The Clementine you met in Season One of Telltale’s The Walking Dead is gone. It may have only been a few months since the end of Episode Five, the final episode of the first season of The Walking Dead, but Clementine has grown from the scared little girl she was in Season One into a determined survivor.
Clementine’s newfound determination and inner-strength are both a direct result Lee’s guidance in the first season and Clementine’s new status as the player-controlled lead character for Season Two. Players can easily import their save files from Season One so the story is consistent, but it’s possible to play the game without importing a save file or even having played the first season, though it certainly helps. As always, the voice acting and writing are both incredible, and are a worthy tribute to the graphic novel of The Walking Dead. The story of Episode One: All That Remains starts off a bit slowly, ends somewhat abruptly, is a bit short at only two hours, and almost overwhelmingly throws a bunch of characters at you all at once, but it’s intense, heartbreaking, and I just can’t wait for more. One part in particular is almost guaranteed to make even the most resilient of players feel sick to their stomachs.
Season Two controls the same as Season One, with some of the minor improvements in Telltale’s The Wolf Among Us making the cut. The most notable improvement is the right trigger’s function as a run button, making it far less grating to walk around the point-and-click environments. Quick-time events feel a bit too easy compared to the first season, with me able to get through the game without failing once, though it’s possible I’ve just learned how to play through the series better. It’d be nice if there was a bit more of a challenge, but the key draw of the series, intense story with difficult choices, is there in perfect form.
The game looks as gorgeous as ever with the cartoonish art style that has become a staple of Telltale’s games. At first glance, Season Two doesn’t look noticeably better than the first season, but graphics never really were the most important part of the series. Unfortunately, the animations are still a bit jerky, with little to no motion-capture apparent in the harsh, sometimes weird animations. Most of the characters move between how a regular person would move and how an animatronic person from a theme park would move; the movements are far less fluid than a game from 2013 should be, and I hope Telltale manages to improve them. Regardless, the art style is still superb and proves that realistic graphics are not always necessary to make a great looking game.
Season Two of Telltale’s The Walking Dead is going to be a good one. Masterful tension and panic grouped with the player’s own parental instincts over Clementine create a fantastic first episode of this season, and I can hardly wait to see what else Telltale has in store for Clem.