Game Review | The Walking Dead | Season 1, Episode 4 | "Around Every Corner"
Episode Summary: The survivors arrive in Savannah to search for a boat, only to get caught in a conflict involving a corrupt community and an elusive enemy, whom Clementine has been contacting. (Wikipedia)
I’ll start right off by saying that this post took twice as long as any of the other Walking Dead reviews so far because I initially want to give a brief overview of the key points of the story and that summary ended up being far, far too long. Warning: spoilers abound from the next sentence onward!
Seriously, there are new locations, many new characters, Chuck is killed – apparently by himself to avoid returning as a Walker – and Ben develops a death wish, wanting to be left to the Walkers after revealing to a furious Kenny that he was the one who made a deal with the bandits who attacked the Motor Inn, an event which led to Duck and Katjaa’s eventual deaths in the previous episode.
There’s a fair amount of both personal drama and action in this episode though, with a trip into a barricaded community that eventually fell to the Walkers proving to be a lot of fun, with the above revelation about Ben simply the latest in a series of events that keep the story rocketing forward.
Really, there’s very little time to draw breath in this episode unless the player actively seeks it out, with events constantly pushing you forward. This is fine right up until the end, when the running time does start to take its toll and you wonder when the bloody thing will finally finish - it's like the developers thought they'd outdo Return of the King for multiple endings.
That’s not to say the ending is bad; far from it, in fact. While there may be too many scenes that would have worked as an episode closer, the discovery that Clementine has apparently been kidnapped by another group of survivors encountered earlier in the episode, Lee getting bitten by a Walker, and the final reveal that Clem was actually taken by the man she’d been speaking to on her radio do continue to raise the tension, having them all occur in succession does take the wind out of the episode’s sails and leaving you feeling a little dissatisfied when the credits finally roll.
Even still, the excitement over what could possibly happen in the final episode is still there: who’s got Clementine and why? Will all the group get out of Savannah alive, especially with Kenny eager to see Ben dead? And most importantly, they can’t kill off the main character, can they?
“Around Every Corner” is a very good episode, but the main sticking point for me was the new character of Molly, who only appears for this particular section. She’s a little too competent for the setting, and feels like she belongs in a more action movie-style zombie tale rather than the world The Walking Dead exists in.
There’s nothing really ‘wrong’ with the character and the vocal performance is fine. She even has a pretty decent back story that you get to uncover, although the game plays the discovery of what exactly it involves like a shocking reveal although you’ll probably have already figure it out yourself by the time it actually happens.
Then there’s Kenny. I really don’t like the guy and, although some of his behaviour can be understood after everything he’s gone through, it’s often taken too far and Lee comes off passive as a result when it would’ve been great to really tear into the guy for what an irritation he's been throughout the season.
"Around Every Corner" is how you set up a final episode: a lengthy, packed, and fast-moving episode that has its own plot, leading up to a finale that really ratchets up the tension and leaves you eagerly anticipating the final episode, wondering just how the hell the characters are going to survive.