How do you go about creating a sequel to one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2012? If it was a film or a book my first reaction would be- don’t. The first season of the Walking Dead game was well written, emotionally engaging, and a streamlined adaptation to the adventure game genre that made it accessible across multiple platforms to a large audience. However, in the world of video games, iteration is norm and Telltale Games is trying to make lightning strike twice.
This season, the player takes the role of Clementine. The young girl that Lee (the protagonist of the first season) had arduously and lovingly raised when the zombie apocalypse occurred. Despite Clementine’s young age and good nature, her upbringing allows for her to be competent in life and death situations while retaining an air of innocence.
The game mechanics and visuals will be immediately familiar with fans of players of the earlier games and comic book. The puzzles themselves continue the streamlined approach and should prove little difficulty to any player. They serve more to give the player a small break from the story. This allows the quick time events and the dialog choices be the big set pieces for the episode.
The characters that are introduced into Clementine’s world seem to be interesting, though not too heavily explored. It leads to more natural conversations (as natural as a zombie apocalypse would be) but seems to lack some of the exposition of the characters that surround the players. With this limited knowledge of the other characters, it’s hard to gauge how impactful the choices are in this particular episode. The choices the player make that the game indicate that are important to how other character will react in future episodes seem to be an odd mix. Some are obvious and other that made me scratch my head going “Really? That’s what they’re going to remember?”.
During a sneaking portion of the episode, I ran into a visual hiccup where the camera didn’t change appropriately when I walked off-screen to another room. It killed a bit tension of the scene but was the only one of two display hiccups I ran into (the other being my cursor disappearing during a conversation choice). Which seemed to be a notable improvement from the prior season.
As with all these episodic games, it’s far too early to tell how well the product as a whole will hold up. There are high expectations for how the story will play out. Especially compared to the whole of the first season. It’s a solid return to the Walking Dead universe and it does what it needs to. This season is a great reflection on the Walking Dead universe. It’s a sad and dark place, but like many others, I’m hopeful. 
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Classification: R16 – Violence