Review: The Walking Dead Season Two: All That Remains Proves Telltale Still Has It
Telltale Games revived the point and click adventure genre as well as blew away the competition for best story in 2012 with their The Walking Dead episodic series. Now season two is here, and has it shown that there's still more life in this series, or has it run out of tricks?
- Worth The Time?Yes, if you loved the first season.
- Things LovedClementine, the tension, a few great unpredictable moments, the visual style of course, the fantastic voice acting and soundtrack.
- Things HatedYou don't see any pay off to 400 Days just yet, you expect it to set up a bit more plot points than it does.
- RecommendationIf you're confident of your love for this series, you may as well buy the season pass now because the first episode is exciting enough to make it worth it. But if you're one of those who wants to see the narrative progress before you commit or wants something really fresh, you might want to hold out for a few more episodes.
- Name: The Walking Dead: Season Two
- Genre: Adventure
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: N/A
- Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Vita
- Developer: Telltale Games
- Publisher: Telltale Games
- Price: $24.99 (about R250)
- Reviewed On: PC
The Walking Dead: Season Two kicks off right after the DLC episode 400 Days, which was meant to bridge the gap between the first and second seasons. Of course due to the extremely high quality of the first season and its wonderful achievements, season two of this series has a lot to live up to, and like any episodic content it’s very difficult to judge anything with finality after just the first episode. However, I can say right off the bat that it’s a little disappointing that 400 Days doesn’t seem to really feature in this first episode, and you don’t quite get a pay off to it just yet. I know it will crop up in later episodes of course, but it did make me question the necessity or point of the DLC pack, which I did buy personally. I get that we’re all totally against major story events taking place in DLC packs and as such Telltale made a good move by making it non-essential here, but it’s a little difficult to shrug off the fact that there’s really no pay off at all here for investing, not even in subtle ways. It’s not a big problem by any means, but it is worth noting as it’s a rather challenging issue with story DLC itself.
That said, I’m positive most fans who totally loved season one would be eager to pick up the season pass here, and I’m happy to say that I was impressed with the first episode, especially due to some standout moments. The first thing to notice is that the quality writing Telltale has become known for is here in abundance, and I’m sure any fan of the series would be more than happy to see how Clementine has progressed as a character. You’ll control her in this game, which picks up right after the conclusion of the first season. With Clementine being such a widely loved character and a really great perspective to have in this world, it makes me skeptical of the characters that were introduced in the DLC with regards to them carrying the narrative as well as her. But I doubt they’ll be playable, which I suppose would make it alright. Otherwise, that DLC pack is made forgettable by a pulse-pounding first episode that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. While it’s not exactly full of twists or mind-blowing, it’s certainly intense and often a roller-coaster ride that will fly by before you know it, so it might be good to exercise caution if you struggle to survive the wait between episodes. It’s not because it’s short, as it’s actually quite lengthy, but simply because it’s extremely exciting and entertaining.
The gameplay in the first episode of season two is identical to its predecessors, apart from a few HUD tweaks. I’m quite fine with that personally, because The Walking Dead has almost entirely been about its narrative over its gameplay, which has more been a platform to drive events forward rather than the selling point of the series. However, a minor addition like the ability to fast walk does improve the user experience slightly. I’m doubtful that a whole lot of players would mind about the gameplay, although I can understand if there is a little bit of disappointment that nothing majorly significant has been changed or added as of yet. It functions as well as it always has, but I have to say that I quite enjoy the new intensity of the gameplay itself. To elaborate, Clementine is obviously not a warrior by any stretch of the imagination and nor is she entirely defenseless, so action sequences in this episode are frantic, and it will definitely be intriguing to see how she handles herself in future episodes. You often really feel that she’s just a child with the way the gameplay has been done, and I do commend that.
As a whole, I don’t really have anything major to be disappointed about here. The first episode does end with a situation we’ve kind of seen before, but overall it’s got a great mix of everything you want and does not disappoint. I will say that I did expect it to set up a few more plot points than it actually did, and I don’t quite have an idea in my head of where this season is going. Otherwise, I was satisfied by its conclusion, and more than happy that I bought the season pass. I definitely want to credit the sound and voice acting, which were fantastic, and I especially loved the end credits song, which I actually sought out immediately after the episode’s conclusion and have listened to it multiple times since. Graphically though, there isn’t a whole lot of difference here from season one, although you will notice subtle improvements. That’s hardly a train smash though because the visual style is excellent, and if you liked it in the first season there’s no reason you won’t feel equally positive about it here.
The Walking Dead’s second season has started off intense with enough quality to match the standard of its predecessor. It’s easy to invest now if you’re a major fan and if you’re confident of your love for this series, and you may as well buy the season pass now if that’s the case because the first episode is exciting enough to make it worth it. However, if you want to see the narrative progress more first or were hoping for something really fresh, you might want to hold out for a few more episodes. All in all though, this first episode has proved that Telltale still has it, and I’m more than happy to put my faith in them once again and see where they take this second season, even if I do feel that it did not set up as many plot points as I’d hoped. There’s enough going on to make sure you’ll be back.