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October 24, 2012

The Walking Dead: Episode Four Areas of Concern


What's poppin', players? Hawke here with the penultimate game in The Walking Dead season of video games.


Kyle: And I'll just take a backseat so that he can yammer on.

Violet is for Hawke, Green is for Kyle.



NOTES ON REVIEWING STYLE: The level of intensity in the moments listed in the three Prime categories, (Violence, Sex/Nudity and Spiritual Content) are marked by the three descriptors below.
--Blue is for mild content.

In Violence, this is only slightly graphic, and not really focused on and/or far removed from reality.

In Sex/Nudity, this is mostly things that aren't sexual or are so in a less overt way.

In Spiritual Content, this is only a slight reference to Spiritual things.

--Yellow is for moderate content. 

In Violence, this may have some gore, blood, or intense injuries, but it doesn't carry on for long, and/or it's not that graphic, or if it is graphic, it isn't focused on.

In Sex/Nudity, this may have some IMPLIED sex, innuendos, references, revealing clothing, and/or partial nudity counts as yellow if it's not prolonged.

In Spiritual Content, this may have references to other religions or false beliefs, but it doesn't show you the prayers or does not dwell upon it. 

--Red is for graphic content.

In Violence, this contains a lot of gore, blood and/or torture, and it's dwelled upon or extremely detailed. This also includes sadistic acts if the player engages in them.

In Sex/Nudity, this contains actual sex, nudity, prolonged partial nudity in a sexual context, especially if it's made to be tittilating, and/or graphic verbal references. Rest assured, Red content in this area does not get a pass very often.

In Spiritual Content, this contains prayers to false gods or gods of other religions, witchcraft, casting of spells, practices that have very occult roots, and of course, Satanism, which instantly gets a ban in any case. 


Bite-Sized Review:

Strong Brief Gory Violence: The violence is not the focus this time around, although stuff like zombies getting smashed, stabbed, bludgeoned and shot are seen.

Some more gruesome moments are a zombie kid getting killed, a woman getting disemboweled by zombies, some unsettling death scenes, and the zombies themselves look rather gross.

Mild Sexual References: A woman mentions she's pregnant, they discuss "terminating" the pregnancy, which she refuses, and a woman is implied to be sleeping with a man in exchange for medicine.

Frequent Strong Language: Uses of F**k, with it's variants (Motherf****r) S**t, D**n, H**l, A*s, A****le, B***h, B**t**d, and P**s.

God and Jesus' name are used in vain infrequently.


Mild Spiritual Content: A few symbols are seen, and a man mentions he's a Christian.

Brief Moderate Alcohol Usage: A man tries to get drunk off of whiskey in one scene.

Overall: Very Graphic, although Brief.


Areas of Concern:

Storyline Violence:

--Flashbacks are seen to previous instalments, showing the violent moments. 

--A crowd of walkers (Zombies) swarm towards your character and his allies. A few of them are shot, with blood spraying. A man hits a few of them with a spade shovel, with blood spraying.


--A man trips over a walker, which then grabs him by the leg. The walker is shot in the head, with blood spraying.


--A bunch of walkers swarm towards a man and girl. You shoot the walkers, with blood spraying.


--A walker is hit in the side of the head with a spade shovel, and is then stabbed with it in the chest, with blood spurting.


The man keeps on hitting a few Walkers with the shovel.

--A decomposing dead dog with pink flesh exposed, is seen. A man tries to remove it's collar, and the head falls off with a squish. 

--A painting of a guy getting his head cut off, is seen. 

--A skinny zombie kid who looks like he died of malnutrition, is seen trying to get up, and falls over.


You have to kill him;


You can stomp on him; your character just pushes his foot down on his face, a squish is heard, and his face is seen getting flattened. Blood is seen leaking out afterwards.

You can hit him with a wrench; blood sprays, and he just slumps over, dead. Blood stains the ground beneath him.


Afterwards, you pick him up, and go bury him.


--A bunch of Walkers are seen impaled on pikes. They writhe and growl at you. Beneath them appears to be a whole pile of dead bodies/body parts, with a large blood pool on the floor.


--A woman grabs a wrench from a man, and tries to hit him with it. The man dodges, smacking the woman. He punches her again, knocking her on the ground. He then points a gun to her head.

--A man is kicked over onto the ground by a woman, who nearly stabs him with an ice pick.

--A few people are chased by walkers. A man is cornered by a bunch of them. 

--A walker falls down a manhole onto the ground. You hear the thud, and see the body with blood stains on the floor and blood pooling around the head. 

--A few dead rats with blood on them, are seen.

--A few walkers are seen eating somebody. This is not shown in detail, however.

--Afterwards, his remains are shown, with intestines spilling out of his stomach, and blood on him. 

--You sneak up on a walker, but another walker grabs your foot through the railing below. The walker you tried to sneak up on starts walking towards you.

You can try to shoot the Walker holding you; blood sprays, but it does nothing. You can then pry it's hands loose with an ice pick; a tear is heard, and the Walker releases you.

You then turn your attention to the walker strolling towards you. You can shoot it; a bit of blood is seen, and it falls over.

--A man points a gun and threatens to shoot your character.

--Your character stabs a walker in the face with an axe. Blood sprays out.

--Blood is seen staining the walls, doors, and floors of a school. 

--A walker falls from a roof, and hits the ground with blood spraying. 

A woman walks over to him, and starts kicking him. She then stabs him a with a ice pick multiple times. 

--A woman kicks a walker. 

