Telltale’s The Walking Dead – Season 2 Review

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Telltale gave themselves a tough act to follow after putting out the fantastic original season of TWD, my personal favorite game of 2012. Many were worried about the change in protagonist for season 2, playing as little clementine was always going to have it’s problems, however for the most part Clem plays the part of an adult – and is shockingly forced into situation after situation where she has to make big decisions for the group or make calls that can have a big effect on the story, it’s kind of bizarre in a way that these full grown adults begin to rely on Clem as if she is some sort of genius shot caller, particularly in the later parts of the season…

Episode 5 (the finale) came out the other day, and having completed it, I think I can confirm what everyone expected from the start.
Season 2 is not as good as Season 1.
There will probably be the odd few who will disagree, but I imagine the majority will side with me here.

So what’s bad about Season 2? Nothing at all, it’s still a great game with plenty of twists and turns, lots of new characters are introduced and removed in dramatic succession, there is still weight to your actions, and there are still others to look out for and protect – even if you now play as a little girl yourself. The main thing that separates season one from two is the storyline – of which, i think S1 was much better – it was more cohesive as a whole, and there was always this kind of end goal (finding clementines parents, the mysterious voice behind the walkie talkie, etc). S2 on the other hand almost doesn’t really have much of a story so to speak, the aim of the season is purely to survive, and each segment of the story is just that, moving around and trying to survive, with events interspersed evenly.

However, arguably season 2 does the theme of conflict much better than the first, with frustration and anger being somewhat of a recurring theme throughout, this made for some really interesting confrontations which were more mental than physical.

New characters are a mixed bag, you’ll love some more than others, but a few of them are pretty forgettable – which fortunately may not be such a problem, as I think the death toll in Season 2 is digits ahead of the first game, this kind of works as a double edged sword, it’s interesting to place bets on who is going to be the next to go, but at the same time having so many characters die almost cheapens the emotion – it felt like a pretty big deal whenever someone died in s1, but in s2 it seems to happen so often that you don’t really care as much.

The finale in s2 was very abrupt, and wasn’t very satisfying – perhaps we’ve just adjusted to the formula by now, but it didn’t really seem to be very climatic.

Verdict:

While the original is miles better, TWD Season 2 is still a great game, and should be played if you enjoyed the first game.

Approximate Game Length : <4hrs
Actual Worth / Steam Price: £10 / £19 = 0.52 (it’ll almost certainly go on sale soon enough though).
Should you play it : Yes, assuming you played and enjoyed the first game.

Rating: 4/5

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