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The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 1 – “All That Remains”

22:1827/01/2014Posted by Chris Morell8 Comments

Telltale Games wowed us last year with The Walking Dead, a downloadable series with more than a few nods to the point-and-click adventures of old. Despite a few shortcomings in terms of technical stability, The Walking Dead told a compelling and even emotional tale, sending it to the top of a good few ‘game of the year’ lists as a result. To its credit, choices made under pressure shaped the story more than they did in heavy hitters such as Beyond: Two Souls, which seemed more about cinematic flair than genuine decision making.

Note: Season 2 of The Walking Dead is set some time after the gut-wrenching events of the previous season. While specifics will be avoided, keep in mind that spoilers are naturally implied by the situations presented.

Season 2 finds Clementine completely alone and in major trouble to boot. She has no real survival plan beyond the lessons learned from earlier episodes, so she’ll need to rely on her wits and the good grace of others if she hopes to make it another week. Will she play the frightened little girl to tug on the heartstrings or verbally challenge those who stand in her way? That’s entirely up to you.

There are a few gripes with this latest episode, namely in the form of technical hiccups and a lack of interactivity when it comes to the action itself. It’s jarring when a game that tries to engage you so fully begins to chug during heated moments, though at least the problem will be familiar to long-time fans of the series. The comic book vibe might not appeal to everyone, but The Walking Dead is well aware of its audience and knows exactly how to push the right buttons. One early meeting leads to a real dilemma for Clementine, and how she deals with that issue is what makes this first episode so superb from beginning to end.

It’s a safe bet that you’re getting the same game as every other player, but it nonetheless feels like a tailored experience. We’ve already seen that your decisions – or indeed indecision – can prevent or lead to a character’s death, even if they were saved only to be killed off later down the line. You’ll still get to see how choices you make compare to those of the gaming masses, but it would be unfair to go in expecting a whole lot of cause and effect this early on.

It’s clear that The Walking Dead: Season 2 is about a girl growing up in a world well past its sell-by-date. It’s very much a case of innocence lost as Clem’s forced to survive with no adult to depend on. All That Remains offers a longer and more satisfying chunk of gameplay than the previous few episodes, setting the scene for events to come. I’ll be downloading future episodes the moment they release, which is in itself a testament to the quality on offer.

The Walking Dead: Season Two, Episode One – “All That Remains” was reviewed on Xbox 360, with a copy purchased by the reviewer. This review was originally published on Chris Morell’s own site, www.powernerd.co.uk. D+PAD heartily recommends you check it out!

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