The Walking Dead: Michonne lets you explore and develop new sides to a fan favorite character
Shouting at the television screen in frustration is a common occurrence in my household, particularly whenever The Walking Dead is on. All too often, a character does something stupid, implausible or downright annoying, leaving me with my head in my hands as I wonder how the writers could have thought that was a good idea for the direction of the character. The Walking Dead: Michonne, however, serves as an exercise in creative indulgence, providing me the reigns to the behavior and personality of an already well-established character.
In the show, Michonne is typically the stoic, silent bad-ass of the group, though she’s been more personable in recent seasons. This kind of archetype has started to wear a little thin on me, and so I never really took much of a liking to Michonne upon her introduction to the show. Conversely, The Walking Dead: Michonne allowed me the opportunity to personify the character on my own terms.
With every conversation option, I was able to explore sides to Michonne that I had rarely seen in her televisual adaptation, though you can still stay true to the show by choosing the silent option in each scenario. Throughout Episode 1 of the three-part miniseries, I was able to make jokes, admit vulnerability, and assert threats, progressively tailoring my own take on a character I was already familiar with.
While there are plenty of games out there which offer choice and the ability to apply their own take on a character, few of these have been games based on already licensed properties. It’s a risky line to walk from a development perspective, as you have to allow player freedom whilst also ensuring the character in question isn’t going to become a completely different creation in the process.
I didn’t feel like I changed who Michonne was and has been in the TV show, but rather I was able to reveal some of her nuances and unexplored characteristics. It felt like a natural and evolutionary development of who she has always been; which is a testament to the talent of Telltale in being able to pull this off.
That said, one aspect of Michonne that is doubled down on in the game is her pure bad-assery. The combat in The Walking Dead: Michonne feels a lot more impactful and fluid than previous installments, with slow-motion finishers and Tarantino-esque camera angles employed as Michonne slices and dices her way through the undead hordes. It was one of the few times I actually enjoyed the quick-time events of a Telltale game, and I’m looking forward to taking on the undead as Michonne in later episodes.
The Walking Dead: Michonne miniseries will feature just three episodes, but I’m already excited to see what the studio plans to do with the character from here on out. The Michonne you play as is in a pre-Rick timeline, but – thanks to Telltale’s gracious application of a choice based narrative – I’m already more involved with this version of the character than the one we see on TV once a week.