The Walking Dead: A House Divided Review

In the End, it’s Your Choices that Matter

Playstation 3 | Telltale | March 4, 2014
Also Available on PC, Xbox 360 and iOS

Walking Dead ZombieTelltale consistently crafts a robust, compelling story in The Walking Dead series, where players choose dialogue paths that ultimately end in the same place. This is true for A House Divided, but the arc and variety included are wildly different than ever before. Clementine’s decisions will cause companions to die, trust to be earned and relationships damaged. Depending on how gamers completed sections entirely different scenes are made available. The options are more complex than “Bob will be in this scene instead of Fred.” This is the most ambitious and character driven episode yet. In the first season of Walking Dead, Lee and company were going to Savannah, for the most part each episode felt like a self contained adventure with this end-goal in mind (which they was based on a flimsy premise). In season two, Telltale elevated their game (unintentional pun) and is crafting an episodic series with a truly integrated approach. The threat of Carver and the new group’s lack of trust are carried over from episode one and will continue play a part of the story moving forward. Everyone’s motivations are clear and their distinct personalities are displayed in movements, expressions and voice acting, even if every little bit of their past lives isn’t provided.

Clementine, and the player, may or may not trust this new group. This is the first time that the party is made up of shady and potentially dangerous individuals. There are allusions that the reason they are on the run might not be honorable. This comes across perfectly when Clem is training someone to defend themselves, “If it’s a walker shoot them in the head. if they’re alive keep shooting until they go down.” Walkers are a force of nature that can be predicted, overcome and defeated. It’s the other survivors that are the true threat in this world.

One of the gameplay element’s that leaves an impact is how Clementine evolves throughout the series. In season one she was an innocent girl who looked up to the player controlled, Lee. You spent five episodes protecting, training and bonding with her. Now as you control Clem, she has gone through a lot and is no longer innocent. Because of the choices available, players can have Clem be snarky, mean and underhanded. This isn’t the same girl hiding in a treehouse.

Walking Dead Clem

If you remember the above reference then this game will feel right at home. This is the first installment that truly dives into past episodes. There are nods to the 400 days material, which bridged seasons one and two, as well as Clem’s adventures in Atlanta. Traveling companions will ask Clem about how she survived and her life on the road with Lee. It is obvious the Lee left a lasting memory on Clementine and it’s tragically great to see his absence felt in her current survival.

Surviving battles and interactive quick time events are where this game stumbles slightly. The controls are serviceable and don’t require expert timing, but the game literally tells you what to do in each situation. A cutscene of the same events would work just as well in these sequences. If you fail, it’s game over and try again. At one point, I didn’t catch the transition from story to ‘battle’ and missed a cue. The game proceeded to load data faster than it displayed on the screen. Only through memorizing the general location of where the cursor needed to be and mashing R1 did I progress on my fourth attempt.

A House Divided is the best episode that Telltale delivered to date. The characters are established and able to grow within the story. The episode is a compelling adventure that will cause tension within you and fits seamlessly into a large narrative for the season. There is a good mixture of action, character growth and humanized moments.


Score: 9.5 /10

+ Amazing Voice Acting
+ Intense Story
+ Multilayered Characters
+ Fleshed Out World
+ Clear Purpose
– Combat


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