The Walking Dead “Above The Law” is now out for the hit series from Telltale Games. I was dying to get my teeth into this episode since the completion of episode two but have only just been able to get through the episode. The wait between episodes is always hard as I feel addicted to the story and just need that next hit of narrative goodness. Has it been worth it? Well, in my opinion, it really has. I’ve seen a lot of people saying that the third series has not been as strong as the previous but I am already heavily involved in the new characters and really loving the flashbacks and the way they are keeping Clem in the story without her being the main focus. I will try and keep this as spoiler free as possible but I may slip so be warned.
The big curveball in this episode has to be Javi being reunited with his brother David and then finding out he is one of the top dogs in the New Frontier. You have just spent the last few years building a very close relationship with David’s wife under the impression that he isn’t coming back. David being a part of the New Frontier wasn’t even at the front of my mind, I was much more concerned with the “How the hell is this going to work out”. We all know how this ended between Shane and Rick but this is being told from the other side with the relationship between two brothers and a marriage that was failing. The choices that you are going to face in this episode between the three of them will be meaningful and I found it very hard to side with one or the other at times, even with the lack of trust you have for David due to his alliance.
The choices that you face in Richmond can be pretty tough. I have always tried to play the series from how I would react or respond but it is not always easy to do. The chances are that no matter what good hearted choice you make, it will still cause problems down the line. There is one in this episode that I remember well, only because I actually went back and did it again. It’s a life or death situation where you get to choose how your attacker gets to live out his final moments. Do you leave them to turn for what they have done or do you beat them to death with a steel baseball bat? Trust me, once you find out the who and why it will all make sense. I felt the choices in this episode really had a bigger impact than the previous two and will have a stronger impact on how it all plays out.
You will be happy to know that Clem is a returning character in this episode. I find the way that she has been written into this series as a side character has been done really well, it always feels like her impact on the story is strong even though her appearance is limited. The focus on your flashbacks help fill in the blanks on what happened to her after the horrific end of series two and to be brutally honest, the girl has gone through all kinds of hell up to this point and it just feels like it gets worse. The information we find out in this episode was heartbreaking and left me losing a lot of the respect I had built up for David. You quickly get to understand why Clem just doesn’t trust people anymore, though with Javi that looks to be changing now and she always seems to be trying to steer him down the right path.
I know this game well enough now to have gone into Richmond feeling a little suspicious. A happy community, people working together and a feeling of unity. There has got to be something fishy going on in the background right? The longer that you are kept there the more you just want to leave but things are never as simple as that. The situation between David, Kate and Gabe is tough and you want to do right by them all. Gabe wants to bond with his father, Kate wants to run from the guy who she has little feeling for now but you keep getting options to see your brother in a better light. Being the nice guy just doesn’t seem to work so easily in these games. Playing as a total dick feels like it would get you through these stories without all the heartache and tension that I end up feeling. I just want to be the good guy! We all know this isn’t going to end well for Richmond, something is going on and nothing ever stays sealed in these situations. Telltale have done a great job with this episode and bringing in the broken family dynamic only added to the problems that were going to be faced through this adventure, the narrative is as strong as it has been since the beginning and it never stops me wanting to come back for more and that is exactly how a good story should be written. Luckily Episode 4 is out at the time of finishing this write up so please excuse me while I go and face the next emotional rollercoaster so that I can come and cry to you all though here.