Episode One: All That Remains REVIEW
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE WALKING DEAD SEASON ONE.
NOTE: the choices you made in Season 1, and the DLC of “400 Days” does effect the gameplay and story.
“This is gonna suck.”
I’m a firm believer that video games have the ability to tell stories better than other forms of storytelling, such as television or movies. With the first season of the Walking Dead, it not only confirmed my belief but also showed me how involved I could be with a story. Very few video games have ever been able to make me cry, let alone have “feels” [shorthand for the word “feelings” that is used to describe an intense emotional response, such as sadness.] While I received the first season of TWD for free, I went out of my way and paid full price for this second season.
“I’m hurt. Please help me.”
Much of the gameplay here is the same as the first season, but fine tuned and yet still improving. As usual, it’s a point and click adventure with you taking control of Clementine after Lee’s departure. I will say I am really starting to get tired of having to press my “q” key repeatedly during quick time events. I wish they would have some variety in different keys to always keep me on my toes as to what it will have to be, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see if they update that. Another thing I didn’t really like was a further use of quick time events in that during some scenes one has to push to the right, left, back, or forward keys to avoid zombies or other hazards. I feel like these are out of place and take me straight out of the moment. The Game only clocks in at around 90 minutes long, which I know its only one episode, but the other episodes in season one would usually last me around two hours.
Of course there are some bugs that I bet will be fixed with patches ahead. Some of my glitches, for example, would be someone holding an item in their hand and the item moving, while the arm is perfectly still. Again these are just minor things that never really interrupted gameplay, but just managed to take me out of the moment.
“I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt…”
Ok, here’s where the meat of the game is. The Walking Dead focuses heavily on story and to a fantastic effect. The story picks up several months later where Clem has managed to meet up with Omid and Christa (I guess they were the two figures in the distance at the end of season 1). After a jaw dropping twist that I seriously did not see coming, we cut to a year later, as an older Clem has to take responsibility in herself and those around her while staying alive. It’s a transition that while I didn’t see coming, made perfect since for the gameplay and story.
There were several moments of plot twists that had my jaw on the ground in pure shock, these moments also let me know that the developers were not fucking around and were very serious. There is also a section in the middle that had me pulling my hair out in pain, as Clem had to do something extremely painful that’s extremely memorable. My only complaint with the story is that about ten seconds after the story climaxes (for this episode) it ends, leaving the player with a very cold feeling and longing for the next episode. The reason I complain is because with all the other episodes, one would at least have a three to four minute cool down period and then the cliffhanger ending, where as here, it feels….cut off.
“That’s gonna leave one hellva scar.”
Again like I said in the gameplay section, graphics have been updated, but are still not perfect. I had no issues running the game at the highest settings.
“So…what happened to your parents…?
The Walking Dead has never been much for surround sound usage other than when it needs to be used. Having said that, the sound is effective in creating an outdoors world that feels authentic but at times, fake with almost too much commotion in certain scenes. Music never gets in the way of the dialogue and is never too bombastic.
“I’m still. NOT. Bitten.”
While I know this is just the first chapter in a five-chapter game, I do think it’s a strong start with multiple playthroughs available and different variations that cause replayablility to be high. While I think the episode ends too abruptly, I am very much excited for the next installments.