“She’ll die a little girl if you treat her like one. You gotta consider her a living person. That’s it. You’re either living or you’re not. You ain’t little, you ain’t a girl, you ain’t a boy, you ain’t strong or smart. You’re alive.” – Chuck, The Walking Dead: Season One
It has been one year since we journeyed with loveable Lee and Clementine on an emotional rollercoaster, one that left you crying, mesmerised and touched. The writers and developers of The Walking Dead by Telltale Games didn’t just create a game, they created a masterpiece, one filled with believable characters who you cared for and one of the best narratives I had the pleasure experiencing.
And then it ended. Lee’s fate was set and had to be accepted. He cared and protected Clementine and taught her how to survive in a world filled with darkness and the dead. But what about Clementine? Well, her fate was unknown until now because finally, it’s here, The Walking Dead: Season Two.
Before the game starts, flashbacks of your previous gameplay are shown, along with the tough choices you had to make and the ending with your heartbreaking last goodbyes, so make sure you have your gameplay from Season One saved — including 400 Days — otherwise your choices from the previous games will automatically be generated in Season Two. It isn’t entirely necessary to have your save files, but it is recommended as your decisions have an impact on Season Two. For more information about this, be sure to check out Telltale’s frequently asked questions about Season Two.
Clementine and her famous badass baseball cap are back in Episode One: All That Remains. The first episode begins with Clem walking with returnees Omid and Christa — Christa, who is now months into her pregnancy which was hinted then confirmed in Season One. Within the first ten minutes, tension and suspense already come into play, leaving you trapped in a difficult situation.
Sixteen months will pass and Clementine’s maturity has further developed. You will notice her voice has slightly changed and she is stronger and much more aware of things, such as picking up on someone’s emotions and being aware of what is happening around her.
Even though she is ten years old, learning the key elements of survival, losing innocence and gaining independence is crucial, especially living and growing up in an apocalyptic world filled with death and chaos, and during Episode One, we watch, survive and grow with Clementine — similar to Lara Croft in this year’s Tomb Raider.
But if there’s one main factor to learn throughout ‘All That Remains’, it’s that if there is one thing to fear more than the dead, it’s the living.
Meet two of The Walking Dead’s newest characters, Luke and Pete, my new favourite characters. Without giving too much away, Clementine will meet Luke and Pete in the forest and they then bring you to their group. It’s not certain yet, but I have the feeling Luke will possibly be the next central character during the series, similar to Lee in terms of caring and looking after her.
In the introduced group you will meet Nick, Pete’s niece who doesn’t trust you; Rebecca, a pregnant woman who doesn’t like you; Alvin, Rebecca’s husband; Carlos, a protective father and doctor; and Sarah, Carlos’s innocent-minded daughter.
Throughout the game, certain characters will mention a man named Carver; a man who was once part of their group who they are afraid of. It’s unknown who Carver is for the time being, but it seems certain that he is bad news and possible he could be a main villain throughout the series.
Just like Season One, the characters are believable, have great dialogue and you will find yourself liking some new characters and hating others. Toward the end, you will learn things about each person in the group and draw your own conclusions and suspicions. Whether you trust them or not is up to you, and the ending is one that will leave you on edge, leaving you choosing.
The gameplay itself has definitely improved, along with the graphics. It still has a comical ‘feel’ to it, but the textures are a lot clearer and sharper. The controls are smooth and pretty much the same, although there a few new features, such as using the lighter, stitching your wound — ouch! — and eavesdropping in on conversations, that have been added to the game.
The main menu now includes a new ‘My Choices’ section which shows the core decisions you made during your gameplay, and like the first season, there are five episodes — ‘All That Remains’, ‘A House Divided’, ‘In Harm’s Way’, ‘Amid the Ruins’ and ‘No Going Back’. By observing the images for each episode, it looks as though Clementine will remain with the new group to episode three where it looks as though she might have to deliver Rebecca’s baby in ‘In Harm’s Way’.
What about decisions? Did some of the choices I made in Season One have any affect in the first episode? Yes. As mentioned earlier, your decisions do have an impact on certain things. Through my gameplay, Clementine mentions Lee to Luke and tells him the advice Lee gave to her, which in my case was for her to stay away from cities. I also noticed in other peoples’ playthroughs Clementine will say the word ‘shit’ instead of ‘shoot’ if Lee swore around her. They aren’t anything major — for now anyway — but I found it interesting.
As for 400 Days, none of the main characters are seen in Episode One, however, at the end, you will notice bodies scattered around a lake and one of them you need to look at is wearing a black leather jacket with ‘Plastic Toys’ written at the back. If you played 400 Days you will realise it is Roman from Shel’s story. It’s little things like that you need to keep an eye out for.
Episode One did not disappoint. It was intense, emotional and at one point, cringe worthy, and it’s fair to say that just when you think things couldn’t get any worse for poor Clementine, they do.
Overall, The Walking Dead: Season Two definitely looks promising. It’s still a little too early to say, but if Season Two will be anything like Season One when it comes to twists and turns, tough decision making and strong narrative, I have no doubt it will sweep game of the year lists once again. And if Season Two does include the characters from 400 Days, and if the major decisions we made in Season One come into play, Season Two will take a turn for the even better.
The Walking Dead: Season Two can be bought on Steam, PSN, Xbox Live, iOS App Store, or through the Telltale Games website.
Platforms: PC/ Mac OS X/ PS3/ Xbox 360/ iOSDeveloper: Telltale Games Publisher: Telltale Games Rating: M (ESRB) Review code provided by Telltale Games