TellTale has truly set a great momentum for the rest of the season, Season 2 can have great potential to surpass the original.
The Walking Dead Season 1 spoke volumes last year, the game didn’t come from a AAA developer or studio and they didn’t have an exuberant budget to work with, the cell shading, voice acting, story telling and many other aspects of the game managed to make us feel what many developers still struggle to achieve, tugging at our heart strings.The series is now back with Season 2 and I have to say that if the 1st episode is anything like the rest of the season, I am glad I bought the season pass without a second thought.
Warning: The post below contains spoilers from the previous season, please proceed with caution.
The First Episode has set the bar pretty high, making it a challenge for each succeeding episode to be better than the last Season 2 picks off right where Season 1 leaves us, with the most thought provoking question answered, i.e the identity of the two people in the distance at the end of Season 1. Without divulging too much information about season 1 and the start of season 2, I can tell you that the first 15 minutes of the game are filled with QTE and events that will set the future of the story for the episodes to come.
Clementine eventually stumbles upon a new group of survivors who doubt the legitimacy of her story and make her stay in their shed where she confronts a stray walker and upon proving her ability to care for herself the survivors allow her into their home but not everyone is so welcoming to her. The conclusion of the episode is the same as the pilot episode, you are given a very tough choice to make and that decision can shape the rest of your game future.
The choices presented to us in the first episode may not carry as much importance as the previous seasons first episode did but they still manage to play a role in how events can potentially play out in future episodes. I would have liked more options just like I had in season 1 but I suppose that repetition may not always be good.
By the end of the episode you will notice that Clementine is not who she used to be as she has become more assertive, confident and brave. Where in the previous season she found herself to be powerless when encountering a zombie, the voice talent of Melissa Hutchison has done a spectacular job giving Clementine an amazing voice to suit her new personality as a more matured girl who has come to face the harsh realities of the world at such a young age.
The game still holds the element of hammering a button in succession until an action is carried out or a button prompt changes, but the User Interface has been given a good overhaul with the player using the cursor to navigate to intractable objects and you have to press the face buttons on the controller that appear in a circular interface over the object allowing you to look at, use, pick up and carry out other actions depending on the button you press.
Another monumental shift to the game is something that has been borrowed from another TellTale Title, The Wolf Among Us. Where Quick Time Events (QTE) appear on the screen, but unlike the latter the QTEs aren’t as merciful where missing a button or the move of an analogue stick can put and end to your game forcing you to restart from a checkpoint.
Graphics & Sound
TellTale might have their hands full but their special attention to Walking Dead is easily their most noticeable work.The cell shading graphics style is back and thankfully the studio took another page from The Wolf Among Us and has delivered a richer engine, one that is free of frequent stuttering as well as helping deliver some better level of graphics.
The sound design is very well done. The soundtrack that plays during the quintessential moments of the games is truly invigorating and puts of a rush of blood to the head, playing the game on surround sound really made the experience all the more better. This graphical achievement may not be on the level of the CryEngine but a game such as this doesn’t need the crutch of hyper realism to help deliver a rich experience.
Season 2 is a thrilling ride, the first episode has introduced us to a rich cast of characters set by an interesting course of events and the upcoming episodes can truly hold a lot of potential and if the upcoming teasers upon ending the episode are any indication of things to come and if you thoroughly enjoyed the first season then you shouldn’t hesitate for a moment to even buy the season pass.