Although The Walking Dead: Season Two isn’t as strong as its predecessor, this is one of the best graphic adventure games in the market.
With the first season of The Walking Dead, San Rafael-based developer Telltale Games proved that they could craft a gripping point-and-click adventure that has a haunting narrative, an attractive visual style and an intuitive gameplay and that’s loyal to the genre’s origins and to the property it was based on. For many, The Walking Dead adventure game came out of nowhere, but to those who have been following Telltale’s work since their humble beginnings, already knew what the company was capable of. Now that the inevitable second part of The Walking Dead is out, the question that a lot of people are asking is: is The Walking Dead: Season Two as strong as its predecessor? The short answer is not quite, but this is still one of the best games of this kind in the market.
The story of Season Two picks up right where the first season left off and this time around, you assume the role of Clementine, a child who’s doing her best to survive the zombie apocalypse on her own. But as the first season taught us, trying to survive by yourself is almost impossible in this post-apocalyptic world, so you’ll see how Clementine befriends strangers and old friends. The realities of Season One forced Clementine to grow up and in Season Two, things aren’t getting any better. It’s worth mentioning that while the narrative might have some new elements, the game’s structure and gameplay remain the same.
In the world of The Walking Dead no one survives alone, so you’ll meet other people, some good and some bad and you’ll need to decide if you trust them or not. What I like the most about The Walking Dead universe is that it explores what happens when all the laws we’ve learned throughout our lives are suddenly gone. Will you still be good-natured and civil when you’re cold, hungry and scared? Will you trust other people when you know they are capable of some of the worst things imaginable? Throughout five episodes, that’s the scenario this game tries to explore.
The game does a terrific job when it comes to character development. You really get to know most of the characters that are part of this story and you care about what happens to them. This post apocalyptic world is violent and harsh, so you never feel safe no matter what happens or who you meet. Additionally, it’s easy to be invested in the story, since the storyline is so gripping.
The Walking Dead: Season One was a triumph for the genre and while this sequel doesn’t reach the same heights of its predecessor, this is still modern point-and-click adventure at its best. For those unfamiliar, the game encourages you to select dialogue options in a limited amount of time, but pay attention because characters remember what you say and react accordingly. From time to time, you also need to push buttons in QTE fashion to progress. For this sequel, the gameplay remains pretty much unchanged and that’s both a blessing and a curse. Although this makes the story interactive and most of your choices matter (or at least the game does a terrific job of making you think they do,) you’ve already played this style of gameplay, and what was once fresh and unique can now be boring and repetitive. In other words, the gameplay doesn’t have the same impact as it once did.
The decision-making system might be simplistic, but it does a great job of make you think about your actions. When all hell breaks loose, you often wonder if the same outcome would have taken place should you have made a different decision. It’s hard to know if all the paths lead to the same outcome especially if you don’t play the game a second time and while I think they do, the game constantly creates the illusion of option. Granted, some characters die and you’re given the option of saving one or the other, but overall, the story is more linear than most people give it credit for.
Not only does season two continue the narrative of the previous season, but it also let’s you import your save as long as you’re playing on the same platform. This means that the game will know all the choices you’ve made in all the previous episodes. If the game’s unable to find the save though, all the choices will be chosen for you when you start the season. Personally, I played on the PC and I wasn’t able to import my save from Season One because I uninstalled the game (which, by the way, doesn’t support cloud saves,) so I had to start from scratch even though I had played both Season One and the DLC 400 Days, so bear that in mind if you’re playing the Steam version of the game.
Telltale products have always had technical issues and this entry is no exception. I reached a specific moment in the final episodes of the season and the game kept crashing on the same scene. After doing some research, I found that a lot of people were struggling on the same part and nothing seemed to work (tinkering the graphics settings, changing the resolution and so on.) Telltale Games’ titles are notorious for their technical problems, but bugs like these aren’t just annoying but game-breaking. There’s nothing as disheartening as reaching the final episode and not being able to finish it due to a random crash, bug or incompatibility problem. Throughout my playthrough, I also encounter random crashes and visual glitches that soured my experience.
In the end, Season Two of The Walking Dead might not be as strong as its predecessor, but it still packs quite a punch. Unfortunately, a slew of technical issues, uneven episodes and some forced moments make Season Two ruin the experience from time to time. There’s a lot to like here, but problems like that make sure that this game won’t capture players the same way Season One did.