The first Walking Dead season from Telltale Games was as harrowing as it was gripping, with more ‘holy crap did that actually just happen’ moments than any other game we’ve played, and the second season kicks off in exactly the same vein. Just twenty minutes in, we’d already gone through a torrid range of emotions, gurning and gasping our way through some quick-succession trauma. It’s a good thing we weren’t playing in public, or we’d have looked proper wallys...
The Walking Dead Season Two Episode One: All That Remains picks up Clementine’s woeful tale shortly after the first season’s end. The best part of this series is easily the story, and to avoid spoiling your enjoyment, we aren’t going to mention any specific plot points. So nyah. Rest assured however that the two hour play-time involves more shocking moments than most full-sized games, including a startling bit of treachery and some wince-inducing self-surgery.
Clem meets a number of new characters in this episode, and they’re promising to be an interesting bunch, even if they don’t get much time to develop here. Conversations run in a similar fashion to the first season: at certain moments you choose from a number of responses, and your choice will affect how certain characters react to you in future. You also have to make a couple of big choices during action sequences, one of which should have a massive impact on the next episode.
When you’re not chatting with random survivors, you’re usually exploring the environment, in search of food for instance. These moments are simple, involving very little thought - simply click on things until you find the right thing and the story progresses. You’ll never be called on to solve any actual puzzles, which is a shame, but at least it means there are no barriers to story progress. Also, a hunt for medical supplies towards the end of the episode proves to be an edge-of-the seat super-tense affair.
And then there’s the action sequences. Otherwise known as the bits that make us scream like terrified toddlers. As usual these play out as quicktime events, with you pushing a certain button when prompted or mashing the Q key until your finger turns numb. Again they’re simple to beat (we only died once, and we’re putting that down to a dodgy touchpad) but are still undeniably arse-clenching, and well spaced out to up the tempo when necessary.
In terms of presentation, The Walking Dead Season Two Episode One: All That Remains is just as strong as its predecessors. The same cel-shaded graphics look fantastic (and suitably grisly), voice acting is strong throughout (with Clementine coming off as immature at times, immensely troubled at others) and the soundtrack only kicks in to add extra tension to those horrible moments. In fact, we barely noticed the score, as it complements the on-screen action perfectly.
So basically it’s business as normal, and we couldn’t be more pleased that Walking Dead season two is shaping up to be another hit. Fans of mature adventures should lap it up, and we can’t wait to continue Clementine’s journey in episode two.