Although it doesn’t stray from Telltale’s usual M.O, The Walking Dead: Michonne‘s first episode delivers the starting bits of what could turn out to be great development for one of the comic book and TV show’s most beloved characters.
Including established characters in a companion piece of media is always a shaky proposal for any popular franchise. It’s a somewhat limiting aspect of including a particular element of the story, mostly because they already have previous baggage. Making them the protagonist imposes even more, a challenging proposal for Telltale to tackle in this three part game.
Clocking in at around an hour and change, In Too Deep doesn’t waste a moment before diving into Michonne’s disturbed psyche, showing a slice of her previous life and what she left behind, all coming back to haunt her dreams. Even though these mini flashbacks are brief, it’s evident they’ll serve as the building blocks of the Michonne we will see by the end of the miniseries.
The gameplay doesn’t stray from the usual Telltale style of limiting your movement and having you pick from a couple up to a handful of options, with button and analog stick (or mouse movement) prompts during action scenes. Dialogue gives you three options that sit on opposite ends of the emotional spectrum, with a middle of the road answer or question, as well the choice to just be quiet and let things play out. As with the rest of Telltale’s recent catalog, TWD: Michonne doesn’t really feel like a “game” game in the sense of having freedom of movement and actions, but more of a story delivery method in which you only have a tad of influence over.
If you’ve been playing Telltale’s games for the last few years, there’s not much that will surprise you in this first episode. It delivers a couple of dilemmas between Michonne and the new cast which are pretty much in the tone of what was previously featured in the two The Walking Dead seasons, including plenty of violence and unclear character motivations.
Granted, it’s nice to see a tight monthly episode release schedule for this miniseries. In Too Deep doesn’t really live up to its name in terms of longevity nor exposition, but the little it does in exploring more of Michonne’s backstory shows potential for the next two installments. Whether it’ll pay off or not, we’ll know the answer soon enough.