The calm before the storm.

After the excellent second episode this one let me down a bit (click here for full review of episode two).

It was still enjoyable but I didn’t have as much fun. A large part of it is due to the writing and how well it works (oddly enough). I spent last episode kicking down doors and being a dick where this episode I wanted to keep going but couldn’t. I wanted to give certain characters some real shit but found myself backing off because I cared. It sounds lame but I’ve connected with these goofs. They work the rich vs. poor schtick here pretty well and even though I should be doing more drastic measures just to see what the game has in store, I just can’t do it to these people. Trolls? Fables. Whatever.

It’s great that the writing is so well done that I am now invested in these characters but it seems to tease you the entire episode. You see more of Bluebeard but not enough, you meet a new character but nothing really important happens. You talk to some old people but that too is cut short and doesn’t have any real meat to it. It’s a episode full of little moments that would be a welcome addition to a more packed episode but here it just feels weak.

Oh I just can’t stay mad at you!

The choices here do seem to play a larger part in this episode. Not that I believe it changes anything, but thinking back I feel choosing differently could have made things a bit more interesting. It was a very bland episode, I’m sure I could list out all of the plot points going on in this episode and I would be impressive but playing the game I felt like I was just going through the motions. Nothing was very exciting (save for the ending) and it leaned too heavily on the investigation aspect of the game to the detriment of my enjoyment. Last episode I was all in on the experience were this one I was just showing up. You find some stuff and look for some other things but it all feels like busywork.

It was a another short one. Can you really give a game crap for being as long as every other game Telltale puts out? At this point if you don’t know going in that you are paying for two hours of enjoyment you just aren’t playing attention. The loading, stutters, and stammers are all still here but again it’s part of the Telltale package at this point.

Next episode is going to be so good!

Writing this I’m struggling to recall exactly what happened this episode. The ending was exciting and sets the tone for what should be an awesome few episodes but other than some general meandering nothing really happens. It’s exactly like an episode of your favourite tv show mid-season. A calmer episode to keep things even after a big start and a (hopefully) bigger ending. This has been going on forever but in a videogame you expect more. I don’t really like paying for “filler” and I can’t really see how most of this couldn’t have been added to either the episode before or after to help beef it up a bit.

If you’ve come this far there is no reason to stop. I had fun, I guess that’s the entire point of a game, but it all felt so hollow. I’m connecting with the world and its inhabitants in a real way but things just didn’t click for me as much as they did last episode. Some of that could be attributed to the choices I made but I don’t see much of a reward for trying things another way. Take it for what it is, a good but not great episode.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