Review – Telltales The Walking Dead: Season 2 – PS4

The Walking Dead: Season 2 is a direct sequel to The Walking Dead: Season 1 and it’s DLC 400 days, all developed by Telltale Games. Season 1 is widely considered a great game, one of Telltales best. The only comments that I had read before about Season 2 were about how it wasn’t as good as its predecessor. I went in with that in mind and I’ve got to admit, I was very pleasantly surprised. Not only did I really like the game, I actually enjoyed it more than the first one, which is something I hadn’t even considered happening.

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The story takes place soon after the events of Season 1 and we take control of a young Clementine. It is difficult to do a plot summary without spoiling anything but I’m going to go with this. Think about the TV show. Remember how in the first couple of seasons, the walkers were the main danger? Then as the seasons go on, other people become even more of a threat than the walkers? Well –  if Season 1 is the equivalent of the first couple of seasons of the show, Season 2 is more like the rest of the show. Do you get me?

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In Season 1, I found some of the characters likable but I really hated some of them too. This time around, I found the characters more realistic and relatable. The change in my emotions towards these characters felt natural and I felt the dialogue flowed well. I also thought the pace of the story was good, although admittedly, it was a bit absurd sometimes when things kept getting palmed onto the eleven year old.

In the first season I was dreading what was going to happen next and instead of enjoying the story, I was secretly wishing it was over. This season though I thoroughly enjoyed the gameplay. I don’t know whether it was because it felt less ‘horror’, or because I could relate to Clem as a main character, or just because I enjoyed the situations more than the first. Whatever the reason, I haven’t yet seen anyone else that feels the same way as me.

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Technically, this game ran a lot better than any of the other Telltale games that I have played. They all have an issue of lag whenever there is action with fast cuts. Every single game. As far as I can remember, I only had this issue once in this whole game, which is a huge improvement. Other than that, it worked perfectly. Just an FYI, there is no platinum trophy for this game. All of the trophies are earned just by playing so by finishing it you will 100% it, but there isn’t a plat available.

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Overall, I just really enjoyed this game. I loved the atmosphere, I enjoyed the characters, I got quite emotional and I LOVED the ending that I got. It was a joy to play and if you have enjoyed the first game then you will no doubt like this one at least a little. Make sure to play 400 Days before you play (if it was included in your purchase of TWD: Season 1 then it will be a bonus chapter, I didn’t even realise I had it till I googled how to get it.), it’s not essential but it is a nice introduction to some of the characters. Season 2 actually had 5 endings so I am intrigued as to how Season 3 is going to continue the story. I went from being indifferent about the sequels to looking forward to the next one which definitely means this game did something right!

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Characters –

Clementine – I loved playing as Clementine. She has matured and is growing into exactly what she needs to to be able to survive in this world. She is still sweet and caring but has a sass to her that is perfect. Sometimes she seems to be the most mature person in the group, which I get that people don’t like, but I also think it sometimes makes sense. Being the age that she is, she manages pretty well to take everything in her stride. An eleven year old thinks more about the now, where as adults tend to think more about the past, present and future. Obviously the adults have more life experience, but I can also see how their thoughts can be detrimental, leading to high tension and petty arguments. Most kids growing up in this world are going to deal with it better than the adults because they find it easier to accept the new ‘normal’. With a few exceptions of course.

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Sarah – Sarah was an interesting dilemma that unfortunately didn’t end up amounting to much. From the beginning I could not decide whether she needed babying or whether she needed toughening up. I went down the babying route because she didn’t just seem scared, she seemed more like she had a mental health problem. I managed to save her in the cabin but when the balcony collapsed, I opted to just save Jane instead. I felt bad but at the same time I was a little underwhelmed. I really thought that babying vs being tough was going to come back and bite me in the ass, maybe getting someone else killed or having her step up, but it doesn’t seem to matter either way. I thought she was an interesting character with a potentially interesting arc, but I was just a little dissatisfied with her ending. Although, I did enjoy the comparisons with Janes sister and that some people just can’t be saved. I imagine that would be true should the apocalypse actually happen.

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Alvin and Rebecca – Alvin was the one character that I immediately disliked. He went to the eleven year old and asked her to go in the unchecked room looking for food for his wife. Do it yourelf! He kind of redeemed himself at the end, but to be honest, I didn’t find what he did to be noble so much as necessary. There was no way I could have got him out of the room so if he was staying behind he might as well shoot someone. I really felt sorry for Rebecca. Pregnancy is something that I don’t even have the slightest interest in doing. I’ve seen my sister do it and it looks hard. Now imagine being pregnant with no hospitals and no doctors in a world where everything wants to kill you. It is almost a death sentence. As soon as the doctor died I knew shit was going to hit the fan. I wasn’t surprised when Rebecca died, but I loved how it happened, and I know taking a shot during a Mexican standoff isn’t the smartest thing to do but I thought she was going to eat the babies brains.

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Nick – Nick was a frustrating one. You could tell he was going to be a liability but you could also tell he didn’t mean to be. I saved him over Pete because I thought Pete was bitten, and I do think that his reaction was silly. ‘You could have saved him, why didn’t you save him?’ Why didn’t I save him, why didn’t you save him?! I’m a little girl for Christ sake. But other than that, I think I managed to keep him going as long as I could, and I really appreciated the fact that his death was off screen. I didn’t expect to just stumble across zombie Nick but I thought it was quite cool. Poor dude just wasn’t made for the apocalypse.

