The Walking Dead: Season 2 – Episode One: All That Remains (Review)

December 23, 2013 6:21 PM

*contains major spoilers for Season 1 (game) and minor spoilers from Season 2

A game that caught my eye last year was Telltale’s The Walking Dead, especially since being a fan of the comics and TV show. Although proving to be very different to the TV series, Telltale’s stance on the zombie franchise consisted of comic book style artwork and a point-and-click adventure that leaves you on the edge of your seat.

On the 17th December, Telltale released the second season of the game, kicking off with Episode 1: All That Remains. The first episode definitely proves to be a successor of the first season, hitting back with plenty of action and difficult decisions to make.

The story picks up with playing as Clementine from the last season, much to the pleasure of the game’s fan-base. Much over a year has passed once you’re in the meat of the game and you definitely sense how weathered she is from the events of the last couple of months.  Season 1, we played as flawed but definite hero, Lee – who ruthlessly looked after Clementine until his demise. When Telltale notoriously killed off one of my favourite characters within the first five minutes of the episode, I knew I was in for another emotional roller-coaster.

Following the same format as Season 1, All That Remains remains to be a point-and-click adventure. Thankfully, Telltale haven’t been messing around with the gameplay, but the mechanics of the game appears to be far more superior to Season 1 with smoother interactions and exploration. Interactivity definitely has escalated to becoming complex, with Clementine dodging left, right, up and down to avoid the walkers, which reminded me of the combat in Beyond: Two Souls. The game’s graphics have somewhat improved, too, looking slightly more three-dimensional but still retaining the comic book style from last season.

All The Remains raises the bar in both interactivity and moral choices. The first episode takes a huge leap in terms of action, with much more button-mashing and analog stick swiping. Being completely familiar with the zombie genre’s need for jump scares, I still felt unprepared for the level of action involved in this episode. Perhaps that would annoy some, but I wholly understand that Telltale felt the action was necessary in order to throw the player right back into a world of danger after a long wait.

The episode also presents many challenging characters. As the absurdity of the apocalypse progresses, so does the hostility of survivors; people are far more willing to put down a young child – remember Larry from Season 1? Expect much more of that. The group of survivors Clementine comes across have their own secrets and a history that will likely be explored later in the season. The first instalment readies us for the characters that will prove to be potential threats later in the game and maintains plenty of mystery and allure for the next season. Carver, a character we hear about through other survivors, is probably one we should all be worried about. We don’t know much about this character except that he is dangerous and ready to kill more than just the walking dead.

The decisions I had to make in this game certainly raised my blood pressure, as I found myself pausing and needing to figure out which choice would benefit me the best in the long run. Telltale’s The Walking Dead really hits home that actions have its consequences; and sometimes 3 seconds to decide is all you get. You convince yourself you want to play the game rationally, but once you start growing an attachment to characters, decision-making becomes extremely difficult.

I’m highly pleased with this first episode and Telltale Games proves itself amongst the bigger developers out there. Upon finishing the episode, Telltale teases us with what’s to come – players may need to brace themselves for a reappearance of an old character, one who is to Clementine’s knowledge, dead. Is it Lilly? Kenny? Or maybe even Molly? All I’m sure is, it’ll be nothing short of a thrilling adventure.

You can now purchase Episode One: All That Remains from Steam, the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live.