Does it pick up after a rather uninspiring first episode?
Now this is what I’m talking about. I didn’t much care for the first episode, I didn’t connect with anyone and it just felt like a half-assed effort. The hope was that it was there to lay the groundwork for future episodes. I wasn’t too excited when I heard the next episode was out, I was going to blow it off for a while.
I’m glad I didn’t.
This is the old Walking Dead. A nice blend of action and dialogue, neither gets short changed or drags on for too long. The action was simple but thrilling, there is one part in particulate that was really well done. Sometimes I find the Telltale games can be too quick with the action (The first episode of The Wolf Among Us for example) but here it was just about right. The dialogue choices are well done once again, almost every conversation had a comment from Clementine that matched my own personal reaction.
It’s a much different experience going from the older Lee to now Clem and Telltale has made the switch quite well. Clem has defiantly hardened from the events of the first season and is a full character instead of just “the kid.” It’s different enough to keep things fresh but you still are able to play the game your way without it feeling out of place. You don’t really have the option to be an outright jerk to people but I find you play things a lot cooler than Lee. Because this is the second season and your second character things can get a little odd, as I’ll explain below.
Minor spoilers to follow.
You meet up with a character you knew in the first season and it creates a weird dynamic. Clem has a connection to this character that’s completely different than your own. I didn’t like this character as Lee and I treated him like crap, I don’t think I once took his side on anything and in doing so I learned a lot about his motivation and personality. So I see this character return and I’m not all that thrilled, I don’t really want to interact with him, yet Clem is relieved to see him alive. She didn’t see all the things Lee did, so she has to real reason to feel the same hostility. I don’t trust this guy but Clem does so I either have to play it as Clem and try and act as she would or choose the coldest options possible weather it suits the character or not. It kind of threw me for a loop. It’s cool to see someone from the first season but the different perspective is a little odd. You almost have to wipe the slate clean but that’s hard to do after the first game did such a great job connection with its characters.
The biggest difference between playing as Lee and Clem is the feeling of being vulnerable. I noticed it a lot more this episode and It’s done almost too well. As Clem you can’t really put your complete trust in anyone because you’re so small that any wrong twist or turn could leave you in a bad spot. It gives the game a real sense of tension. I’ve spent the second season not really trusting anyone, every move is important and I’ve held my cards close to the chest. The option of fighting your way out isn’t really there as much as it was with Lee. It’s a great feeling but also a frustrating one, I really just wanted to leave all of these new characters behind and head out on my own. I don’t trust any of these idiots and if they all died I wouldn’t bat en eyelash.
With Lee you always had Clem by your side, every move you made you made together and it gave you a sense of purpose. You had a reason to band together with people, to work together to find a better place for Clem. Even if you hated everyone else, Clem was so well done that you always had her. Season two doesn’t have that safety blanket, you can choose to let people in and join their group or you can reject them and go it alone. There is no middle ground. It makes for a much more realistic feeling. Trusting people in this word is almost always a recipe for disaster but rejecting everyone leaves you empty. I chose to keep everyone at arms length and it felt satisfying doing so, but I can’t help but feel I missed out on a lot of the game. The whole point of these games are interacting with people, much like a large part of life is doing the same. Skipping out on that gives you an empty feeling.
That’s how much I enjoyed the game, I’m comparing this dumb game to real life! it feels like my neck-beard grew three inches just by writing that last paragraph alone. It’s a great game that really sucks you in. The game had good pacing and even though I beat it in a few hours I felt satisfied. It was a huge improvement over the first episode and actually made it better. Everyone said the slow first episode was going to pay off later on and so far it has. The Wolf Among Us seemed to take over as the Telltale game to play but with Episode Two The Walking Dead once again has me eagerly awaiting the next instalment.
This game was played on Playstation 3.