Thus far, The Walking Dead: Michonne has done little to really wow me. The first episode, ‘In Too Deep’ kicked off the miniseries well enough, but it did have a few flaws that dragged the overall experience down. After completing it, I felt a little disappointed, but had high hopes for the follow up episode regardless.
Alas, ‘Give No Shelter’ proved to be, in my opinion, a teeny tiny bit worse than its predecessor. My real issues came down to the story and cast (bar Michonne herself, who was excellent in both episodes). Almost everything felt, for lack of a better description, lifeless – there was nothing truly memorable to be found. Despite that, I looked forward to getting my hands on the last piece of the puzzle. How would this story end? I was dying to know, and had faith that Telltale would come out swinging, and conclude the series on a high.
And you know what? They did! Kinda. Episode 3 of the miniseries, ‘What We Deserve’, is easily the best of the lot, but it does still have some flaws.
Its biggest problem, in my opinion, is that it presumes that people playing it are already overly attached to the characters in the story. Granted, ‘What We Deserve’ is the last part of the trilogy, so I can understand why Telltale would think this is a given, but seeing as there have only been two episodes prior, and short ones at that, this was not the case, at least not to me anyway.
Conversations that should’ve been a gentle tug at my heart, passed instead without me even being the slightest bit interested, or even caring for that matter. Why would I spill tears for a certain character’s loss when I barely feel like I know them, or the deceased in the first place? Had this been a fully fledged, five-part game, or one that had longer episodes where more time was spent getting to know this cast, then maybe, maybe I would’ve felt differently.
The only person I cared about really, and this was a given, seeing as she’s been the focus of this series, and has featured in other media, is Michonne herself. Danau Gurira once again brings life to the character in this episode, and spectacularly. Now, seeing as I know Michonne, from both the comics and the television show, I felt like I actually gave a damn about her. I knew she could never die (this game is set between issue 126 and 139 of the comic afterall, so death was impossible), but I worried about her every move nonetheless.
The highlight of the series for me by far is her emotional journey in learning to accept what she did to her two daughters. She abandoned them both when the outbreak occurred, and since then, has been battling with the inner demons that spawned from making that particular decision. This is something the comics touch upon, but very briefly. Telltale’s miniseries explores this drama in far more detail.
What’s worse; being surrounded by the undead, or knowing that you left your daughters behind? For Michonne, it’s often the latter, and that ends up in her losing her (already very slippery) grip on reality quite often. This is illustrated in this game as a whole perfectly, as she often has to survive the zombie apocalypse and her own grief at the same time, as in, she battles the undead, all the while seeing hallucinations of her daughters.
Coming back to, ‘What We Deserve’, Michonne has the opportunity to somewhat redeem her haunted past, and come to terms with what she did. She decides to help protect Alex and James Fairbanks – two kids who very obviously mirror her own two children. In helping them survive, she obviously hopes to rid herself of some of the heavy guilt she carries.
Whether she achieves this or not, well, that’s up to you. The ending of The Walking Dead: Michonne isn’t quite as iconic either of the first two season’s conclusions, but it’s excellent nonetheless, and one I quite enjoyed experiencing. Slogging through the first two episodes to get to that decision? Yeah, I think it was quite satisfying.
Though, still, I wouldn’t peg The Walking Dead: Michonne as a completely fantastic game. It certainly has its merits, but there are the downfalls too. If you’re not a fan of the franchise, I feel you may be sorely disappointed. Otherwise, if you’re up to speed with the comics (or even the television show), and enjoy Michonne as a character, then you should really pack your bags and go along for the ride – it’s well worth it.
Last Updated: May 4, 2016