I am a huge Telltale Games fan. Their Back to the Future game was outstanding, featuring the voice talents of Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox to enhance the experience, and I’m sure you’re all well aware of the success of their The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones series. I feel that the company are always able to portray the various elements of betrayal, fear and general thrill of both shows and was not disappointed by their newest instalment, the TWD: Michonne mini-series.
The game interlocks with Robert Kirkman’s comic book series as opposed to the show and focuses on heroine-of-the-decade Michonne and her temporary departure from the Ricktatorship. Dealing with the various horrors of the ongoing zombie apocalypse has obviously taken its toll on Michonne’s grip on reality as we are faced with the first time-limited decision of the game: Shoot yourself in the head and end it all, or lower the gun and power on. Given that this would end the game rather abruptly, either choice leads to an intervention by Pete, a boat’s captain and your loyal, well-balanced companion-to-be.
Despite being a mini-series, the game provides familiar time-limited, morally-dubious choices, compelling story lines and annoying-yet-loveable characters, as well as a few total bastards. TWD: Michonne is, in my opinion, decidedly more violent than its counterparts, with slow-motion decapitation, shoulder surgery and hacking off limbs, as well as bludgeoning some guy’s face in. There are the usual “plot twists” where someone seemingly integral dies, alongside some random and still shocking murders.
I don’t want to delve too much into the story as I want you to enjoy the story on your own. Michonne is dealing with losing her two daughters in pretty devastating and somewhat mysterious circumstances that really hit me hard; seeing that softer side of Michonne in-game was just as heart-breaking as seeing the in-show Michonne weeping as she soothes Judith. She is, however, still the samurai-wielding, resting bitch face badass she is in the combined TWD universe. I feel that the series could have been stretched to a five episode bonanza but they did Michonne a real service by giving one of the most popular characters her own platform to be elevate her even further.
You can feel that Rick’s influence has changed her perception of the new world as the story allows you to play a far more trusting and empathetic character than she is first portrayed in the show/comics; in saying that, you can remain as ruthless as ever if you prefer and have to be cajoled into helping others at times. Much like Michonne’s own story, the game has an equal splash of darkness and good-humour, and the developers really encapsulated her fears, sadness and hatred towards certain characters and decisions, as you’re faced with another heart-wrenching, yet ultimately false choice regarding your past. It’s up to the player to decide how Michonne deals with her losses and gains, and the emotions reverberate through the entire game.
I’d give the game a solid 4.5/5 as I feel that it could have been longer and more well developed, however the opening theme, Gun in my hand by Dorothy, summarises Michonne as a whole in one excellent tune. Go play and cry a little!