--A bunch of walkers come at you, and you try to push a door closed against them. One's head is caught in the middle of the two doors; you slam it against him, and then shoot him in the face, with blood seen.

--You have to shoot a bunch of Walkers; blood sprays, and they collapse.

--A walker suddenly grabs you, and you fend him off. He falls against a shelf, and a heavy object falls on his head, with blood spraying.

--A walker crawls on the floor, leaving a trail of blood. You stomp on his head; you see blood spraying, and his jaw falls off.

--A man is stabbed in the rib with a sharp object; you see blood spraying, and he screams. He collapses after a while.

--A woman stabs a few walkers through the face with an ice pick, and slashes one's throat, stabs one in the head, and a walker grabs her and you have to shoot him, with blood spraying, of course.

--A woman is bit in the shoulder and leg by a walker, with blood squirting and staining her clothes. One grabs her head, and bites her stomach, blood spraying and an intestine is seen getting pulled out. This all happens quickly.

--A man sees a dead guy with a bit of blood on him, and grabs a gun from him.

--You shoot a few walkers, with blood squirting and they fall over. A woman shoots a few them as well. You then pull out a hatchet, and chop a few of them, with blood spurting and the walkers falling over/being thrown over the railing by you. 

You kick one walker over, and stab one in the skull, who you throw over the railing and shoot when he hangs onto your gun.

--A walker grabs a man, and you have to shoot the walker, who falls and pulls the man off a ledge, which he hangs from. You can help him up afterwards.

If you don't shoot the walker, the man and the walker end up falling, screaming being heard from the man. 

The man lies on the ground afterwards, and he is eaten by walkers with blood spurting and he screams. This is seen from a distance. 

--A walker jumps out at you; you smack him against a wall, with blood squirting. You then stomp him in the face, with blood spurting and a crack being heard.

--A man sees bloody scratches on his arm, and some blood on a baseball cap. 

--In one room, there is blood on the walls and the floor. 


Player Deaths:

--If you fail to shoot a group of walkers, one grabs you, bites you in the neck with blood squirting, and both of you fall over as your character is heard screaming.

This happens a few more times in the game if you fail to fend off walkers.

--If you fail at getting away from a few walkers, one grabs your character, bites him in the neck with blood, and the pack of walkers swarm over him.

--If you walk into a bunch of a walkers, one bites you in the neck and digs his fist into your stomach with blood shown, and a whole group of walkers come over and feast on your character, but this is obscured.

--If you fail to get away from another walker, it bites your chest, and your character yells. 

--If you fail to negotiate with a man, he shoots you in the head, with blood spraying and staining the wall behind, and your character's face.

--If you fail at killing another walker, he bites you in the neck, and digs his hand into your stomach, and pulls an intestine out, which he then snacks on. Blood is seen throughout.

This is seen happening again at a later point if you fail.

--If you act too slow at one part, a walker bites a woman in the neck, and another walker bites you in the neck, with blood spurting out. 

--If you fail at escaping, walkers grab your character and eat him off-screen, with screams heard. 

--If you fail at jumping over onto another building, your character hits the ground with blood spraying from his legs, and a crack being heard. Blood leaks out on the floor afterwards. 

--If you fail at fending off walkers, your character is seen getting killed by a walker who digs his hand into your stomach, and a bloody hole is seen in your abdomen. 

Sex/Nudity:


--A woman is mentioned to be pregnant, and that "termination" is mandatory. (Most likely referring to abortion.)

--A man is seen zipping up his pants in a video, and he speaks to a woman afterwards. Light implication that something else happened.

Language:

Uses of F**k, with it's variants (Motherf****r) S**t, D**n, H**l, A*s, A****le, B***h, B**t**d, and P**s.

God and Jesus' name are used in vain.


Spiritual Content:

--A woman mentions killings that happened. A man uses Jesus' name in vain, to which she replies: "Well, just the opposite took place when you think about it."

--The symbol of the heart is seen. If you don't know what's wrong with that, the heart symbol is sexual in nature. (Because it's a symbol, it's in this category instead of the Sex/Nudity one.)

--A man is seen with the symbol of the skull on the back of his jacket.

--A man mentions that he's a Christian.

Drug References/Usage: Nothing.

Alcohol References/Usage:

--A bottle of whiskey is seen. A man is later seen taking a swig, trying to get drunk.

Tobacco Usage: Nothing.

Gross Stuff/Gore:

--The Walkers (Zombies) are dead humans, who had a virus take over their brain.

Their flesh are decaying, their eyes white, and they are bloodied too. Some of them have chunks of flesh and limbs missing.

--A woman throws up, with the yellow sauces and everything seen.

Scary Stuff:

--A few times walkers are seen jumping out at you, but nothing is really that bad.

--The game does have a very 'brooding' feel to it, which is unsettling. 

Positive Content:

You can make selfless decisions, and put a spade in your pants' pocket.

Other than that, nothing much. 

Morality:

The morality is so-so, because people have to make hard decisions under pressure, and understandably make mistakes.

Areas of Concern:

The fourth instalment in the Walking Dead season of video games contains mostly character moments, and not much action.

Not that that's a bad thing, but this episode seems to only exist in order to fill the gap between Episode 3 and 5.

I won't spoil anything, (If we approve the whole series in our big review and you buy it.) so I will just say that the ending does a good job of setting up what seems to be a devastating ending.

Here's to Episode 5!

 
Violent, and filled with strong language, Episode 4 thankfully doesn't get too gory, though we'll have to watch the next Episode before we can recommend this game.

Content Verdict: Strong Caution

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