When Tell Tale Games released “The Walking Dead” in 2012 gamers were reintroduced to the once popular point-and-click style of “Monkey Island” in yesteryears, while simultaneously forcing players to face consequences in their decision making.
Season 1 followed Lee (an escaped convict) and Clementine (a young girl) in creator of the Walking Dead Robert Kirkman’s world of constant heartbreak and down endings during a zombie apocalypse.
Season 2 picks up directly from the Season 1’s end. Clementine is left alone after a series of events and is forced to fend for herself.
In the reality of all things, for Kirkman this is an exercise in loneliness and more depressing solitude. But, for the gamer it equals an involved story and makes for some challenging gameplay and even more challenging choices.
You will take on the role of young Clementine. This makes for a more involved moral landscape for the gamer. She is not physically strong, vulnerable and all-alone.
The story of Season 2 is something that needs to be experienced first-hand by the gamer and any spoilers that would be given away would just be in service to taking away from the shock and experience of playing it yourself.
So instead let’s talk mechanics and atmosphere.
Season 2 uses the same point and click gameplay as its predecessor. However it feels a lot more tightened and ironed out. Meaning, you won’t be going around clicking everything without those actions moving the story forward.
Also, the game is intense and has few breaks of dialogue, for the most part Clementine is alone and battling other survivors, walkers and hunger.
She finds very little human connection for a large part of this episode. She does however manage to befriend a dog (have your tissues ready) but as with everything in the walking dead it doesn’t end well in perhaps the most disturbing and gut-wrenching moments in the history of the series.
By far, the best part of this episode is stepping into the shoes of Clementine, her vulnerability to the world offer up lot more challenges. For example while Lee could just smack a walker in the head with a tree branch and be done with it, Clementine has to exhaust herself with each swing of the same tree branch, plus it takes four or five swings.
As with the previous season all decisions the player makes will affect the outcome of future episodes. A large part of those consequences in this season will fall back on your decisions in Season 1 to either teach Clementine to shoot or to protect her innocence. Based on those choices she will either be a hard-boiled kiddo or a softy learning a lot about this world and having a harder time.
This is definitely my favorite of the Tell Tale series so far; it’s full of the most intense and unforgiving gameplay that I have seen. It sticks to the bleakness of the comic books and from start to finish your jaw will be on the floor.
“The Walking Dead” season 2, episode 1 is now available on Steam, Xbox 360 and PS3.