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Luke – I liked Luke a lot. He seemed quite real. For some reason I thought he was going to survive to the end but as soon as that ice cracked, I panicked. I went in to save him but I couldn’t. I kept hoping that he was going to pop up after but nope. We really should have walked around the lake. Massive shame that he died but I do wish he could have had a less preventable death.

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Mike and Bonny – I liked these two. I really thought they were part of the group. The night around the bonfire was great, I loved those moments. I seriously cannot believe they did what they did, they were both always nice to Clem. I can understand that they didn’t want to be around Kenny but to take all the food and the car. Traitors.

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Jane – From the first time I saw her I had a feeling I was going to like her. She looked like a badass who knew what she was doing. The time her and Clem spent together was interesting. I felt like Clem was the person she wished her younger sister could have been. I loved the parts when she was teaching her about survival and it was also interesting hearing her views on people and the world. I understood all of the points she was making. I was on board with her, I liked her, I saved her over Sarah, then what did she do. Watching the argument in the car Journey was starting to get a little uncomfortable, then when she was talking about leaving Kenny I was considering her words. When we crashed the car and she got out and ran off, I started feeling very suspicious, then when she came back without AJ the alarm bells were ringing. As soon as he left and she told me not to get involved I put two and two together and knew she was planning to set Kenny up. I wasn’t sure what she had done to AJ but she completely missed the point in my book. She was trying to prove to me that Kenny was dangerous, unpredictable, a killer. But she did not realise that I already knew this, I saw what he did to Carver for crying out loud. I could have already told her that if anyone touched a hair on that baby’s head he would do whatever he felt he needed to do. But for her to manipulate him like that, then try to manipulate me into accepting it, then use the whole thing as an excuse to kill him spoke volumes to me about her personality. I would never be able to trust her again nor would I want to. She had to go.

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Kenny – I feel so bad for Kenny. I feel like he is so misunderstood. Imagine not only losing your silly, innocent Son, but your wife committing suicide at the same time. Within a few moments he had nothing left to live for. People cope with things in different ways and to tell you the truth, I honestly relate to his rage. Now let’s fast forward. Everyone you know is dead, you almost died trying to save/mercy kill some asshole that you didn’t even like, you survive on your own for however long till you are found by someone who can’t fill the void but can provide some comfort. You let yourself fall for her and come across some kind strangers. Things are starting to look up, then the one person that knew your family that is still alive stumbles back into your life, serving a daily reminder of what happened. Your new kind friends get killed, you get kidnapped, beaten to near death losing an eye in the process, then you escape only to see your new loved one die, suffering after having her arm hacked off. Of course you are going to be in extreme depression again by now, but you manage to pull yourself out of it enough to help a woman give birth. She dies but the baby lives, meanwhile the rest of your friends die and betray you, and the last remnant of your family gets shot. You decide to take a father role to the two kids left in your life and take them to the supposed haven with your last shot of hope. On the way, the new girl that you don’t even trust is picking fights with you, then loses the baby that you have sworn to raise better than you raised your own son. I think Kenny was WELL within his rights to flip out. Bashing Carvers face in, raging out at zombies, beating up Arvo and arguing with the group are all things that I think I probably would have done in his situation too, and I honestly don’t blame him at all. I find him to be such an interesting character and I couldn’t be happier with my ending.

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Ending – In the flashback of Lee, he said that part of growing up is doing what’s best for the people you care about, even if sometimes that means hurting someone else. I think a lot of people interpreted that as needing to put Kenny down because of his actions, but I didn’t take it like that. To me, in that analogy, Kenny is the one we care about. Jane has to be hurt (or killed) to protect him because all she is doing is trying to bring out the worst in him and she will not let it lie.

A lot of his other words felt so poignant if you think about Kenny. They were talking about Lilly killing Carley, and how sadness can make you angry. If you ask Lee whether he has ever been like that, he says yes, once. We all know Lee is a good guy but even the best of us can fall off the deep end. He says about how bad things happen to everyone and it can make it difficult to be the same person that you were before. Again, he is talking about Lilly but all I see is the parallels with Kenny. Kenny is full of grief and rage, yes he’s a dick, but he is not bad, deep inside. He will probably never be the same person he was before but part of him does and always will remain, all he needs is a chance to get through the worst of it.

Obviously, from what I have written above, I chose to look away and let Kenny kill Jane. I hoped in the back of my mind that maybe he wouldn’t KILL her, but at the same time, I felt absolutely no remorse when he did. That, followed by finding the baby in a car in a blizzard in the zombie apocalypse, told me everything I needed to know. We needed to press onto Wellington anyway if we wanted a chance at finding Christa. Seeing the change in Kenny when he was just with the kids confirmed everything I thought. Even though Kenny can be seen as unstable and a liability, he is going to do everything in his power to protect Clem and AJ. Absolutely everything. Jane would leave anyone behind in a heartbeat, she all but admitted it. Not Kenny though. Clem needs Kenny and Kenny needs Clem. He looks out for her and she gives him purpose. That is why my heart absolutely broke when we reached Wellington and found out that Kenny couldn’t come in. That is the hardest I have cried at fiction for a while. Kenny was crying, Clem was crying, I was crying, I never even considered that we would get the option to stay. It was a no brainer for me. Without the kids, Kenny would die. Like I said, they give him a purpose. Without that purpose, he would for sure succumb to his grief. There is no way that he would make it and to be honest, they’ve been doing ok on their own. Walls are overrated anyway. All it takes is for someone to die inside and shit hits the fan all over again. TEAM KENNY.

What did you think of Season 2? Did you like Season 1 better? Who was your favourite character? Which ending did you get?

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