For better or for worse, Telltale’s first regularly scheduled miniseries The Walking Dead: Michonne has been a familiar experience to just about anyone who’s played, seen or read anything set in the world of the giant multimedia franchise that The Walking Dead is.
At the end of episode two, the shit was about to hit the proverbial fan after Michonne and the group had reached Sam’s family’s house, only to be followed by the baddies and suffering the consequences of co-villain Russell’s brutality. Sadly, all the tense build up to the actual invasion of the compound dwindles down and grinds to a halt as we’re once again dealt with more of Michonne’s hallucinatory way of coping with the skeletons in her personal closet.
That was a barely interesting point that was touched in the previous episodes, but after two mostly similar attempts at making us care about Michonne’s troubled past, it’s just annoying to have to once again go through the same motions. Yeah, we get it, she’s emotionally damaged, but damn, there’s value in leaving something to the imagination. Episode three is dilligent in hammering away what little there was to be figured out on our own.
Still, there’s a fair bit of gruesome drama to go through and close off this small season in episode three. Even though it’s probably the shortest running of the three chapter season, it’s probably the one with the most action. But all things considered, that’s to be expected, given it’s the finale. Telltale’s engine continues to chug out limited interaction, and when it comes to action and quick time button presses, it’s at its limit in this miniseries, locking up and hanging the game up at various points throughout the episode.
Even though the tone of the entire miniseries has been one of “let’s keep this train rolling and get hype for season three of the actual The Walking Dead game we care about”, Michonne had its moments as a Telltale product. It’s certainly not as bad as some of the dev’s previous attempts at touching an extremely popular brand, but it doesn’t come anywhere near what has been established as their best work.
The Walking Dead: Michonne could have very well been an off shoot comic if it wasn’t a game. And while it’s cool to get to “play as” a popular and already established character in the franchise, it’s not nearly as effective as having a go at someone completely new, who’d we wouldn’t have a clue regarding their fate, which proved to be extremely successful in season one of the base The Walking Dead game.
And while this is the first time we’ve had a set release schedule for episodes from Telltale, which is to be lauded, considering it’s not an awful product by any measure, there’s room to hope that they’ll take this game as a chance to work out a compromise schedule wise, and come up with a plan that sits well between being timely and actually being something that plays a meaningful role within the fiction it’s set in. The Walking Dead: Michonne‘s finale does nothing to stray off the path that was set by the first episode: it’s a safe bet. The miniseries doesn’t really add anything meaningful to the overall fiction of its franchise. It’s just an okay game.