Around Every Corner doesn’t feel like the second-last episode in this series of The Walking Dead. While there are climactic elements that are beginning to build, I feel like the series could just keep going on and on – it’s at least got the potential to last as long as each season as the TV show. But alas, we’ve only got two more episodes of this excellent adventure game series, and while Around Every Corner might not be my favourite episode, it certainly brings a lot to the table.
This episode finally brings the group of Walking Dead survivors to Savannah, providing a littany of new locations to explore and zombie heads to splow up. While the adults look for a boat to escape the zombie-infested city, Clementine keeps hearing threatening messages over her walkie-talkie. However, there may be salvation in a group of survivors left in the city, although their methods of survival may be worse than the alternative.
I wouldn’t say Around Every Corner has the most interesting plot of all the episodes. Having another, larger, survivor group in the form of ‘Crawford’ is a good idea, especially when you get to see for yourself what they do to survive. However, they are a little under-utilised, and don’t play into the final act of the game as much as you think they will. There aren’t as many gut-wrenching moral decisions this time around, either. I would like to think that most people would react the same way to most of the problems presented in this episode, although the customary survey at the end of the game tells me I was in the minority on at least two decisions.
Savannah also brings with it a lot of new locations to explore – from a large mansion, to the city’s docks and sewers. It’s also relatively glitch-free, compared to other episodes, which makes this episode feel like it may have had a higher budget, or more time in the cooker. One glitch that is still present, and perpetually annoying, is Lee’s tendency to freeze in place and ‘skate’ along the ground when he encounters an invisible barrier. Puzzles are still incredibly easy, and some more ‘FPS’-style sequences have been included that simply involve pointing and shooting at a flock of zombie heads.
The game still looks and sounds great, and there are plenty of new characters in this episode who all have great performances from their respective voice actors. One woman in particular, Molly, is an ass-kicking, spelunking, zombie-limb-severing kind of gal, and makes for a great change of pace. The music is tense and oppressive, giving you the feeling that there may be very little hope for these characters as we near the end. The only problem I have with the game’s presentation was with some of the new character models. The game’s cel-shaded style includes thick pen-lines on characters, which in the case of some of the newcomers, levitate a good 10cm off their bodies, looking very odd.
Around Every Corner feels larger than the last episode, Long Road Ahead, but I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily more engaging. There’s more to see and do, but the story feels like it could have been larger as well to support the new environment. By the end of this episode, it appears that your cumulative decisions are starting to have a serious effect on who will stand with you as you head into the series’ finale, and that means the best is still yet to come.