The Walking Dead: Season Two's first episode walks through familiar territory

"All That Remains" is the first episode in a five-part series. We plan on doing a formal review of the entire second season of The Walking Dead...


"All That Remains" is the first episode in a five-part series. We plan on doing a formal review of the entire second season of The Walking Dead once it is complete. Until then, here are our impressions of the first episode.

Telltale wowed gamers with the first season of The Walking Dead. Forcing players to suffer through the consequence of instant life-or-death decisions was certainly novel enough to win our Game of the Year award. When Telltale announced plans for a second season, fans were eager to find out more.

The second season kicks off today on PC, Mac, and PS3 and it's pretty much exactly what you'd expect. This time, you assume the role of Clementine, and you'll be forced to make many similar life-or-death choices in Robert Kirkman's bleak post-apocalyptic world.

Of course, it can feel too familiar at times. Systems haven't changed too much for Telltale's second season. Once again, NPCs will "remember what you said" in conversation, and good intentions are often rewarded with unexpected consequences. As in the first season, there will be moments where multiple characters' lives are in your hands--and you won't be able to save everyone.

The overly familiar situations that Clementine finds herself in may ultimately expose the gimmick of The Walking Dead's gameplay, but what kept me going through the first episode was my interest in seeing Clementine grow. We've invested an entire five-episode series into her. It's fascinating to see how she's changed in the time between the first and second season, and it's especially moving to hear references to her time with Lee.

Unsurprisingly, it's the narrative that will keep players going through The Walking Dead's second season. There have been some enhancements to the gameplay. Take, for example, more dynamic action sequences. While the annoying "Game Over" can still happen from failing to complete certain QTEs, the fight scenes offer more variation, letting you choose different objects in the environment, for example. It's still not Heavy Rain, but it's a huge improvement over the game's first season.

400 Days showcased Telltale's ability to establish interesting characters in a short amount of time, and while they're not as successful in "All That Remains," they're clearly setting up threads that will pay off in future episodes to come. It would be a shame to say any more, as it's unlikely you want spoilers to mar your experience.

At the end of the day, the second season of The Walking Dead is exactly what you'd expect: more of the same. Telltale is seemingly more confident in their storytelling this around, pulling harder punches even faster than before. And while the narrative gimmicks are becoming overly familiar, seeing Clementine grow into a capable survivor will be reward enough for fans of the series.

This review is based on downloadable PC code provided by the publisher. The Walking Dead: Season Two is now available digitally on PC and Mac for $22.49. The game will also be available on PS3 later today, on Xbox 360 on December 18, on iOS on December 19, and eventually on Vita. The game is rated M.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 17, 2013 11:00 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, The Walking Dead: Season Two's first episode walks through familiar territory.

    "All That Remains" is the first episode in a five-part series. We plan on doing a formal review of the entire second season of The Walking Dead...

    • reply
      December 17, 2013 11:23 AM

      Oh, wow, didn't know this was coming out already. I might have to take a break from my multiplayer zombie killing to reflect on some solo zombie killing. But, funny enough, I feel like I'd kinda rather finish Wolf Among Us before starting this.

      • reply
        December 17, 2013 11:39 AM

        I wish they had. Unfortunately who knows when episode 2 is coming

      • reply
        December 17, 2013 11:59 AM

        I agree. I bought TWD S2 and am excited to play it and hope it will be great, but it's also a "been there, done that" situation and WUA was a SUPER nice change of setting, characters and story while still having that emotional sting that TWD did.

        • reply
          December 17, 2013 12:07 PM

          I *really* thought the graphic style was awesome

        • reply
          December 17, 2013 2:16 PM

          TWUA is still ongoing? Why did I think they completed it?

          • reply
            December 17, 2013 2:32 PM

            They've only released the first episode. I think they pulled everyone off to finish TWD because it would sell more during the holidays.

    • reply
      December 17, 2013 11:58 AM

      More of the same ey. I'm fine with that.

