Release Date: June 27, 2012
Developer: Telltale Games
Platform: PS3 / X360 / PC
I had the pleasure of playing and reviewing the first episode of The Walking Dead, so when the next installment to the episodic series emerged, I was pretty excited. I wondered, “What did the developers have in store for our tall, dark and decent looking hero, Lee?” Was he going to have to wretch himself from more ghastly grasps? Were we going to have to endure even more hardcore conversations? Well, that will be determined a little later. Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
The developers were kind enough to give the audience a recap of the previous game. This was a relief to me because my memory has become a little hazy in regards to what happened during the first episode. The game mirrors the first episode’s slow start and takes place three months later. We find our hero, Lee, in search of prey only to come up short. In addition to that, we are introduced to a new character by the name of Mark early on. He apparently appeared during the off screen time. From there, Lee and Mark encounter a surprise, and that’s where the fun begins.
Episode one taught me that if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is. So, when Lee and the group encounter two brothers by the name of Andrew and Danny out of the blue, I knew something was up. These brothers were offering a safe haven to complete strangers for no apparent reason. My first assumption was that these men were actually bandits. The actual truth is far worse, but sadly it’s not as unpredictable as one would hope. Upon the recurring suspicious mannerisms of the brothers and the rest of St. John family, the audience will soon piece together the plot of episode 2. With my theory in mind, I waited with baited breath for the confirmation of my suspicions.
I didn’t see many flaws in the first episode, but the second outing didn’t seem to improve on any of the first game’s shortcomings . For the second episode, the game was also glitchy at times, like during segments taking place on the St. John family’s farm. These glitches usually happened on my Xbox 360 when Lee was moving to a new area. I also noticed similar issues while watching footage of the PC version in action; Lee starts abruptly gliding while he approaches a swing and is unable to pass it for a few moments. Lastly, when I replayed episode two a second time, it took a little longer than necessary for the loading screen to transition to the next plot.
Moving on to the voice acting, it was actually very good on many occasions. There was one scene, however, when the group’s sound of surprise because of a certain revelation seemed a bit forced. What I can say though, is that the dialogue choices did seem to have some improvement and everything flowed a bit better. Also, the subtitles weren’t lagging behind the voices this time around. What I enjoyed most, though, was definitely the dialogue and seeing how the characters interacted with each other.
The choices you made in the previous game have a real impact on the relationships in this one. I’m an “on the fence” kind of girl, but this game doesn’t let you have neutral stance on anything, no matter how hard you try to be diplomatic. You’re forced to choose which ally would suit you best, regardless of how you feel about them. So since I like to be practical, I chose the individuals that had some sort of useful skill. I’ve seen that the intentions of the other survivors aren’t as noble though. Regardless, be ready for an array of rising tension and anxiety when you try to make the appropriate choice.
The developers are taking the audience to the top of a roller coaster in a slow climb and it seems we’re not even close to the peak. But once we make it to the top, the roller coaster is probably going to collapse under its own weight and it’ll be a bloody mess; well a good mess for us, not for the characters. I’m still really excited for future installments, regardless of their shortcomings so far. I also have faith that the game will continue to blossom as it reaches its conclusion.
This episode may have a predictable plot, but it more than makes up for it with the gruesome imagery of your repercussions, suspense, and unbelievably cute scenes with Clementine. I sometimes wish that The Walking Dead was one full game, but that would take away the thrill of waiting. I hate waiting, but the anticipation just makes the release more worthwhile. Just don’t have me waiting too long, Telltale Games.
- Addicting story that keeps you wanting more
- Interactive decision making
- Suspenseful atmosphere
- Too short
- Long loading times
- Predictable plot points