Review: The Walking Dead Series 2, Episode 1: All That Remains

it doesn’t take long for the shocks and surprises to start coming…

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Roughly 18 months ago I started a journey on my PS3 the repeatedly tugged at my heartstrings, agonising decision by agonising decision. Telltale’s Walking Dead series told a tale of Clementine, a young girl whose parents got caught up in the zombie outbreak and left her fighting her own battles by herself. The was until Lee, a criminal who got a lucky break and escaped at the beginning of Episode 1, took her under his wing and guided her through a series of dangers through to the emotional final moments in Episode 5. It was an incredibly written story, executed at a fantastic page with some great characters coming and going throughout the series, and formed a strong argument for many people’s game of the year. Eventually, after an agonising wait, series 2 of The Walking Dead has arrived, and it’s every bit of brilliant as we’ve come to expect.

If you’re still planning on playing the first series and want to avoid spoilers you might want to skip to the final paragraph about now. I can easily avoid spoilers for this episode, but it’s almost impossible to not mention how the first series ended.

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Still here? Good. That means you’ve either already finished series 1, or don’t care about knowing how it all ended. This episode picks up after Clementine has reluctantly left Lee close to death and handcuffed to a radiator, and has found her way to temporary safety. in the final moments of the previous series we saw two figures in the distance, and the first thing we find out is exactly who they were. But it doesn’t take long for the shocks and surprises to start coming, and before long everything has been turned onto its head and Clementine ends up being very much in danger again.

From the very opening of this episode the tricky and timed dialogue decisions that we enjoyed in series 1 (and the recent Wolf Among Us) are back, forcing you to decide how to respond to conversation without the luxury of thinking too much about the possible consequences. Those choices, along with some moments where you make certain key decisions, affect future events both in this episode and over the course of the series. In a similar way, those of you who have played one or more of last season’s titles will have the chance to import your save game, and with it all of those choices that you made along the way. How this will all pan out remains to be seen, but the “Coming Soon” trailer at the end of this episode suggests more big surprises are in store.

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The key feeling through this episode is loneliness, and despite the character count being fairly high in this, it’s clear that Clementine is very much alone in her struggle. Even when you think you’re starting to get somewhere and form new relationships something happens to realise you were sorely mistaken, and in a moment that’s becoming a regular challenge in Telltale’s adventures you’re forced to make an impossible, no-win decision that will have major repercussions on the upcoming episodes. You’ll finish the episode convinced you’ve made the wrong choice, and you’ll need to wait several weeks before you find out just what the fallout will be based on what you’ve done over the course of the 3 hours or so you’ve spent in Clementine’s company.

This is the Walking Dead returning in style. Fans of the last season will adore it, fans of pointy-clicky adventures will adore it and anyone who loves getting emotionally involved in a game’s characters will love it. 18 months ago I started a journey of emotions and heart-breaking decisions with season 1 of The Walking Dead, and now that journey has continued  with every bit as much impact as the day it started. Brace yourself, it’s going be a bumpy, but ultimately superb ride.

Reviewed on PS3

Note: We’ll give a score to the entire series after Episode 5. But let’s face it, after reading that review you can probably figure out that we like it. A lot.

 
 

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