The end seemed nigh for the lovable survivor Clementine, every step of the way our poor Clem was forced to kill a hungry dog, get beaten around, witness all of the people she loved die and helped keep a newborn baby safe. Here is my review of the second season of Telltale’s zombie thriller, The Walking Dead.
The reason you play the Walking Dead, or any Telltale title, is because it’s more than a video game, more of an interactive story and this story is phenomenal. The fight for survival gets harder and harder as the cold and eventual snow settles in, you find yourself in a new group with trust issues and a madman is after them. Each twist and turn leaves you on the edge of your seat, jump scares are present a lot of the time too.
In Episode 1, you find yourself a new group who see a dog bite on your arm and lock you in a shed to decide if you would turn and then treat the wound, you respond by stealing their supplies and stitching your arm up yourself. The art style of this game is the most bizarre and wonderful thing about this game, with a c
omic book style, you expect the gore to not seem real or have any effect on you, but it really does. I cringed whilst I had to stitch up my own arm with fishing wire and a sewing needle. You retrieve the medical supplies with the help of one of the weakest people possible, Sarah, a girl a little older than you who has been living on
a cloud for the entire apocalypse. During this episode you meet the group around you. Firstly Luke, the sweetheart of the group, trusting and funny. Rebecca and Alvin, the cranky pregnant wife and the warm, caring husband. Pete and Nick, Uncle and nephew who have a bad relationship with each other and Carlos, Sarah’s father who gives you mixed signals telling you to leave his daughter alone and then to look after her the next episode.
By the time Episode 2 happens you have tackled a Walker in the shed they left you in over night and they don’t trust you still but after a fishing trip goes sour, you witness the death of Pete or leave him to die and follow Nick, and head back to the house you’re left in charge of Sarah as a strange man calls on the door of this house, a rude man who would not leave, who you assume to be this ‘Carver’ character they have mentioned every 5 seconds. The hints leave character reveals…pointless as you know who everyone is before you actually meet them. He promptly leaves after seeing a photo of Sarah, which was taken by either you or her with an old camera, which leads the group to set off on foot, with a pregnant woman and an unstable man who has just lost his Uncle…great plan. As you spot a place you could stay for the night, you and Luke encounter a friendly man on the bridge on the way, who is shot by Nick, which made my blood boil. You rarely come across nice humans in this game, as is the focus of the game. People are the problem more so than the zombies around you. Once that happens, you find the ski lodge and encounter a face from the past, Kenny, I was too emotional with the reunion, as a character from the first series returned. When entering the lodge, the constant theme of trust is addressed within the new group, with Kenny’s temper getting to you again, some characters never change. Then the inevitable happens, Carver and his group find you and they beat you, shoot members (dependent on choice) and capture to take you ‘home’.
Episode 3 was my favourite episode, with the group being forced into hard labour and chores around a warehouse Carver is so desperately trying to make a community, this man is obsessed and crazed with making this world normal again with his hard manner and attitude that people need to be killed. This is where your own personality shines most in the game, with more dialog focused than previous episodes, how you talk to Carver will make you take different approaches to hating this vile man. You can either play the weak little girl who just wants the killing to stop or you can be the tough person, a leader, I chose the latter and Carver compared me to him. I wanted to kill him myself. 3 more characters enter your group at this point, Bonnie, Mike and Jane, whom help you come up with a plan to escape and things only get worse from this point. You proceed to watch Kenny beat Carver’s skull into a pulp in a graphic manner and then cover yourself in Walker entrails to escape the herd unnoticed, that was the plan anyway, but people start to lose it. Carlos is shot and eaten by Walkers, which causes Sarah to freak out, scream, cry and run away which then claims the life of Sarita, a love interest of Kenny’s.
And that leads us to Episode 4, slowly paced and lacking action until the very end. You go through the same motions as the previous episodes, Nick and Sarah die, you find a new p
lace to go, the same things. But now Rebecca decides to have a baby, the joys! Kenny is the only one left who knows anything about childbirth but he’s too traumatized so th
ey leave you to deal with him, once again, the responsibility falls to you. Although this episode seemed small in thrills but big on kills with Rebecca dying with her newborn baby in her arms, leading to a shoot out between a Russian group of people who you ‘robbed’ earlier in the episode. I say ‘robbed’ because I chose not to steal from them and they still claimed we had stuff that was theirs, much to my hatred. The members of the original group in Episode 1, are all dead, except for Luke by the end of this episode, the true feel of the Walking Dead sets in. Everyone dies.
The finale to the series was going to be big, you just knew it and it didn’t disappoint. With a newborn child, Kenny is attatched to it and names it after the father, nicknaming it AJ (short for Alvin Jr.), but still remains out of control with his anger as the character always has been as Arvo (a Russian) is in their custody and throughout the episode he hits him and almost beats him to death. You lose Luke to the icy pond Arvo makes you cross to a half built house, one of the most upsetting things this season gave me. As things look the brighten up for the group, but you are instantly betrayed and shot over a car that Kenny put back together. You awake to see Jane, AJ and Kenny in a car with you, having escaped the betrayers, as tension rises between the two, Jane implores you to see Kenny is dangerous and to prove a point she hides AJ in a car but reports back after separation saying the child is dead. Kenny then attempts to kill Jane and you can either let him or shoot him. I chose the latter, knowing I made the right decision and leaving with Jane and AJ.
Telltale does something magical with story, it left me feeling emotions I didn’t know I had, decisions I made that felt too real for something on the screen. However, with some combat being needed to progress, I found myself struggling to keep up with the lagging on my PlayStation 3, this game belongs to PC and PC alone. Another negative to this game is when making decisions, some of them made no difference to the overall story. Taking the opposite decisions on another sit in offered a lack of story change, which left me a little disappointed. That being said, the story wasn’t awful, it was incredible. The Walking Dead is a sequel that did not disappoint and left me ready for more but has severely damaged my trust in human beings.
Maybe next time I play this game, I will be ready for the emotional rollercoaster that comes with the game, because after all, everybody dies.