Accumulating one million downloads in just two weeks and numerous critical accolades (including a 90% from PCGZine Editor Andy) under its belt, it’s no secret that Telltale Games, who’ve dropped the ball on numerous licenses recently, found itself a hit with the Walking Dead.
With the events of its excellent opener still lingering, we’ve been chomping at the bit to see if Telltale is able to carry the momentum of the first instalment through four more and sure enough, Starved for Help delivers guts, guilt, and good faith in Telltale’s craft.
Picking things up three months after we left our survivors at the motel, hunger and tension rife among the camp thrusts difficult choices onto player’s lap way before the episode’s opening credits have finished rolling. Ongoing rows between family man Kenny and daddy’s girl Lilly will force you to pick sides as the solidarity of the group is regularly brought into question and the task of rationing out food to just four of the camp’s 10 survivors is a sobering act that helps set the tone.
Decisions from Episode 1 are evident but nowhere near as crucial as pertinent as they may have once seemed and being an attentive babysitter for Clementine remains a rewarding role but ultimately she’ll spend far less time by your side this time. Instead, Starved for Help is a much grizzlier tale that’ll see players forced into gruesome acts through an even spread of quick-time events and lifting the veil on some unsettling truths as the group is driven out of the motel in their desire for a cooked meal.
There’s not much in the way of puzzles and those you come across won’t require much in the way of complex thinking. But to call The Walking Dead anything less than clever would be to discredit Telltale’s minor touches such as swapping up the aligned dialogue choices on the conversation button prompts.
Starved for Help can only be faulted by its technical hitches. Those fitting comic book-inspired visuals hit a snag with stuttering transitions and pop-in textures, all of which really start to make the game chug in its most climactic moments. There’s a few blemishes then but noticeable enough that maybe, in spite of its demanding fans, Starved for Help could have done with a little more development time.
A much larger beast at nearly three hours long, Starved for Help is a darker, grizzlier, and more consistent instalment that should leave doubting fans pleasantly satisfied but hungry for more.
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