A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Walking Dead: Michonne is a downloadable episodic adventure game, spun off from the popular The Walking Dead comic book series. The game features intense scenes of violence, with characters killing zombies via hacking, slashing, and various forms of dismemberment. There's also violence against other humans, including scenes of people getting shot and even a potential suicide attempt by the main character. It's important to note that many of these are the result of active decisions based on the choices of the player. There's also frequent use of profanity throughout in the dialogue and some situations and dialogue with sexual overtones. Gameplay is also based on exploration of and reactions to on-screen prompts, and for the most part, players have lots of time to respond during action sequences.
What's it about?
THE WALKING DEAD: MICHONNE is a three-part adventure, focusing the spotlight on the series' katana-wielding, zombie-slaying butt-kicker, Michonne. The game fills in the gap from the comic book series, when Michonne walked away from Rick Grimes and his group of survivors to deal with the ghosts of her past. Pushed to the brink and tormented by her inner demons, Michonne is ready to give up on life when she's discovered by a new group of survivors. Over the course of the story, players will learn more about the mysterious heroine, the emotional reasons she left Rick and his crew behind, and, ultimately, what led her back to her surrogate family.
Is it any good?
One thing Telltale's episodic games are best known for is their stories. It's never about having the fastest reflexes or even a keen sense of deduction. It's about making tough choices and seeing the consequences of those decisions play out in a deeply involved plot. In The Walking Dead: Michonne, that formula ends up being a double-edged sword. For fans of The Walking Dead, it's a unique opportunity to explore one of the series' most popular characters, learning more about her history, filling in some gaps from the comics, and seeing her interact in a new setting with new characters.
Michonne is a strong character, and it's great to see her take the spotlight for a while. The problem is that this particular Telltale game series is only three episodes long. Plus, unlike in previous games, fans already know that Michonne will end up returning to her original group at the end. Knowing this, you never feel any attachment to any of the other characters, and it ends up taking a lot of weight out of the decisions you make. That's not to say The Walking Dead: Michonne is a bad story; it's just hard to get invested in something that feels like little more than filler.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games. How acceptable is the violence in this game considering that this is based on a graphic novel that's very brutal in showing people getting killed by the undead? Is it OK because this situation is blatantly unrealistic?
Talk about decision-making. What are important things to consider when facing difficult decisions? What are the consequences of not thinking things through?
Discuss disaster preparedness. While a zombie outbreak is unlikely, what are some disasters that could happen, and what plans should the family have to in place to deal with them?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Price: $14.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Telltale Games
- Release date: February 23, 2016
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Sexual Themes, Strong Language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.