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The Walking Dead Episode Two: “Starved for Help” Review

Charles King on July 26, 2012 - 11:17 pm in Reviews

As a new day brings the zombie apocalypse, our group of survivors from episode one find themselves starved for help as their fellow human beings prove to be just as dangerous as the dead that walk the countryside.

Three months after the events of Episode One, our crew takes shelter in an old motel. The cost of survival is very high as food is becoming scarce, and to make matters worse, bandits pose an equal danger to the characters as the flesh-eating zombies do. When a new member named Mark joined the fold he provided enough food to last for a while, and to feed hungry stomachs Lee and Mark start the episode on a hunting expedition. Zombies, who are eating everything in the forest, cut their trip short and they come back empty-handed.

Lilly is feeling the pressure of being the group leader, and to prove how difficult it is to ration out the little food they have left she lets Lee choose who gets to eat that day. Off course I picked the kids Duck and Clementine and the remaining pieces of food I gave to Lilly and her father Larry, who made it very clear in a New Day that he doesn’t like you very much.

The group’s dire situation turns around for them as an opportunity for a meal comes in the form of two strangers who offer food in exchange for their help. Once you arrive at the dairy farm they call home, you instantly know that something is wrong. What choice do you really have anyway?

Ducking zombies takes a backseat as Starved for Help deals with the human element and decisions made in the earlier episode affect your experience. The group dynamic is explored heavily and more difficult choices and challenges are presented to the player. Lee Everett also finds himself in the middle of a power struggle between Lilly and Kenny, and Episode Two tries its hardest to make you choose whose side you want to be on. You can choose to stay neutral but both characters will quickly show you they aren’t happy with your indecisiveness.

Here are two moments in Starved for Help I experienced during gameplay:

The “Oh Sh*t” moment

As stated earlier, Starved for Help has some pretty heavy choices it asks you make. While in the middle of one of those choices, something unexpected happened that honestly surprised me. It is very rare for me to be broadsided by an in-game event, but all I could do was smile after the dust settled.

The “Maybe I shouldn’t have done that” moment

I will say this about Clementine, there is something about this quiet and resourceful girl that will bring out the paternal part in you. Toward the end of the game I let rage get the best of me, and Clementine unfortunately was there to witness it. Needless to say, I spent the rest of the episode regretting my decision. Yet another example of how The Walking Dead game causes you to make truly emotional decisions, but of course you can always play through it a second time and take it all back.

Damn you emotions!

Should you stick around for Episode Three?

A New Day dealt with the dangers of surviving a world overran by zombies, but Starved For Help shows us just how screwed up human beings can become once order turns into chaos. If you liked Episode One but needed more reasons to continue the story, Episode Two makes it clear that you need to stick around until the end of the season to see  how your decisions play out.

The Walking Dead: Starved For Help
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Platforms: Mac, PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Released: June 27, 2012 (Xbox 360), June 29, 2012 (Mac, PC, PlayStation 3)