    • reply
      December 17, 2013 12:20 PM

      GOD DAMN IT I have to wait until it's out on the Xbox now because I played the first seaaon there. :(

      • reply
        December 17, 2013 12:25 PM

        Hi, Tell Tale, why are there no cross-platform save games? Save games must be tiny with the few booleans you have to set. :(

        • reply
          December 17, 2013 12:37 PM

          My guesses would be

          - Perhaps their game save data is a serialization of memory to disk and it's not portable across platforms
          - The difficulty in transporting saves across platforms in the first place (I know YOU could do it but joe blow probably has no idea)
          - The lack of any true cross platform cloud storage options that the console vendors would be willing to play along with. You could use freaking Dropbox and sync across PC, Mac, iOS, etc., but I would imagine Microsoft and/or Sony would fail the shit out of that in certification. To say nothing of their lack of willingness to help you potentially switch to their competitor's platform in any way.

          • reply
            December 17, 2013 12:42 PM

            Big question is whether I need to download the first season + 400 days just for it to read my cloud saves. Seems a little much.

        • reply
          December 17, 2013 12:42 PM

          Shit if they had to they could probably have the application spit out a character string old school style.

          • reply
            December 17, 2013 12:43 PM

            Please insert your saved character disk from any of the previous Quest for Glory games.

          • reply
            December 17, 2013 12:55 PM

            Enter secret password JUSTIN BAILEY to see all the zombies in bikinis

          • reply
            December 17, 2013 2:59 PM

            seriously. How many choices do you make in those titles? I feel like a 12 character key would hold everything you need.

        • reply
          December 17, 2013 2:47 PM

          They never even fixed the save system with the first game. No way they'll get cross-platform correct.

        • reply
          December 17, 2013 4:03 PM

          They can't even get save games right on PC, you expect them to get cross-platform saves working?

    • reply
      December 17, 2013 12:21 PM

      I'm waiting for the entire thing (all episodes) to be released.

    • reply
      December 17, 2013 12:57 PM

      Just finished it. mini review: Obviously it's just a fraction of the whole story of the season, so that makes it impossible to understand what this one episode means in the overall context yet. However, taken alone it's neither bad nor impressive. There's basically only two things to do in the first episode: deal with violence and deal with puzzles that have only one (I think) solution. And of course you're constantly getting beat over the head by ugly circumstances because TWD revels in such things.

      One strange thing for TWD games is I didn't really care about any character this episode. Clem is now a respawning videogame hero guaranteed 5 episodes. Hope something upsets that tired dynamic soon, but so far it's a bit too predictable and she's whining a bit too much for what the player is thinking. We'll just reload if that thing eats you, girl! Be quiet.

      Anyway, it's worth checking out but grab Wolf Among Us at the same time. I had more fun out of the gate with that. This will probably play better with all episodes out.

      • reply
        December 17, 2013 2:41 PM

        I'm surprised they stuck with her. I thought their original plan was to have all completely new characters and new story.

        • reply
          December 17, 2013 4:02 PM

          This has a totally different writing team than TWD1, so I'm not surprised plans changed.

      • reply
        December 17, 2013 3:07 PM

        You know it's not all that far fetched to think that all those things could change in the next couple of episodes (I mean, I don't actually think they'd kill her off in ep2 and pick up with another protaganist, but that'd really be something...I feel it would be more likely if it weren't specifically HER, or at least not a child )
        It'd kinda be a nod to the comics - no one is safe.

        • reply
          December 17, 2013 3:43 PM

          I was thinking about that. It would be really kind of incredible if they could branch the protagonist depending on whether you keep her alive or not. I don't think it's going to happen this season, but it's a neat idea to throw out there. Maybe somebody picks it up someday.

      • reply
        December 17, 2013 3:52 PM

        Just finished it too. Loved it but was looking forward to the possibility of having the dog as a companion.....

    • reply
      December 17, 2013 4:01 PM

      Just went back to play 400 Days and got hit by the save game bug AGAIN.

      They completely f'ed up this game on PC, and basically make you shuffle around a bunch of files to fix your saves. Fixing this this should have been their #1 priority. Like, "we are pulling this product from the Steam store, and putting all hands on deck revamping the entire save system until we fix this."

      There are still dozens of people constantly posting about broken saves:

      I cannot in good conscience buy The Walking Dead Season 2 at full price. I will wait until it hits the bargain bin, and hope that they did a slightly less awful job than they did the first time around.

      • reply
        December 17, 2013 5:18 PM

        I've never seen these problems or I'd be in your shoes. Dunno why they're slacking on technical stuff. That's quite weird. It seems people who use their Telltale client get really bad service there too.

Hello, Meet Lola