I didn’t play the bulk of The Walking Dead: Season One until season two hit, so while I was late to the party, I got just as wrapped up as everyone else in the adventures of Lee and Clementine. The Walking Dead deserves all the praise it got and I carried those high expectations over to season two. Unfortunately, I thought season two got off to a very rocky start and the adjustment to a solo Clementine adventure didn’t make for a very compelling first episode. I went into episode two with my expectations squarely in check and was elated to experience what could very well be the best episode yet of TellTale’s The Walking Dead.

Just as Michael Kwan warned in his review of Season Two: Episode One: if you haven’t played the first season of The Walking Dead, you probably shouldn’t read any further.

Not Just a Little Girl


I care about Clementine maybe more than I’ve ever cared about any other videogame character, but I miss Lee. While the zombie apocalypse has a way of stripping everyone’s priorities down to the basics, I still have difficulty relating to an 11-year-old girl. The need to survive is universal, but every time Clem has to remind someone that she’s more capable than the usual kid, it pulls me out a bit and reminds me that she’s not the best protagonist. Fortunately TellTale’s writing staff is more than capable of making it work, as unorthodox as it may be.

Mash Q, Press E


There’s very little variety in how the quicktime events play out. If Clem is running from danger, you’ll likely have to hit the directional keys (WASD) to make her juke out of the way of an oncoming zombie. If escape isn’t an option and you’re forced to fight, it’s usually just a matter of aiming the cursor inside the circle and clicking the left mouse button. That’ll get you to bash in some brains with a hammer, for instance.

For seemingly everything else, you mash Q until the meter fills up and then you hit E. It works, but after seven episodes of using these few keys, a bit of variety wouldn’t hurt… not to mention Q and E aren’t the most intuitive buttons given that they’re never used outside of these situations.

New Cast, Same Rules


Towards the end of episode one, Clem ran into a new group of survivors and with that the prospect of another compelling cast of characters. We were given a short glimpse past the archetypes that made up this new group, but the episode ended before we could really get to know anyone.

Episode two is where the group starts to get fleshed out. It’s still too early to say how this cast is going to stack up to the season one cast, but there’s definitely potential, especially in the flawed characters. This is The Walking Dead, however, so very few people are safe and the exact group I wound up with by the episode’s end may be different than what others get.

I still haven’t noticed any of my choices coming back to help or haunt me, but episode 2 does have a pretty great treat for those who played through the first season.

And the Tension Mounts


In all iterations of The Walking Dead — the comic book, the television show, and the videogame — the undead are the least of anyone’s problems. It’s the living that you have to be afraid of and we get an ugly reminder of that in episode 2. Better yet, when the danger mounts, we’re given actual choices without knowing what will come of them.

To be honest, the “save person A or B” scenarios of season one were incredibly lazy and immediately knowing the major repercussion of either decision really deflated the tension. The circumstances presented in episode two give you various choices that could lead to wildly different results. Granted, it’s still a videogame with limited options, so if you head down a certain path with concrete expectations of what you’re going to do next, you may be disappointed when that opportunity never presents itself. Still, episode 2 never fails to be interesting and exciting and that’s really all we can ask for.

The Natural Evolution of Superb Storytelling


I loved the first season of The Walking Dead, but now that I’m two episodes into season two, I can really see the benefit of the long, branching narrative. Clementine, despite her age, is often looked at as the voice of reason, even by the adults in the group. I feel she and I’ve earned this status. She has a good head on her shoulders thanks to Lee Everett and I’ve tried my best to do right by Lee so far in episode 2.

As The Walking Dead progresses, hopefully for many more outstanding seasons, people will come and go, but I’m confident that Clem will be just fine.

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