18th Dec2013

Review: The Walking Dead – Season 2 Episode 1 (Xbox 360)

by Paul Metcalf


Last year The Walking Dead Season 1 was named game of the year by many critics and deserved all the praise it got.  A game that was shaped by your moral choices it gripped you emotionally and by the time it let go it left you drained but wanting more.  Now as The Walking Dead: Season 2 Episode 1 finally arrives we get to see Clementine and what she’s been up to since we last saw her.

To mention too much about the plot for the first episode would be unfair, as The Walking Dead has always been all about the story and how it develops based on your choices.  It’s safe to say though that Clementine is now the focus of the game and she’s been surviving by moving between groups of adults who have helped her.  As we meet her in the start of the episode she finds a place that may be safe, but with paranoia high and hints at other characters with not so good intentions it may not be the safest place for Clementine to spend much time.

Other than the plot The Walking Dead Season 2 is very much a case of if it’s not broken don’t fix it.  The interface and controls are the same and graphically not much has changed.  The world that Clementine is trapped in is dark and oppressive with the constant danger of zombie attack at an all-time high.  As usual we have the typical characters, some friendly, some paranoid and some outright aggressive.  Each of these characters have their own view of Clementine and of course our character has her own view on them.  The main theme appears to be trust at this point and there is little of it.

What makes a return in The Walking Dead: Season 2 Episode 1 is the hard choices that have to be made, one of them is quite heart wrenching as you gain a small semblance of a friendship only to have it ripped away from you, and it’s not even with a human.  Choices typically are hard and can sometimes be cruel, but what this does is to push you as the person in control to do the hard thing.  It’s obvious that most of the choices that are made will have an effect on the future of the game so make sure you pick right, or what feels right at least.

On the Xbox 360 version I reviewed there were a few glitches in the game, some slowdown is noticeable but more noticeable are characters from previous scenes appearing in parts of the game where they don’t belong.  This can be quite unnerving at first as you expect them to react to you, but when they are just frozen it doesn’t take long to realise they don’t belong.  This doesn’t get in the way of gameplay but it is a bug that needs to be fixed in a future update maybe.

When looking at The Walking Dead: Season 2 Episode 1 the question has to be can lightning strike twice and can the game be as good as the first season?  From the first episode signs are definitely good, but the writing around Clementine may need to be tightened up slightly.  Her character tends to flip from being the helpless little girl to the world hardened ass kicker, where what we really need is for her to stick with one line and be the hardened character that has seen too much too young.  Having played the first episode though I definitely feel this will be a season to remember and with a hint of a returning character who as thought to be dead… That maybe something to look forward to in episodes to come.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek.com

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