ORIGINAL: The Walking Dead has had tremendous success in all forms of media it has participated in. The AMC television show has aired not only to a Golden Globe nomination, but has also broken cable viewership records for non-sports broadcasting. The original comic series has been going strong for over 10 years and over 100 issues, with no signs of stopping. Now it is Telltale Games’ turn to keep the ball rolling with Season 2 of The Walking Dead video game; a series where player choices drive the narrative.
If you are not familiar with The Walking Dead universe, most stories surrounding the namesake are based in rural Georgia, USA. Due to an unforeseen infection, those who die reanimate as live corpses, hungry for flesh of any kind. It just so happens that these undead come back to life surrounding other humans, resulting in a zombie infection that wipes out most of the Earth’s population.
All Walking Dead narratives have an underlying desire to illustrate the human condition at its most dire. They often follow a small group of survivors who exhaust all options they can just to survive another day. It is not just about the “walkers;” it is about the relationships of those with no hope left.
For Season 2 of The Walking Dead, Telltale Games places you in the fearful eyes of Clementine, a prepubescent girl who has made it out alive several months after the walker outbreak. Her parents having turned, she is left alone to fend for herself. She was a prominent character in Season 1, therefore it is highly recommended you visit that story first, as well as the 400 Days DLC that came out earlier this year.
Just like the television show, The Walking Dead game follows an episodic structure, this time with 5 episodes per season. This not only allows for the game’s developers to stagnate content and maintain interest in the series over time, but allows them to gauge feedback from players’ choices and how to make moral decisions more difficult going forward. It also allows for a unique pricing scheme: the equivalent of $5/episode.
Events from Season 1’s Episode 1 have not only altered the path in Episode 5, they can sometimes decide who lives or dies. Additionally, at the end of each episode you get to see how other players handled key moments in the episode, showing a percentage of those that sided with you in how to handle the game. It is a great way in not only engaging the playing community, but to allow the players to put thought into how they play all forms of gaming.
Telltale Games has big shoes to fill. Their first season gathered over 90 Game of the Year awards in 2012, including from USA Today, Metacritic and Yahoo!. While some will argue over the merits of a linear game with overwhelming detail to story over gameplay, The Walking Dead has cemented themselves as a powerhouse in the gaming industry because of their masterful ability to write and dictate a well-crafted adventure.
The Walking Dead Season 2 begins with Episode 1, “All That Remains,” which is out today on Steam worldwide, PS3 in North America, December 18th for Xbox 360 worldwide and later this week for iOS worldwide. Make sure to check out my review of the first episode. Additionally, don’t forget to bookmark us over at GameSided.com for all your gaming news, previews, features and review needs!
Below is a trailer from The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 1.