In the world of The Walking Dead, it is hard to trust anyone you encounter and even harder to make the decisions that will impact an entire group of people. Taking decent, normal human beings and forcing them through situations that could end another life or their own is a vice grip that continually grows tighter on the hearts and minds of these characters. Clementine, the young survivor of the first season, has no choice but to try and trust who she stumbles upon, and in this case it’s a group of strangers who are struggling to survive.
Almost immediately, season two reminds us of just how quickly things can go south in the decline of society, as you are forced to make a big decision involving other survivors that have taken Clementine in. It’s been a little over 16 months since she parted with Lee at the end of season one and time has definitely hardened our little hero. Not completely though, as she still has that ring of innocence about her. This keeps the story riveting and the decisions made; hard hitting.
All That Remains’ features a lot of talking to other survivors and choosing what to reveal about your past, but it also has some more intense action sections and survival segments. There are more than a few pulse pounding moments to be experienced in this first episode (one in particular that will leave you on the edge of your seat). However, compared to the first season’s moments of heavy choices, All That Remains’ focus is setting up the characters and conflicts that will either pay off or turn for the worst. The decisions you make will not come to fruition during this first chapter, but you can bet they will definitely come back to haunt you (or help you) in the coming episodes of season two.
If you played season one of The Walking Dead, your decisions will carry over into the second. While the impact of past decisions are not really evident in this first episode, there are definitely some moments that call back to the first season. Clementine learned a lot of survival tactics from Lee during their time together in first season, and recounts those lessons throughout the duration of All That Remains. It will be very interesting to see how the things she has learned help her along the way in future episodes season two, and how she matures (for better or for worse) over time.
The traditional Telltale control scheme from the last game is very much intact, as there are parts that involve a panicked dash through the forest and around the dead, which are done by following the usual prompts on screen. Running away from the undead is a particularly heart pounding experience, although you never really have full control of Clementine. Even so, these events are a blast to play and never make you wish Clementine was controlled any other way.
My favorite section of this first episode is when Clementine comes across a camp ground that is deserted and finds a dog looking for food. Together, they team up and start rummaging through all the old tents, coolers and anything else she finds. Without giving anything away, I will say that you should definitely be on your toes throughout this scene, as you will have to think and react quickly.
The first season of the Walking Dead revolved around the people you met and the decisions you made, but it was also the atmosphere that brought everything together and made the world come alive. It’s safe to say that after the first season, Telltale have become masters of their craft. The writing and characters of season two feel like a vast improvement over the first, and you will instantly be drawn into each character you meet. The environment is equally as enchanting and the ambient noise of the forest is by far one of the creepiest things I have ever encountered while walking around and exploring a game. Random moans or a scream sounding off in the distance help to build and incredible amount of tension.
All That Remains is a great way to start of the second season. With the choices you make this early on in the series, one can only imagine what twists and turns the future episodes will hold. The beginning of season two is a whirlwind of fast decision making and action sequences that can bring joy, horror and despair – but I wouldn’t want it any other way. Telltale has done an awesome job of bringing Clementine’s story to life thus far.
Episode 2 – A House Divided:
Episode two is a barrage of decision making, and that’s in a good way. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. Every single action or response makes you question if you made the right choice. Unlike episode one, there is very little action this time around, as you are talking amongst the group and meeting new survivors.
It’s not until the final half-hour when the drama comes to a head in a finely crafted set piece. It’s even more effective, due to the light hearted happiness that precedes it. I will say that one of the hardest decisions, was deciding which table to sit at during dinner. Little choices like that really hit home and make you aware of your actions.
The game play is still intact as it’s always been, but there are still just a few little technical bumps that show their face. These include awkward transitions and pauses, which are mostly appear during the QTEs. It’s really the only thing that stands out as a flaw, but really do not affect the game negatively at all.
A House Divided is a thrilling and engaging ride that, like all of the other Telltale games, makes you want to dive into this world. The only downfall is having to wait for the next episode! Unfortunately, there is no way around that, and judging from what happened in this second part – episode 3 is going to be a whirlwind of questions and hopefully… answers.