Review: The Walking Dead Episode 2

Since playing through the first episode of the new Walking Dead series I’ve been doing a bit of catching up on other areas of the Walking Dead universe. I’ve watched the first series of the AMC series, and read the first 90-odd editions of the comic and both have made me a huge fan of the whole Walking Dead affair. Despite this series of games taking a tangent from the relatively similar story lines of the comic and TV series, it’s very clear to see that the writing and outcomes are very much born from the same ideas.

Episode 2 takes a very dark turn when compared to the opening title, and without giving too much away gives more focus on reminding us that zombies wouldn’t be the only threats in a situation like this. This episode isn’t quite as long as the first, but feels like it’s twice as hard-hitting. Part of this is down to the feeling that things are really starting to kick off as a result of decisions made last time out, and things you did or said is already starting to have an effect. Whether it’s something you said or did for Clementine, or a decision made regarding some of the adults the seeds have clearly been planted and the consequences are starting to blossom which makes some decisions extremely hard to make. So you try to balance out opinions by siding with different people, or keep certain folks onside by favouring them?

Either way you’ll be made to feel the outcomes of your decisions, and by the time you reach the end of this gut-wrenching chapter of the story you’ll be in no doubt just how dangerous life is getting. Again we end on a cliffhanger that will make the next few weeks a very painful wait until the next episode arrives, although playing through with a few alternative decisions is very tempting and will give you another chance to experience the awesome story-telling.

And really there isn’t much else to be said without spoiling the storyline. The puzzles aren’t too tricky, but then I don’t see that being the main purpose here. There are a few moments where you can miss an opportunity without realising until it’s too late, but again that’s all part of the game’s nature. The timed conversations are still tough, forcing you into quick decisions that lean more towards the Alpha Protocol conversation system than that of Mass Effect, and make things all the more wince-inducing when you realise you’ve just said something utterly cretinous.

And so the story rumbles on, every bit as powerful and horrific as you’d want it to be and giving the next chapter a heavy dose of “can’t wait”. If you’ve picked up the season pass and not grabbed this yet, do so. If you’re still unsure but are looking for a story to grip you by the jaffas and not let go then you’ll love it. Just don’t rely on the subtitles, because some of them are either slightly different to the actual speech or contain odd grammar errors that will bug those of you with grammar OCD…

I can’t score an individual episode easily, so won’t. But the great first episode has been continued in fine style.

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