Alex Lynch Reviews: TellTale's THE WALKING DEAD S2E1 - All That Remains [PC]
TellTale Games have FINALLY brought back the critically-acclaimed The Walking Dead video game series. Does a playable Clementine live up to the hype or does this little girl's adventure fall flat on it's face? Check out my take...
The Walking Dead Season 2: All That Remains is the first episode in the highly-anticipated return of TellTale’s critically acclaimed adventure series. However, this time players control Clementine, the little girl whom we met in the first season and bonded with, as well as teaching her how to survive. However, does TellTale’s return to Walking Dead shine as a great narrative, or has the hype fallen flat? To be honest, this episode is truly only great for the development of Clementine’s character and nothing else.
TellTale has asked that spoilers be kept to a minimum so it’s going to be hard to talk about the episode without diving into too much detail, honestly. However, there are some slight plot points that do not ruin the story that should be talked about. To start, just like the introduction to the first season, All That Remains is pretty basic. The new cast of characters is barely fleshed out and we don’t get a good understanding about their characters. Sure, we get an idea about a few of them (such as new survivor Carlos and his methods) but it’s hard to remember everyone’s names when some of them are barely on-screen. The main part of this episode deals mostly with the dilemma of how you should treat a random little girl in the wilderness. The new group of survivors has a debate after Clementine is seemingly a threat, especially after they believe she has been bitten. As Clementine, the player has to make hard choices and just show how independent she has become upon losing Lee Everett. The whole episode is just an interesting character piece for Clementine; playing as a little girl has definitely somewhat changed the style of the game, and I’m not so-sure it’s for the best. Everything seems so much smaller in-scale, in a sense. You’re barely making adult decisions, however you’re still killing walkers and having badass moments. Unfortunately, though, All That Remains seems incredibly short. None of the characters are beefed up and the pacing is incredibly off, not to mention an incredibly abrupt ending.
Unfortunately, TellTale almost hasn’t kicked it up a notch with the gameplay, sound or visuals. Sure, there’s plenty of more action in the game than there was in the first season’s premiere, but it’s the same gameplay technique used in The Wolf Among Us’ premiere. There’s almost nothing new here and the gameplay doesn’t feel fresh other than an all-new UI. Now, that’s not completely unexpected from TellTale, but the episode really feels rushed out. There was never really a moment where I was shocked at a new mechanic. However, even though the gameplay was lackluster, Jared Emerson-Johnson’s music for TellTale has significantly improved and has become very noticeable in this episode in comparison to the previous season. It’s powerful, but not that great, especially compared to other video games. Even though the stylistic nature of The Walking Dead hasn’t changed, there could’ve been room for graphical improvement, but alas we only got slightly bigger environments.
To conclude, Telltale barely stepped up their game (literally) for The Walking Dead. However, there are still some gut-punching moments and fantastic character building for Clementine contained in the episode. It’s just a shame that it’s too short and we only get to care for Clementine and none of the other new, original cast additions. The game also proves that, thus far, the 400 Days DLC has been worthless. Nevertheless, the 5$ish dollar price tag on a single episode of The Walking Dead is well-worth it but if I were a Seasons Pass owner, I’d be pissed off at first.
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