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Walking Dead: The Game - Season 2 Review

By , on December 19, 2013
Last modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago


Walking Dead: The Game - Season 2
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5

PROS

  • The drama is still driven by character conflict rather than violence.
  • Let's you feel Clementine's gradual empowerment directly.
  • The unremittingly bleak tone is back in spades.
  • Voice work and script remain solid.

CONS

  • Some graphical issues when playing on lower-end devices.
  • Episode feels particularly short.

VERDICT

Though this first chapter feels particularly short, the emotional conflict which resonated throughout season one of The Wallking Dead is definitely back in season two. A promising start.


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The first episode of The Walking Dead: Season 2 pulls no punches. If you hoped there would be any light at the end of season one's dark and mouldering tunnel, then this short, sharp establishing act will brutally bash those hopes to death with a bloody rock.

After former protagonist Lee's unfortunate exit from the series, his once ward Clementine has become something of a lone wolf. In this new episode, you control Clementine directly, helping her face everything from imminent starvation to violent zombie encounters.

It isn't long before Clem has to deal with other survivors. As before, the game throws conversations with multiple choice responses at you, and employs a timer to pressure you into an answer. The moral fog which defines the series is still pervasive, and very often well-intentioned actions can lead to devastating consequences.

The episode's strongest moments highlight the inherent cruelty of the game's walker-infested world. An act of compassion can just as easily lead to disaster as to reward, almost all decisions leave you with a lingering unease or sense of guilt.

Telltale's decision to make Clem the star of the show is something of a no brainer, given her popularity with fans. It also gives us a chance to feel her character's gradual empowerment as she puts the lessons she has learned in previous episodes to use. However, you do feel the absence - perhaps deliberately - of the bond that has developed between Lee and Clem, a relationship that helped make the first series so successful.

The iOS build handles fairly well. The drag-to-move controls are responsive, and tapping to interact with hotspots is reliable and intuitive. Combat, which was never the strongest arrow in the game's quiver, still comes down to a series of quicktime events. Unfortunately, we encountered a couple of glitches such as arrows not appearing when playing on lower-end devices. Though these intermittent scuffles do raise the heart rate, they never come close to generating the anxiety you feel when trying to select the perfect response during conversation.

It's difficult to pass judgement on the new series based on a single chapter, especially as that chapter feels particularly short. However, the emotional conflict which resonated with gamers first time around is definitely back in season two. It's certainly a promising start, and a journey we look forward to continuing.

Screenshots

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