While Season One of Telltale’s The Walking Dead games was all about protecting Clementine from the horrors of the world around her, Season Two is not ashamed to follow a completely different path. Season Two puts you in direct control of Clementine and isn’t afraid to almost instantly twist events so that you are lost, alone and in danger. No longer able to rely on the help of Season One’s protagonist Lee, Season Two starts off as a character study into who Clementine actually is, who she has become in his absence and who she will ultimately grow to become without the guiding influences she once had. It removes that layer of shrink wrap the character had been protected by and encourages you to shape her into the kind of survivor you want her to be, regardless of what nefarious means she might use to get her own way.

Season Two starts off in much the way people expected it to from Season One’s  ending. With Lee gone Clementine searches for and finds Omid and Christa. Very quickly we ride a rollercoaster of emotions that leaves Clem emotionally wrung dry. She’s alone, she’s hurt and she’s desperate for companionship and comfort of some sort. We see her letting her guard down and paying the price, exploring her own loneliness and generally struggling in this new part of her own life.

In my opinion the most interesting and important part of the direction Season Two is taking is the increased options for who you can choose for Clementine to become. Put simply, Clementine is a much more interesting character when given the choice to be horrible and exploitative to those around her to get what she wants. Whether she’s making puppy dog eyes at someone to win over their support or blackmailing a woman with information she shouldn’t have heard, the options to develop your own Clementine and her underlying personality is something that completely changes up her character’s role in the game.

I have to get this out the way before we go any further, I personally feel that Clementine is my new all time favourite female lead in any video game. She’s very well written in the role of vulnerable and somewhat naive young woman in the beginning which fits with how she was being treated in the first series. What really makes her interesting though is that there are some intriguing negative aspects to her character that caught me off guard and gave depth to her. She’s capable of incredible feats of manipulation of both the adults and children she comes into contact with, knowing that she can use her innocent appearance to her advantage to get what she wants done.

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I’ll also add that while she is initially portrayed as vulnerable, she has an incredible determination routed in her own knowledge that she has to toughen up and take care of herself if those around her will not. She’s not some kind of super soldier, she’s vulnerable in all the right ways to keep her interesting and morally grey.

The game engine for Telltale’s The Walking Dead has seen a significant step up in quality since the release of the first Season. Following in the footsteps of The Wolf Among Us, which they are releasing between TWD Seasons, the action sequences are much better paced, the walking animations are smoother and the game generally looks nicer all around.

My biggest issues with Season Two – Episode One are issues that may actually end up becoming non-issues as the Season goes on if we’re lucky. The game’s ending is too abrupt and unfulfilling on its own and secondly the first episode of the Season gives us very little idea of the overarching story direction the remaining Four episodes are going to head.

The abrupt ending of the episode likely won’t be too much of a problem for those playing the Season all at one time upon its completion but it was a bit jarring if you’re playing as each episode hits. This does work really well as a stand-alone character development episode, but the ending just makes it feel a little like episodes one and two possibly want to tell one longer story that they chopped up into two parts.

The overarching story still has plenty of time to reveal itself in the coming episodes too, for now it could be argued that it’s more important to focus on Clem and her struggles before we throw her back into the chaos of the world. It was a bit weird in that context playing just one episode but my thoughts may well change as the rest of the Season hits over the next year.

Review: The Walking Dead - Season Two Episode One

Wrap Up

Clementine is developing into a fascinating character and I can't wait to see what she is going to have to contend with over the rest of the year. These games were always about protecting Clementine, but now they're about the steps a child will go to in order to ensure they can stay safe in a terrifying world.
Pros
  • Not afraid of a new direction
  • Clementine is developed into morally ambiguous character
  • Improved engine
Cons
  • Abrupt ending
  • Lack of overall series direction
8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (2 Votes)
9.3

About The Author

Founding Member

Laura’s gaming journey began in the 90′s when she was given a SNES by her older brother with Mario paint. From that day video games were all she thought about day or night, be it playing them, designing them, discussing them or writing about them. Why does she want to write about indie games? Because indie devs are awesome and she wants to be their new best friend by telling them how terrible their games are. That’s how it works right? Twitter: @LauraKBuzz Email: Laurak@indiehaven.com

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