Telltale’s The Walking Dead series debuted quietly in 2012 as an original adventure game taking place within The Walking Dead universe from the fantastic graphic novel series. It certainly did not leave 2012 quietly. The game went on to become one of many outlets’ and gamers’ games of the year in a year filled with fantastic products. Telltale used fantastic writing, acting, and storytelling to create a world and characters that gamers latched on to and needed more of. Clementine became a fan-favorite and the game went on to become an all-time best seller on multiple platforms. After the success it was inevitable that a season 2 was coming, and it was inevitable that people would wonder if Telltale could capture the same magic again. After playing through episode 1 of season 2 it’s easy to see that some of the same magic is there, even if it’s a bit of a slow start.
The gameplay in the new season is similar (as assumed) to season 1. The player still has some free control over Clementine in different areas and uses the face buttons to do actions and use objects as they come up within the story. There have been some tweaks to make the controls work a bit better including making the area around actions bigger as to help players not miss actions in intense situations. Other than that the gameplay is the same, for better or worse. It would be nice to see some more depth added in, but with Walking Dead being an adventure, point and click, style game it’s acceptable. The only negatives I ran into are things still present from season 1, which is super frustrating. The framerate dips quite a bit in numerous places, graphics still look a bit muddy, and the game hitches up during many cutscenes and intros. Hopefully the inevitable next generation versions fix these issues.
As for the meat of these games, the story, it doesn’t disappoint although it does start slow. I won’t spoil too much of season 1 here, but as it ended we were left with Clementine on her own. Episode 1 of season 2 is subtitled “All That Remains” and this is suiting as we follow Clementine as she attempts to act beyond her years and deal with the multiple losses she has incurred. As the episode begins we see that she has regrouped with Omid and Christa. The group is still surviving in the wild and this is where the game opens. Telltale isn’t afraid to throw gut checks right away, however, and thus begins the internal torment the studio and its writers are so good at making fans feel. The game traverses from scene to scene introducing brand new characters and throwing twists and hard decisions left and right. It’s the same old formula fans know and love from season 1. If you enjoyed season 1 there’s no reason for you to bail now, season 2 shows hints of being just as good.
Telltale’s The Walking Dead season 2 may start slow after the roller coaster ride that season 1 ended on, but this is acceptable given it needs to re-introduce us to the world and build the new set of characters Clementine will be involved with. The gameplay still is solid, and the technical issues unfortunately still present. All-in-all the first episode is very solid and feels like the studio is picking up right where the last season left off. If you love Clementine as much as most, and love the games, you won’t want to miss the opening episode to what promises to be another fantastic season of The Walking Dead.