More than a year has passed since we were left crying into our controllers at the close of the first season of Telltale Games adaptation of The Walking Dead, and things are certainly different, both in and for the game in this second year. After the runaway success of the first season, Telltale have a big act to follow as well as a dedicated fanbase that they can’t let down. Thankfully with this first episode, titled All That Remains, they show no sign of dropping the ball.
Whereas before you took on the role of Lee, Clementine’s protector, this time around players are in control of Clementine herself. Far from just being a simple change of character, playing as a young girl dramatically yet subtly changes everything about the game; the choices you’ll have to make, the way in which you get yourself out of sticky situations (running away, mostly) and the way other characters react to you. Having played in this arena before, Telltale can really hit the ground running; everything is bleak and horrible in this world and you have to make hard decisions to survive.
Happily though, Clementine of Season 2 is more grown up and well versed in the post-zombie world and the conversation choices (and the stellar voice acting) reflect this. And while the game plays more or less the same as before, searching the scenery for the items that will trigger the next bit of the plot – its interactive storytelling rather than a game in the strictest sense – choice is still the selling point of the game. Do you choose to play the little girl card to get what you want, or do you go a bit harder edged and demand it? There are a lot of “_____ will remember this” notifications which, as we know from Season 1, will have ramifications later on. Every choice is a hard one.
The action sequences have been improved a little from the experiments in season one. You’ll still button mash A at certain points, but there are moments where you’re being chased and have to follow the on screen prompts (the dreaded Quicktime Events) to avoid certain death. They’re nothing spectacular but they keep the pace up, especially because after becoming so attached to Clementine as her protector last time, you literally don’t want anything to happen to her when you’re controlling her. A very savvy move on Telltale’s part.
If there’s a criticism it’s that this first episode is very much a stepping on point for new players, a soft reintroduction into this world for veteran players and a set-up episode for the rest of the season. Nothing huge has happened yet (though it no doubt will soon) although the seeds have been sown for what’s shaping up to be a very interesting season full of the drama and compelling characters that the first season was so praised for.
4 nerds out of 5.
Based on the Xbox 360 Version