Warning: *This review contains spoilers for the first season of the game. If you have yet to play season one, turn back now or forever be spoiled!*
Telltale games is back with a second season to their highly successful game based off The Walking Dead comic book series created by Robert Kirkman. When the series left off last, players were left wondering; what is going to happen to Clementine now that she’s all alone? Will she meet back up with Christa and Omid? We were left with a fairly bleak ending, but one that really stuck with you and left you worried about The Walking Dead’s youngest character. At the very start of season 2, all your questions for the most part are answered. With familiar characters comes a familiar style of gameplay. The point and click action style has been brought back having been polished and tweaked to make for a better game play flow. I did catch myself hitting the wrong buttons from time to time since I was used to the old style of placement but quickly got the hang of things again.
Unlike before where you played as an adult, you are now stepping into the shoes of a child, Clementine, which really changes the game play and story. It’s something I absolutely love about the game since you see it from a child’s perspective. It also makes you more cautious since you’re left with the thought of, “I really don’t want anything to happen to this poor little girl.” Playing as Clem leaves you feeling helpless at times since she is so tiny and you worry about her struggling to fight off the dead and living. You soon realize that while she is small, she has a fight in her and a will to keep on surviving.
At the start of the season, Clem is left traveling with the last survivors from your previous group in season 1, Omid and the now very pregnant Christa. It is apparent from the start that the feeling between these three is much darker, especially Clem who has lost everyone she has loved. Just when you think things couldn’t possibly get any worse and that these three might actually have a chance of survival, Telltale rips your hopefulness away by killing off another person our little protagonist has come to care for and who has become a guardian to her, much like Lee was to her at the beginning of last season.
Its after this that the survivors really start to break down. Once these events occur, the game moves forward 16 months and you are introduced to a very different Clementine from before. She has now grown several inches, her voice has changed from a sweet high pitched sound to one that is much different and monotone at times. This is no longer the same person we met during season one. She has gone from being sweet and a bit naive to being very serious and knows how to carry herself and to survive.
Of course in the end, you ultimately control the majority of how Clementine reacts to everyone around her. You can be direct and tough, or you can tap into that sweet demeanor that hasn’t completely disappeared all together. If neither suit the situation, then you can always take a more neutral side and meet somewhere in the middle. For most of my playthrough, I saved the more direct side of her for several characters she meets along the way who are just horrible towards her. Even though you’re a child, people are not so willing to help you or be so kind, unlike before.
The Walking Dead Season 2: Episode 1 really tugs at your heart. It makes you feel helpless at times and it also puts you through one of the worst things I have ever had to do in a video game. This is what makes Telltale stand out. Their games are so story driven that it really pulls you in and makes you feel for these characters and the actions you’re forced into. All That Remains is a strong start to a new season.