This article has been archived and may have some errors due to a previous design of MGL. None of the review has been altered however. Walking Dead Season 2 is the highly anticipated sequel to the multi-award winning Walking Dead Season 1(often referred to as ‘The Walking Dead Game’). Again developed by one of my favourite game studios Telltale games will the Walking Dead Season 2 be anywhere near as good as the original?
In this review I will be looking at Episodes 1 – 3 and will review episodes 4 and 5 individually as soon as they are released. I will not include any storyline spoilers from season 2 but will be mentioning some locations, new character names and some of the scenes you will have to perform but wont go into any details. There will be spoilers for Season 1.
Before I start the review I have to say; please go out and play Season 1 it is one of the best games I have ever played on and in my opinion is better than both the TV Show and Comic Books. It is available on almost every console and is available for digital download on almost anything. Trust me you won’t regret it.
Look & Feel”]
Look & Feel
Walking Dead Season 2 is by far the best looking Telltale game and they already have some beautiful looking games in their back catalogue. Character design is phenomenal, the high level of detail put into the characters is breathe taking at times. From scratches to the characters faces to their outfits the amount of work put into the design of the game is to the highest standard. Environments are also visually very impressive and lighting effects are again done to perfection.
The variation in locations is also great so far I have been in a Ski Lodge, a forest and an old DIY store. Sound plays a very important part in the Walking Dead games and again this is used effectively with you always listening out for that groan of a walker. The voice casting again is spot on, but we are talking Telltale here and they are normally have one of the best casting teams.
Walking Dead is a beautiful game to play, I highly recommend you treat it like you would the series or a film and play it with the sound up high or if on a portable device like myself; using some high quality headphones. The atmosphere of the series is amazing so turn the sound all the way to 11.
Story & Characters
Season 2 takes place after the events of Season 1, if you have a saved game the events that played out due to your choices will be carried over to this new season. Unfortunately for me I forgot this and having played Season 1 on my PS3 and Season 2 on my iPad so I was unable to continue my story. But luckily Telltale has included a random choice generator for those in my situation. So each time you start a new game things will be different. Some of these things may be minor such as having Clementine casually using curse words or something more serious such as what happened to Lee and the other characters from the previous game.
In Season 2 you play as Clementine, who you were responsible for in Season 1. This is a great move by the developers as fans from the first series have grown to care for Clementine and would go to great lengths to ensure her safety. With gamers already being attached to this character the game does not need to go into her background so you are ready to jump right into the action.
For those of us who played Season 1 you would remember Clementine as the character who could not protect herself and was always frightened and needed your protection. But in Season 2 she is Bad Ass! It is arguably one of the greatest examples of character development I have seen in recent years, where the training that Lee put her through is now being used to full effect. With you killing zombies with ease and Clementine being the most resourceful member of the group, but not only that she out wits and even can blackmail other characters. There is a new character who has been introduced called Sarah who is a couple of years older than Clementine, but her father has sheltered her from the hellish world they now live in. The differences between these two characters are amazing, one is hopeless in this new world and always needs protecting and the other is more independent, is given some major responsibilities and is actually feared by some of the more dangerous characters in this game. The way both of these characters are interacted with by different characters is amazing and is character development at its finest, really hats off to Telltales writers for this it makes a great gaming experience.
Episode 1 tells the gamers what happens to the remaining survivors from the previous season, when Clementine is separated from the group she comes across a new group of survivors who are on the run from a cruel leader (similar to that of the Governor from the TV Series). As Clementine you will have to gain the trust of this new group of survivors. In Episode 2 your new group is on the move, making their way to the rumoured safe zone, this episode is one of the best ever in a Telltale game, a lot of surprises and some really great action scenes. Episode 3 is a lot like Season 3 again with you trying to escape from the cruel leader, Carver. More references to the series and comics are introduced including Herds and using the entrails of a Walker to camouflage yourself. The does cutting of a bite question is again asked, with the end of Season 1 (for us who did decide to saw off our own arm) leaving it open for debate and Lee could have died from blood loss.
The story so far has been very engaging and well balanced, with it focusing on different themes from episode to episode, with it never being boring or unrelated to previous plot points. The only plot hole I have encountered so far is the fate of Christie’s baby. Characters are again memorable, with their own unique personalities some you will love and others you honestly want to die, but just like the previous Walking Dead game EVERYONE is fair game and although they might appear to be essential to the plot Telltale aren’t afraid of killing anyone off at any given time.
Walking Dead Season 2 is very well balanced with its gameplay, plenty of action scenes for those of us who love them, a lot of dialogue choices that effect the games events as well as what was missing from the last Telltale game I played on (Wolf Among Us) more problem solving missions, ranging from finding food, decorating a Christmas tree and finding walking talkies. One scene in particular that both myself and Rossco have played on is very hard to play through, not because it is difficult but due to what you have to do, it is extremely graphic and you control the character doing it step by step, this also happens in Episode 1 and although you knew it was coming, you cannot predict how graphic it will be until you experience it yourself.
Telltale also have expanded on the controls, in previous games you can do most things at a press of a button or a tap on the screen in my case, but not they have added more in depth features when doing certain things such as igniting a lighter, you with have to spark it up then keep your finger on the screen (button) to keep it light and drag or move the lighter to start a fire. Really nice to see they are attempting something new and although the first time you use it, it may come across as gimmicky it is used well in future scenes, such as the graphic scene I mentioned before.
Actions scenes are great, with using a variety of different weapons such as guns and melee objects. Head shots do again count but you may miss if the Walker is not within range and at times taking down a Walker is not as simple is you think due to Clementine’s size. Action scenes are genuinely exciting, with you wanting to keep Clementine safe and making the most simplest of mistakes can result in an instant death. A lot better than The Wolf Among Us and even Walking Dead Season 1.
Like all Telltale games I have played on the choices you make will affect the outcome of the story for better or worse. Each episode takes around 2 hours to play with is a bargain considering it only costs 2.99 on iOS and you can also buy a season pass to save more. I love this game so much I am already on my second play through preparing myself for the final two episodes I have chosen to go for opposite route throughout. One where I have to admit I have made Clementine a little bit of a psycho and the other where I am still trying to keep Clementine to be a good person. There is plenty of replay value and the storyline is so good it will make you want to play this game again and again.
Season 1 was excellent but so far Season 2 (episode 1 – 3) has been the best in my opinion that Telltale have ever made. Episode 2 in particular is such a great episode, with some major moral choices and some surprises for fans of the first season.
I really loved this game and although I do own it on iOS I will also try and get it for PS4 when it is ported over. This game is a must buy and with it being available on almost any gaming device you have no excuse not to atleast give it ago.