The Walking Dead: Michonne Episode 3 “What We Deserve” Review
+ Great build-up of tension
+ Good closure to the series
+ Meaningful dialogue
+ Excellent use of touching moments
- Tedious overuse of Michonne's daughters
- Technical hiccups
- Too brief
Platforms available: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, iOS, Android
Platform reviewed: PC
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST TWO EPISODES OF THE SERIES
When Episode 2 of The Walking Dead: Michonne concluded, the titular hero and the family she got bundled in with were waiting for the inevitable confrontation with Norma. Much of this final episode revolves around this, with Michonne talking to every member of the family and reminiscing about her past life as she awaits for the ensuing battle.
Nonetheless, the best part of What We Deserve lies not in the interaction among the members of this group, but in the excellent build-up of tension as the hour of the hostage exchange draws nearer. The dialogue between Michonne and Norma as they try to keep everyone calm in order to allow a peaceful negotiation is powerful stuff. I won’t spoil what happens, but it definitely makes up for the downtime leading up to it.
Speaking about the ending, Episode 3’s closure feels like an appropriate finale to the series. It’s true to both the character of Michonne and the events that happened in the previous installments. The 3-episode format fits nicely with the story that’s being told here, and I feel like extending it to reach Telltale’s typical 5 entries would have been a disservice. Characters from the first episode that were missing in the second one do show up here, so that’s always a plus if you were a fan of the boat crew, which you should be, because those guys are awesome.
There are some powerful, poignant moments to be experienced in What We Deserve. Michonne’s tragic past is explored to the full extent, unlike in previous episodes where it was only hinted at. Her relationship with her daughters is a key aspect of her character, and it comes into play in more ways than one, both during the build-up and the actual encounter with Norma. The ending also conveys a sense of grief and loss to the player which helps to connect with Michonne and root for her (if you somehow didn’t already).
Sadly, there is an evident overuse of what I appropriately dubbed the “daughter mechanic”: when Michonne is in danger or is staring at something, there’s a tendency from the developers to suddenly include visions of her daughters everywhere. Sure, it’s fine for it to happen once or twice, which would actually be good for the story, but to see their faces every couple of minutes? That’s just plain repetitive and monotonous. This becomes unbearable on a couple of occasions during the episode, but luckily the daughters are handled convincingly during the final moments of the game, which helps lessen the negativity of their constant show-ups.
Like in virtually every Telltale game to date, there are some technical hiccups to be found here, but they somehow seem worse in this episode than in the previous two. Jarring transitions, framerate drops and light crashes abound, but they never manage to make the game unplayable. They’re there for sure, but you’ll learn to get past them.
Another shortcoming is the episode’s length. While this Michonne miniseries never prided itself on long episodes, the first two were at least 90 minutes long, but this one clocks in at barely over an hour of gameplay. While it never feels totally rushed or incomplete, I feel like the finale could have used some more development time for the secondary characters. This may not be this episode’s fault, since this development could have been implemented in previous entries, but it’s made all the more evident here thanks to the conversations Michonne has with them, mainly Sam’s younger brothers.
All in all, What We Deserve manages to rise above its minor flaws and turns out to be a fitting finale to this 3-episode arc. While it suffers from some of Telltale’s trademark shortcomings like technical hiccups and short length, the excellent build-up of tension and thought-provoking dialogue manage to keep you entertained throughout the whole affair. This is not the best Walking Dead adventure out there, but fans of the developer’s previous work with the franchise will not be disappointed.
This review is based off of a review code of The Walking Dead: Michonne kindly provided by Telltale Games