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After a promising yet tame first episode, The Walking Dead: Michonne – Give No Shelter is the second of our three part outing with the iconic heroine and thankfully, the mistakes of the first chapter are rectified here. Michonne is as captivating as ever with her unbalanced yet domineering persona but this time, the overall stakes have been raised. Other than the technical stutters which seem commonplace within the Telltale engine, The Walking Dead: Michonne ‘Give No Shelter’ lives up to the expectation Michonne fans have craved for.
‘In Too Deep’ ended with Michonne, Sam and Pete being interrogated by the sadistic siblings Randall and Norma. The Walking Dead: Michonne ‘Give No Shelter’ begins immediately after the impactful decision made at the conclusion of the first episode. With Sam by your side, the duo aims to free Pete from captivity before making an escape. From the start of the second installment, the stakes are much higher than episode one due to the simple fact that you have others to protect. Michonne rarely feels vulnerable alone as she is a more than capable of taking care of herself with her trusty Katana, however, having innocents to protect disbands that security and makes this encounter much more enjoyable.
As Michonne eliminates unaware scouts with deadly efficiency, the two discover Pete still tied up after his grilling from the savage duo. After a brutal encounter with Randall and Norma with some much-needed assistance from Sam, The three make a break from the vicious community. What follows is another awesome quick time event which includes our heroine drop kicking thugs into the sea, skewering others and concluding the fight by firing a flare gun into an explosive barrel for a dramatic getaway.
The action found here is contrasting and thrilling when compared to the tradition survival tale from the main series. The characters we have inhabited previously would never have been capable of such audacious feats. Michonne, even though at times it can feel over the top, barely breaks a sweat as she takes down multiple enemies in her stride which looks and feels brilliant.
Upon arrival on a nearby shore, the pursuit does not stop. This tension remains consistent throughout the entire episode due to the impending army of mercenaries who are tracking Michonne’s every move. One aspect I was disappointed about in the first chapter was how little we were able to discover how the Michonne we recognize came to be. That issue is touched upon in numerous ways in The Walking Dead: Michonne ‘Give No Shelter’ and it is at this point that we get to see one of the more awesome aspects of her lore. The trio are surrounded by walkers and Michonne instinctively dismembers a couple of zombie’s limbs and tears off their jaws. Using these hapless walkers as zombie repellent huskies, the three carefully stroll through a herd of the undead unnoticed, as gunfire rains down around them. These are the elements of Michonne’s past I wanted to explore and I was pleased that I was catered for in a unique way.
As our threesome proceed, a nice relationship develops between Michonne and Sam. The latter half of the game introduces us to a few more characters but by keeping the group small and intimate, it gives this miniseries some much-needed stability. These episodes are short, both have taken me just an hour to finish, so you do not have the luxury of time to develop a huge cast of survivors.
In the previous episode and throughout the second, we delved into Michonne’s unstable mental state which is haunted by hallucinations of her perished children. Sam is young and endangered and you will encounter a number of younger characters in this installment. It is no accident that the developers have included a younger generation as it attempts to evoke the maternal side out of the sometimes, defiantly stubborn heroine. Michonne is a deep and complex character and you see this demonstrated by her compassion towards both Sam, Pete, and the other children, however, she can still be ruthless towards anyone who harms her or those around her.
When the group find their way to a safe house, where the stalemate of entry feels included purely for the sake of drama, the pace of the episode slows. After a particularly graphic surgery scene involving a lodged bullet, we flashback to Michonne’s past. This is where I wanted to miniseries to head and I’m pleased it does as her background is as traumatizing as any. As you investigate her ransacked apartment, where clues as to the whereabouts of her children are found, you can see a scared Michonne. Never in the post outbreak do I recall her ever being legitimately terrified yet here she is, which in turn caused me to be apprehensive. You begin to gather hints as to why Michonne is still haunted by the past events and this adds yet another layer of complexity to our protagonist.
The reason for devising this miniseries should be to attempt something that the core entry cannot and we experience that here. Having a lead who is not simply surviving, but thriving in this harsh world feels significantly different to playing as an innocent child. The prospect of a story during the outbreak as Michonne would be a glorious opportunity in the future. Sadly, this scene ends a bit preemptively but I’m anticipating a satisfying conclusion in the last chapter.
As the finale approaches, classic Walking Dead stupidity occurs as a character unknowingly opens a gate resulting in, not only their death, but chaos to many others. When the danger is resolved, again in extremely graphical scenes courtesy of a workshop vice. The episode ends with a unique choice. We are used to seeing these weighty, consequential choices but the one seen here is personal to Michonne. There is not a life at risk, no immediate repercussions, yet somehow this feels like one of the toughest choices in the history of the series.
The Walking Dead: Michonne – Give No Shelter bounces back in the best way possible. Telltale has maintained the intrigue of Michonne’s character and this time, made an engrossing story to accompany that. The technical stutters are witnessed more than ever during this episode which is still unacceptable for me. Aside from the a couple of irritating silly character choices, the Michonne miniseries is in good shape leading into the finale.
- Gameplay: Decision Making and Brutal, Quick Time Events
- Graphics: Beautiful Comic Book Aesthetic, Gory
- Sound: Compelling Voice Work, Zombies
- Presentation: Bad Frame Rate At Times, Integrated Quick Time Events
- Smaller Group
- Action Scenes
- Exploring The Past
- Technical Issues
- Dumb Character Choices