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The moment that a portion of gamers has been waiting for a while has arrived! Season 2 of the critically accaimed 'Telltale's The Walking Dead' game has arrived. And by season 2 I mean the first episode of season 2. I figured I'd do a small review of the first episode because I'm a fan of the game and the show and the comic books (though I have not read them in a while). The reason I decided to write about this game is because it is in many ways a "TV-show that you play" and that is the kind of game I could see reviewed in a site called TV.com and it helps that there's the moderately popular series called The Walking Dead that is reviewed in this site.

I'll start this by saying that this review is going to include a lot of spoilers from the first season of the game and from the first episode of the second season. You know... Maybe. You've been warned.

To be honest I was really worried for the second season of the game. The first season had its ups (2nd, 4th, 5th episodes), downs (3rd episode.. Which was pretty meh because it had a lot of pacing problems) and okay-moments (1st episode didn't give any indication that "Oh yeah! This'll be the Game of the Year for me! Hooray!".) but ultimately it was my favorite game of the last year and was most likely the most memorable game I had ever played. Story-wise. The gameplay isn't all that thrilling.

The episode starts with the obvious "Previously on Walking Dead..." which summarizes what you did in the first season and then proceeds to show that Clementine did find Omid and Christa... Then the game immediately kills Omid and jumps 16 months forward. After the time leap Clementine gets separated from Christa and has to survive on her own which is hard enough for a grown man or a woman in this bleak world. Fair to say that my "Yeah! Omid and Christa are back!" emotions were short-lived.

After an encounter with a pissed off stray dog (kind of random to be honest..) that bites Clementine, she finds herself in the care of two strangers, Luke and Pete, that take her to their group. Of course the dog bite causes some radical reactions among the members of Luke and Pete's group members. Bordering from the idiotic "This small child will easily overpower a group of six if she turns, we need to kill her now" (I might be paraphrasing) to the not so radical "Our supplies are stretched thin as it is, we can't take care of her".

Obviously they weren't going to kill you in the first episode. They just lock Clementine in the shed with a bite that could get infected, and the infected bite could end up killing her. And as we know, you'd come back no matter the method of dying. So their plan did have some faults, even though it was a logical plan otherwise.

Clementine realizes the urgency of the wound and sneaks out of the shed to steal to required materials to stitch herself (something Christa apparently taught her during the 16-month time-leap. This is actually believable as Christa was the one who encouraged Lee to teach Clementine take care of herself in season one).

And this is where I'm going to leave this review/recap thing.

Some random thoughts:
  • The biggest fear for me about the fact that we'd be stepping in the shoes of the adorable little girl we tried to raise in the first season: how could she make a difference? How would she get her voice heard..? No one's going to take a child seriously in this world
    • The answer was simple: tons of emotional manipulation (there's a part of the game that has a dialogue option "Sad eyes").
    • The cutest little manipulating thing ever!
  • Even though Clementine is pretty badass for her age, she still depends on grown ups a bit and I love it. They didn't go all Arya on Clem and make her an independent badass who needs no one's help.
  • The campfire scene was nice for those who missed Lee and Kenny (I still think he's alive. He had two "death" scenes and neither of them showed him dying). But if you are dumb enough to start at the second season and skip the first, the scene might have been a bit too long.
  • That stitching scene. Oh. My. God... Hearing an 11-year-old screaming in agony is not actually something I want to experience when playing a video game... That being said, it was the best scene of the episode.
  • Carlos' daughter Sarah provides great contrast to Clementine. Carlos is like Lee in many ways, yet very different. Carlos and Lee share the desire to keep their daughters (Clem wasn't Lee's daughter, I know) safe but Carlos wants to keep her daughter's innocence and shields her from the real world.
  • The choices you made in the first season and the DLC 400 Days won't matter that much in this episode (Telltale has said that it was conscious decision to not overwhelm possible new players by consequences of the actions they didn't commit.)
  • The new characters aren't as appealing as the characters from the first season... At least not yet. Though that could be because of the fact that we aren't actually "a part" of the group yet. Alvin, Luke and Carlos seem interesting. And I'd be lying if I didn't feel a small feeling of happiness when I blackmailed the pregnant Rebecca. Seriously... What a douchebag.
  • The QTEs were a nice contrast to the QTEs of the first season. In the first season QTEs were implemented when Lee needed to kill some zombies. As Clementine is a lot smaller the QTEs were basically there to dodge the zombies.

To be honest it didn't completely match my expectations. The lengthy road to the new group made it hard to get to know the group properly (though I believe that will be the focus of the next episode). However it did lay the foundation to what could be a great season. The sheltered Sarah provides great contrast to Clem, the pregnant douchebag Rebecca poses a possible threat, the whipped Alvin can provide a sympathetic character to the mix.

This was an adequate starter episode of the sequel to the award winning first season. I have heard that there are a lot of technical problems on the consoles so I'd have to say that that is a flaw... Even though I played on the PC.

Sorry for the lengthy post. Here's a question poll thing (because I love them... and you should too!)

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