The Walking Dead: Season Two started off strongly, and with the newly released Episode Two, Telltale Games have continued to build up from the franchises foundations to craft another excellent slice of interactive narrative. Continuing on from where the first episode ended, Clementine is thrown straight into the thick of it as she is busy trying to escape from the horde of zombies hot on her tale. It’s a good opening to the episode and certainly hits the ground running with tensions running high and a fast pace to boot. It’s a shame then that the rest of the opening sequence is spoilt by a sudden crash in pacing and excitement, leading to a few awkward moments and minutes of dulled gameplay. That said however, the episode soon picks up shortly after and it gets better and better each minute leading up to a dramatic conclusion and one of the most memorable moments of the franchise as a whole.
In keeping with the rest of the game, Episode Two is very much a character drama and the heavy focus on the character development is what sets this franchise apart from anything else. Throughout the whole episode it is once again great to see Clem continuing to grow and mature over the course of the two hour play time. The change in her character and the way it was presented in all the other episodes was outstanding, and it is no different here, with countless scenes delving into the heart of her character to make for excellent and captivating viewing. This episode in particular is far more narrative focussed than any other before it, trading smatterings of action and fast paced QTE sections for lots of dialogue and character interaction. While the ‘action’ gameplay does weave into the story from time to time, it’s actually very refreshing to have an episode that delivers quality writing without the need for action. Most of your time in this episode is spent conversing and as a result the episode feels slow paced for the most part. That’s not to say that it comes across as sluggish however, and it makes room for plenty of fantastic confrontations and highly tense scenes that couldn’t have been delivered with the same conviction any other way.
As is the series staple mechanic, Episode Two offers many different choices and decisions that heavily affect how the rest of the narrative plays out. As you would expect, these decisions are as subtle or as obvious as they like, and it’s in the small decisions where the narrative becomes interesting. Regularly throughout conversation will the game record your responses and let you know the outcome. If you are very cold towards a certain character or sympathetic, the characters will remember and this will affect how they react to you in the later stages of the game. It’s the consequences of your actions that separates the characters from being one-dimensional NPC’s to very human-like characters and that react in a natural manner, complete with their own vivid, and developed personalities. To really capture just how much your choices effect the episodes outcome, players should be encouraged to play the episode again to test the variety of the narrative. There is great enjoyment to be found in playing through the episode again to see how drastically the events and characters change to your behaviour and play style.
Episode 2 continues on from Season Two’s incredible opening to deliver one of the best episodes to date. While the gameplay offering isn’t that varied, with moments of action only occasionally thrown in, this fails to tarnish the experience and it is in fact very refreshing to get an episode almost entirely dedicated to delivering outstanding dialogue and conversation. While the first few minutes don’t do much to excite, the episode soon picks up and from then on in you will be hooked up until the thrilling conclusion, at which point you will be begging to find out what happens next. It seems almost ridiculous that Telltale can move from strength to strength and continue to deliver quality games without fail, but I guess that perfectly displays the talent that works there. An outstanding effort from an outstanding developer – bring on Episode Three!
- Brilliant dialogue, and equally brilliant voice acting.
- Outstanding character development.
- One of the most memorable episodes to date.
- A fantastic conclusion that has you begging for more.
- Weak opening section.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.