This past Tuesday, the 17th, Telltale Games released Season 02 (Episode 01) of the highly acclaimed Walking Dead that parallels the comics and tv series. The Walkers are back, the famous baseball cap with the D is back and under it, everyone’s popular heroine Clementine is back and a little bit older and without Lee Everett as a guide and protector. The biggest question was could Telltale not only keep the story engaging to avoid falling flat but could they also improve upon a couple of the main game play drawbacks.
As luck would have it, on the 17th the Boston area was getting hit hard with a major snowstorm and corporate offices were closing early. Almost at the same time the download for episode 01 was made available. The gods were on my side. For PS3 the episode can be downloaded directly to your console for $4.99. Just like Telltale stated, the latest installment reviewed your past game saves and adapted all the choices you made into this one. So if you made some sarcastic choices for the fun of it in the prior game, well you are going to live with the consequences and possibly risk the life of Clementine in this one. The graphics are much improved. Depth of field is sharper, the water in the running river looked fluid and seamless. And while in a couple of spots the game did get choppy as scenes were loaded the environments were lush and richer in colors. The decision-making engine is very much improved and you have less time to make key choices during game play. You will need to stay nourished and hydrated for this one. The quality of the game is a definite step up from the prior game and I was quickly sucked back into the story once more.
After a brief flashback of events during season one you start this game as Clementine herself and to start your journey you have Christa and Omid with you as you head back north into the Macon/Atlanta area. You should recognize the diner in the opening scenes from the 400 Days mini game that was released earlier this year. The character of Clementine is a bit older but seems a little tentative without Lee around to protect and teach her anymore. Melissa Hutchinson reprises her role as the voice of Clementine and continues to breathe life and depth into Clementine. Melissa’s voice work is outstanding and she succeeds with ease to deliver an older Clementine into the game play. And the game really would not be the same at all if she was replaced.
Since just episode 01 was release there is still a lot of story to go in the game and there is still a lot for Clementine to learn to survive in the post outbreak world. While characters from the first game make an appearance it is still unclear if any characters, like Glenn, from the tv show/comics will show up in this story line. As noted above the game play and graphics are a step up and big improvement from the prior game and like last time I wholeheartedly recommend this game to everyone. Even if you do not read the comic or watch the tv show, the game stands strong on its own and should provide hours of enjoyment for fans of all ages alike. My only criticism would be you can’t gift wrap a digital download. This is a top 3 Christmas gift on all lists out there. Santa, take note.
Telltale Games: The Walking Dead