The wait was far too long. After the events of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead, we have all been itching to find out what happened to our dear sweet Clementine. For those of us champing at the bit to find out, Telltale did not disappoint. SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!
The game picks up shortly after the events of the first game. You are relieved at first that Clementine has found (a now visibly pregnant) Christa and Omid. We catch up with them at a rest stop as they freshen up. As Christa uses one restroom, Clem goes to use the other and someone manages to sneak in the restroom as Clem tries to hide. She is spotted, threatened with her own gun, and the strange woman is digging through her things. Omid comes in behind her and is shot and killed as the door latches behind him and he startles the woman. Christa comes in behind him and kills the unarmed woman and mourns over Omid. We then flash forward to 16 months later...
Graphically the game has been cleaned up quite a bit. It has a much more polished look than the first season, but remains largely unchanged visually. They've overhauled the interface a little bit to give the title an updated feel, but this too is largely unchanged.
Movement in the game is mostly the same. A big change that has come about is more quick time event sequences that correspond with the action scenes. In most games this is an annoyance but in the world of The Walking Dead this adds to the urgency of the situation. Throughout my play through of the first chapter I died twice and once was due to a QTE. They are implemented fairly well and it gives you a feeling of panic more than a feeling of being burdened by them.
In my review of the 400 Days chapter, I mentioned playing on the Xbox 360 brought with it some lag issues. These issues were GREATLY exacerbated on my play through of this chapter on the PlayStation 3. I had few to none in my play through of Season 1 and 400 Days on the same system. The load times are a huge bummer, and the post loading screen cut-scenes or action scenes chugged horribly. It gives a feeling of impatience as you want to see what happens next in Clementine's story.
The voice work and score in this game are excellent. You won't find a more atmospheric soundtrack almost anywhere in the world of gaming.
Above all, just like the chapters before it, the meat and potatoes of the game lie with the story. As a fan of the entire first season, you are invested in the Clementine character and what happens to her after the events of the first game. As the story takes place nearly a year and a half after the events of the first game, we see Clementine (and by extension, you, the player) adapt to the world around her. She has to make many of the same gray morality type choices that Lee had to in the first season.
This adds a level of depth to the Clementine character. As you encounter adults in the world, you can choose to act as the tough-as-nails action girl survivor that the group raised Clem to be in Season 1, or you can act as an aloof child. For some of the more adult choices that Clem has to make to survive, you see her grow colder and more pragmatic as she adapts to the harsh new world.
The 2 hour chapter left me wanting more. Telltale has once again sucked me in and left a hole in my soul as we await the next chapter in The Walking Dead franchise.
Overall, I give this chapter an 8.5/10. It was damn near perfect and flawless in bringing back the feelings and immersion from Season 1, but the technical issues and load times were a huge distraction.
You shouldn't have missed the excellence that was Season 1 of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead, but this game is just as approachable to a newcomer. I'd recommend playing Season 1 first, but if you wanted to start here, this is as good a spot as any.
Game – The Walking Dead Season 2: Episode 1 - All That Remains
Developer – Telltale Games
Publisher – Telltale Games