Season 2, Episode 2 A HOUSE DIVIDED
“I thought you were dead…”
The first episode of The Walking Dead, Season 2 had me really quite worried after playing it. The story was short, it set up a lot but didn’t really do anything and the shift in time was vague at best. With the second episode now here, I can come out and say, I’m not worried anymore. Tall tale is back, and kicking all kinds of feels.
“I warned you. I warned you not to follow him. And look where he’s led you.”
Gameplay is largely the same as before, but gone under a few changes, such as the crosshairs now are a little bit more defined and easier to see. Another change is the “quick time events” are now at a minimal and work using the “less is more” type. Other than those small changes, controls are really tight and fluid. While there is a few improvements the developers could do, and most likely will do for the third episode, everything is as it should be. If I had any major complaints it would be that the episode only clocks in at 90 minutes long. I wouldn’t be complaining so much if for that the first season, every episode was at least two hours or even longer.
“You have no idea who these people are, do you?”
Picking up latterly seconds after the first episode ended, we start as Clementine, and the person you choose at the end of episode one, running off and evading the walkers. After this quick fiasco, they find themselves within a safe house for a short bit trying to figure out what to do with the situation at hand. If I sound like I’m being incredibly vague, its because there are multiple choices on which scene could be played out based on your choices. This makes the game have high replay value. Unlike the first game where a line of dialogue would be different, in this installment, entire set pieces are changed based on what you have chosen.
From what I can tell some of the story is the same, regardless of your choices, such as meeting a stranger at your main house, having a tense conversation and then transitioning to a new location with the group. There are quite a few twists and turns, including one that truly made my jaw drop in shock and excitement. Clementine keeps growing as a character in a very natural progression and feels, well more than real. The dialogue between characters is no longer jilted, but instead is very close to what I would actually be saying in most of these situations.
“Huh, you don’t look like assholes. Are you assholes? No offense or anything, but you know how it is out here.”
Graphics have gotten slightly better but it’s mostly an environmental difference this time. Details are still here but due to the art style, they are not important, not that that’s a bad thing. Animation is much better this time with character movements looking more natural and less distracting. I only noticed one instance of a character clipping and another instance of a character teleporting into a scene. This was very minor and did not affect the gameplay other than a brief distraction.
“Excuse me, honey, but do I look like a f*cking thief?”
Sound design is more notably subtle here but overall gets the job done. I played using my headphones, but there was quite a bit of surround activity and some great mixing. My personal favorite sound effect was the rumble of the thunder as an approaching storm draws ever nearer. Music was done amazingly with some subtle nods to the first game, such as themes, and stingers. Dialogue was never an issue and I did not have to resort to subtitles to understand anything.
“We’re going home. As a family.”
Tall Tale is back and as good as the previous season after a rough first episode. The second episode is still rough, but only in terms of the brutal and tragic emotional story. Gameplay is extremely solid and getting ever close to perfection with the removal of some quicktime events. Graphics and sound offer a great experience on the lowest of end machines and I personally cant wait for episode three to come out.