character so vile and so ferocious you can’t help but hate him, yet somehow want to see how much further he will go.
Carver’s actions throughout the chapter vary through a wide range of emotions. As Clementine meets new people and learns of their past with Carver and his group of mercenaries, there could be moments when Carver goes off the rails when someone back talks him or reacts in an entirely different manner. One emotional scene has you witnessing Sarah being beaten by her father for talking over Carver. The look in Clementine’s eyes of anger and terror in the current situation she is in is haunting, and despite being around people she can trust, she no longer feels safe or in control. Later on in the episode Carver shares a one-on-one conversation with Clementine where he explains his intentions of what he is doing and how he feels for Clementine and all that she went through. You never know which side of Carver will come out next and it’s a testament to the great acting each character exhibits that helps lend to the authenticity of the dialogue.
To add to the ever growing tension around camp, a roaming horde of walkers is quickly approaching and is considered to be one of the largest groups ever seen yet. The need to stop Carver and escape camp becomes the primary objective for everyone involved, and Telltale did an excellent job of giving players difficult choices to make, including a very tense scene involving a key member of the group and Carver. Watching this scene unfold will be one of the hardest things to handle yet in The Walking Dead series. From start to finish, Carver added a sense of fear to the game that had rarely been seen yet by humans, and it helped show just how dangerous the living will act to stay alive.
Why Should I Care?
In Harm’s Way starts out slow but delivers an exhilarating finish, transforming Clementine from that scared girl hiding in her treehouse to a survivor who is not afraid to stand up to evil or do what is necessary to survive. In fact, in the final scene where the invading walker horde arrives, the ensuing panic and danger which ensues forces Clementine to do something so shocking you know that she will forever be changed in the upcoming chapters to follow. Her adventure has had the most obstacles of any character in the game, and it’s exciting, if a bit chilling, to see how Clementine reacts to these different scenarios.
This latest installment is definitely light on the action and there are very few walker deaths, but the human elements and raw emotion from the characters helps keep you hooked until the end. Despite the sheer brutality and vulgarity Episode 3 exhibited, I found myself glued to the TV and wanting to know just how events would unfold; I cared that much about Clementine and her group. Although much of the chapter is spent watching scenes unfold in front of you with little interaction, the dialogue is what sets this game apart from other point-and-click titles, and Telltale’s ability to keep gamers entertained with little or no control is true testament to how great The Walking Dead truly is.
What Makes It Worth My Time and Money?
Clementine’s run-in with Carver added a new depth to the story as it showcased just how far humans will go to survive and the necessary steps that are needed to fulfill those goals. The dialogue in this latest installment had some of the best lines yet, and with Michael Madsen bringing Carver to life with his psychotic rants and vulgarity, In Harm’s Way turned out to be one of the series most shocking chapters. In Harm’s Way goes to show that even with the lack of zombie killing to hold you down, great dialogue and character development can still deliver an exciting experience.
Reviews of previous episodes in The Walking Dead – Season 2:
*400 Days is an add-on to Season 1 with variables that carry over to Season 2.
|Title:||The Walking Dead - Season 2, Episode 3: In Harm's Way|
|Platform:||Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC|
|Release Date:||May 13, 2014|
|Editor's Note:||The game was purchased by the reviewer and completed before the beginning of this review.|