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The Walking Dead: Season 2: Episode 4 - Amid the Ruins
Score: 90%
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure/Survival Horror/Puzzle

Previously on The Walking Dead:

[Spoiler Alert: While this review is meant to keep the story relatively generic in nature, elements of the game are discussed below. I highly suggest that if you have an interest in The Walking Dead, you should just pick up and play from the beginning of Season 1 prior to getting into the details below.]

Last time, on The Walking Dead, Clementine and the gang were stuck in Carver’s prison camp that was disguised as a safe haven of sorts. However, though we got a glimpse of Carver’s dominant nature at the Ski Lodge, his true backbone was revealed during In Harm’s Way. Working on a way to get out, the gang had some serious and series-changing events take place.

In his attempt at dominance over the group, Carver’s murderous rampage partially causes our crew to take action in an escape attempt. With Luke outside the walls and sneaking Clem inside, a plan was hatched that eventually led to the fall of the camp. While this was shocking in and of itself, it was the loss of Kenny’s eye that symbolized things to come. The only way out of the camp looked to be straight through a horde of lurkers by rubbing zombie guts on themselves. Clem and company begin to walk through, trying to stay as calm as possible. Things got out of control, however, and we end with a life and death decision that Clem has to make with Sarita, as the woman’s arm is being bitten by a walker in the midst of the horde. Do you kill the zombie or cut off Sarita’s arm to stop the spread of disease? Either way, the gang is stuck in the middle of dozens of zombies with nowhere to go…

Amid the Ruins:

Depending on your decision relating to Sarita’s arm, one of the main plots for The Walking Dead: Season 2: Episode 4 – Amid the Ruins unfolds with Kenny. Clem’s long lost friend is going through some serious depressive situations and feels like he is constantly getting beaten up in this new world. Looking back, Kenny has lost his entire family, including (possibly) having to put down his own child after Duck got the virus that caused deadites to roam the earth all over again. Now, he is dealing with the situation with his newly formed relationship with Sarita, and in Kenny's opinion, Clementine is to blame.

This plot helps to move the story along while it becomes your mission (as Clementine) to help find the group after people got split up during the zombie herd’s attack on the prison camp. It is during this time that Clem has the opportunity to form a relationship with Jane, one of the group’s newcomers picked up in the barracks of the camp. Jane is a real loaner who, like everyone, has a seemingly tragic backstory that drives her current motivations. By sticking with Jane, Clem is able to learn some new vital moves that may save her life, but it may come at a cost to her own morality a number of times in TWD: Season 2: Episode 4.

Amid the Ruins is basically a 3-part act in that we get to empathize with Kenny’s losses, Jane’s abandonment issues, and Rebecca’s soon to be born new arrival. The group decides that the best thing to do is to look for shelter. In the process, Jane and Clementine run into another stranger, bringing Clem’s morality once again into question.

The Walking Dead: Season 2: Episode 4 – Amid the Ruins is an interesting character-driven forward push in the series. We get a deeper look at a few people as it progresses, which can give players a bit more of a personal touch to the group. One of the things I have to point out, however, is that Amid the Ruins unfortunately feels extremely linear in nature. No matter how you play situations, the same results seem to come to pass. While this is the way the series has always been, this fan is certainly hoping that some of the decision-making of Episode 4 resurfaces in the future.

As far as the story goes, it does a nice job of being a transitionary episode between Carver’s reign and what lies on the horizon for the group after Rebecca’s water breaks. One thing is for sure, they all know that they want to protect her and the baby at all costs. But just how costly will their sacrifices be? A cold and dreary journey may reveal the future…

Next Time on The Walking Dead:

For the first time, the events leading to the end of an episode don’t transition into showing a lead-in to the coming episode, which pushes me to believe that it either wasn’t ready for release or the developers at Telltale Games are trying to keep things under wraps for a shocking and surprising final episode of Season 2.

One could certainly speculate on things to come, but doing so would reveal too much of what went down in The Walking Dead: Season 2: Episode 4 – Amid the Ruins… and I won’t do that to you yet! Suffice to say, the group’s focus will likely be centered around the newborn, and depending on how the events at the end of Amid the Ruins play out as we rejoin the group for the finale, Episode 5 should looks to be a barn burner.

Related Links:

Windows The Wolf Among Us: Episode 5 - Cry Wolf Windows The Walking Dead: Season 2: Episode 4 - Amid the Ruins

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