There’s No Going Back
Warning: Contains spoilers from Season One of The Walking Dead.
One of the breakout hits of 2012 was Telltale’s first season of The Walking Dead. An episodic point-and-click adventure that told a tale within The Walking Dead’s giant universe. It introduced players to a band of characters who would do whatever it takes to survive and stay with their loved ones. In short, it was one of the best games I’ve ever played. There was always a question floating above that asked if Season Two would be as good as Season One was, and I think it’s going to be one of the most hotly debated questions for fans of the series for quite some time. Telltale’s second season of The Walking Dead is superb, yet I don’t think it quite lived up to the expectations set by the incredible first season – but only just.
Season One of The Walking Dead ended with some of the most painful moments and decisions I’ve ever had to endure in a game. Playing throughout the five episode season as Lee, guiding a young girl by the name of Clementine throughout a decimated zombie apocalypse was an experience that’ll never be forgotten. It was all about those two, and while the likes of Kenny, Duck and co were strong presences throughout, nothing could truly separate the bond between Clementine and Lee, and that was apparent from the get-go. I immediately connected with these characters and having Clem shoot Lee in the season finale was tragic.
Season Two of The Walking Dead takes place a couple of years after those events, and the focus now switches completely onto Clementine. She’s a hardened little soldier, especially after experiencing the events from the previous season, and the wear-and-tear she’s attained is blatantly obvious throughout the whole season.
Clementine is a complicated character, and one many connected with. It was interesting to have the storyline focus on her as Season One players would no doubt have established a strong ‘father – daughter’ relationship with her. Like I mentioned above, Clementine is a hardened survivor at this point and her actions are exactly that, even when you have the say with what happens.
The cast in Season Two are very strong, and seeing various familiar faces appear from both 400 Days and Season One were joyful, emotional affairs. I couldn’t help but shed a tear when one particular character made their Season Two return. The way the new (and old) set of characters interacted with various situations made for some truly gripping situations and the scenarios thrown around during Season Two were frantic and constantly unpredictable. There were moments throughout where I’d have to pick my jaw up from the floor, and that’s a credit to the consistently brilliant writing.
The voice acting is as stellar as always, and it’s become a staple in Telltale’s games. Likewise, the chemistry between the voice actors is spot on and helps immerse you into the world that much more.
One of the most prominent features that made Season One of The Walking Dead so great was the soundtrack. I’m a soundtrack buff, and Season Two’s incredible score made for some truly emotional segments. Jared Emerson-Johnson & Janel Drewis also feature in some of the episodes and are great. Likewise, Anadel’s ‘In The Water’ and ‘Carver’ are some of the most well suited, wonderful songs to ever grace video gaming as well.
If I had to draw a complaint with Telltale’s games, many of you would know it’s to do with their technical issues, especially when it comes to the PlayStation 3 version. The first couple of episodes of Season Two were running awfully on the system, but by the season finale everything was smooth. Perhaps they’ve finally got it all locked down, but with the current-generation consoles taking center stage it might just be a bit too late. It’s a welcomed change to experience the feels with a smooth frame-rate and less load times though.
As a whole, Season Two of The Walking Dead is pretty damn excellent. It’s a shame that it’s predecessor propped up such a high mark for it to reach for, and that was always going to be a difficult height to reach – but it gets pretty close. There’s so many good things about this season that it was difficult not to list any of them due to spoilers, but trust me when I say that Season Two is amazing. It’s a vital chapter in Telltale’s well-told story and one that fans should not even consider missing.
I really loved this season of The Walking Dead and am very excited to see what’s to come. While it didn’t leave me in tears when the season finale’s credits rolled like Season One did, it still left me questioning my morals, my feelings and what I’d just done. Bravo Telltale.