DISCLAIMER: A representative of Telltale Games provided the reviewer a code for the first episode of The Walking Dead: Michonne.
The Walking Dead: Michonne centers around the most badass character in The Walking Dead. In the first episode of three, “In Too Deep” offers a meaningless experience from beginning to end.
As this is a Telltale game, even I took the above statement as a shock, upon first reaching my verdict. Telltale has been good to me, taking exception to the god-awful Game of Thrones. Much like that game failed to really capture my attention, so does this one.
Not only is the story unbelievably bad, the core “Telltale mechanics” that we’ve come to love are completely busted for some reason, meaning that you don’t really get afforded much of a choice other than lie, tell the truth, kill or don’t kill. The topper on that cake, whoa, you’re gonna love this, it’s only an hour and 30 minutes long.
Now, you may say that an hour and 30 minutes is ample time to tell the beginning of what’s going on Michonne, and you’d mostly be right, except the fact that this is a miniseries, so Telltale only has, if we’re judging each episode by the same length, about 3 more hours to grip us. Usually, after the first episode, the player has about 6-7 more hours with this character before they have to say goodbye.
Furthermore, the storywriters, whom I’m blanking on their names, and I don’t really see anything on IMDB here, have a real problem with the way to tell “two sides of the same coin”, so to speak. One minute, Michonne is crippled by fear. The next, she’s chopping zombies heads off like that crippling fear doesn’t exist. This is Michonne, sure, but even outside of the TV show, whoever writes scenes for Michonne, the writers know to give the consumer some peace and quiet every once in a while. Sadly, this is not the case here.
What’s even sadder is the fact that I actually like the side characters like Pete a lot more than I like Michonne, and I freaking love Michonne. As stated before, she’s my pick for the biggest badass of The Walking Dead, and that’s why I love her so much. Man, though, whoever is playing Pete, you’re knocking it out of the park, buddy. Your buddies? Not so much. The other characters just seem incredibly one-note, and even get cast aside for a good 30 minutes or so, which I find frankly ridiculous. You don’t see the side characters in any other medium of The Walking Dead just stay behind, never to be seen again in that episode. It just doesn’t happen. Ugh.
Since I’m already talking about The Walking Dead, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how much of a head scratcher this miniseries is. It doesn’t even make sense to me at all. Michonne has no ties to Clementine, or any other existing person in Telltale’s own The Walking Dead. This should’ve been a one-shot comic book that Robert Kirkman penned himself, because that’s the only way I’d see this working, unless The Walking Dead on AMC suddenly decides to go wonky with flashbacks again (I’m looking at you, Season 4).
All things considered, I really wanted to enjoy Telltale’s first outing into the comics with The Walking Dead: Michonne, but right now, given the tone deaf story, deadpan characters, lack of any choice and length, I feel comfortable in saying that you should hold off on playing this episode.