January 19, 2014
Episode One “All That Remains” does a terrific job of explaining all of this in the episode’s opening sequence. At the end of Season One Clem meets Christa and Omid and Season Two picks up the trio several months after their reunion. Christa is now very pregnant with Omid’s child, but a simple restroom stop turns into a nightmare as after a set of tragic events involving a thief, Omid is left dead and the story picks up 16 months later with a baby-less Christa. Christa and Clem are now the only members left after that tragic encounter.
Even though it’s been well over a year, it is clear that things are far from ok with these two. Clem still lacks many of the basic skills it takes to survive in this kind of world and Christa is a shell of her former self. The two are traveling North towards Wellington where Christa believes things to be safer, but the group still has many more rough weeks of walking ahead of them. That was until Christa is caught by another group and gets separated from Clem. While Clem escapes, she gets washed down a river and wakes up far from where she started.
Confused and alone you play as a weakened Clem who hasn’t eaten in day and has almost nothing on her after losing her equipment in the chase. This leads to plenty of great moments that take all sorts of twists and turns that veterans of the first season won’t see coming. Memorable moments like running into a dog and joining a mysterious group seem like situations you would know what to expect, but take a turn for the worse in ways you would never hope to see. To all of us who played the first season and committed to do anything for this little girl, it is truly intriguing to now help shape what kind of people she becomes as you play as her.
The conversation mechanics from the first game are still the same and offer all sorts of options throughout the game. While you can keep Clem the quiet girl we knew from the first season, she can also be a child that strikes fear into adults and walkers. Exploring your surroundings is also largely the same as the last season’s mechanics. Combat sequences are where things feel the most different and if you have played The Wolf Among Us It will feel rather similar to that. For those who haven’t, this basically means that the camera is much more dynamic, along with QTEs that feel less repetitive and more dynamic. If you are still not a fan of QTEs this game might annoy some, as the game likes to put them into any action situation instead of having you just watch events unfold. If you are not paying attention things could happen so fast you end up having to replay a whole action segment again - it could be a bit more forgiving.
Difficulty in games as story heavy as The Walking Dead is hard to perfect, because an action segment that might be too fast for some could annoy those who want to just continue the story. Others could find the only challenge coming from QTEs annoying as well, but Telltale is clearly trying to find a good balance. Still, you will be left feeling like Episode One lacks the difficulty players were expecting after the end of Season One or 400 Days.
Now presentation in most Telltale games always seems to be a mixed bag of opinion depending on many factors. While Episode One looks fine with the cel-shading effect, it is a bit disappointing that the visuals weren’t upgraded much, especially when looking at The Wolf Among Us. Even though the world is a depressing and mostly empty one, it doesn’t mean you can’t make the world a visually interesting place. At least the numerous bugs, pop in textures, glitches, and messed up lip-sync is completely gone (at least on the PS3 version).
The Walking Dead: Season Two Episode One - All That Remains takes about 3-4 hours to complete. The amount of memorable moments will keep fans anticipated for the next episode, but it’s a bit disappointing that Season Two more like an expansion than the full sequel that many are probably expecting. Still, this game is sure to appeal to fans and it’s nice to see things from Clem’s perspective now.
The Walking Dead: Season Two was reviewed on the PlayStation Network. You can read more about GamingUnion.net's scoring policy here.