At this point, who hasn’t heard of The Walking Dead? It’s a huge series of comics, television, and video games. Last year, Telltale Games produced a hit series of episodic content telling the story of Lee and Clementine as they survive the dangerous world of a zombie infested Georgia. It was a very good story with twists and tragic turns that tailored itself to the choices the players made. Well, Clem is back in Season Two as she struggles to survive once again in the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead.
For those that haven’t played the first season, I’m giving a fair warning now; this review will spoil the ending to the first season.
After the events of the first season, with Lee dead, Clementine is on her own, but not for very long. If players remember correctly, she saw two figures in the distance right before the credits rolled in the last season. Well, come to find out, it was her fellow survivors Omid and Christa. The story opens up several months afterwards with Clem, Omid, and a now pregnant Christa surviving on their own.
That is as far as I will go in describing the story. Within the first five minutes of the game, things start to go downhill majorly and that would be big spoilers. Needless to say, Clem is in for one hell of a ride from the very beginning.
The storytelling is still some of the best I have seen in recent memory. I felt for the characters in both good and bad ways. If there was a character I liked, I genuinely liked them and if there was a character I hated, I really hated them. The great thing about how Telltale handles these feelings is allowing me to respond accordingly. If someone threatened Clem, I would have her push back. Clem is more hardened and tougher in season two. She has lost much of her innocence and now has to take care of herself. I played that role accordingly. Of course, the player can choose how they want to play/respond. This is still a very choice driven game.
Just like the first season, the choices I made carry over from episode to episode. This includes everything I did in season one. It made good on every decision I had chosen and incorporated it into season two.
There are a few choices I made during the first episode that were obviously going to hold weight on the rest of the season, and as usual, the end of the episode had me make a split choice that will more than likely effect the rest of the series. It’s all done very well in Telltale fashion.
Unfortunately, while the story telling is fantastic, the game play and stability of the first episode is a major let down. I have had multiple experiences with Telltale games and usually they are marred with a few glitches here and there, but in the case of episode one, I had some rather frustrating things happen while playing. Twice during dialog choices the options for response didn’t even pop up so I ended up remaining silent when I didn’t want to. There were also some rather big graphical glitches that occurred during some transition cut scenes. That wasn’t game breaking, but when the game revolves around what Clem responds with and those options don’t show up, that is very frustrating.
It feels like the game lacks the polish of the previous season and the highly acclaimed The Wolf Among Us. Hopefully this will be alleviated in the upcoming episodes. It lasts around an hour and a half and has some decent moments of tension and decision making.
The first episode spends a good amount of time establishing new characters and opening up issues and storylines for them. This may come off a little dull for the start of the series but it has to be done. I’m sure the next episode will dive right into the story at hand and the cliffhanger that I was left with at the end still made me want to play the next episode.
It may not be the best episode of The Walking Dead, but it still has some good moments in it. Hopefully the glitches will be worked on and the setups established will have some payoffs. If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead and enjoyed what you played of the first season, chances are you need to pick this episode up. Just keep in mind; it may not be as polished as the previous outings.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.