The Walking Dead: Episode 2
Game play - 9
Presentation - 10
Story / Creativity - 10
Lifespan - 9
I found The Walking Dead: Episode 2 to be at least equally enjoyable to the first episode. Although it takes on a darker tone, it lines up better with what Walking Dead fans are used to. There are still some moments of disconnect in Episode 2, but again these instances are few and far between. Telltale’s The Walking Dead game is a must-play for Walking Dead fans and horror fans in general, but don’t take my word for it; try the game out for yourself. It’s definitely worth the price of admission.
Brutal, dark, and unsettling are the words that best describe the next installment of Telltale’s Walking Dead Game. Telltale continues to use masterful storytelling to carry players farther and farther down the rabbit hole in the Walking Dead: Episode 2 –Starved for Help.
It’s been three months since Lee and the rest of the crew set up shop in an abandoned motel parking lot. Winter is coming, food is low, and everyone is on edge. The game’s darker tone sets in immediately as screams echo through the nearby woods. Upon investigation Lee discovers a downed man; his leg caught in a modified bear trap. All the commotion has started to attract walkers, and they are closing in. In what can only be described as the goriest scene I have ever seen in a videogame, Manhunt included, Lee takes an axe to the man’s leg in brutal, gory detail. Buckets of blood spurt everywhere as Lee picks the man up over his shoulders and hauls him back to the motel; walkers in tow.
In the Walking Dead comic books, things just seem to keep getting worse for the characters. Brief moments of brightness are shadowed with blankets of darkness; as no one ever finds happiness for long. The Walking Dead Episode 2 follows suit, in that life slowly gets worse for Lee and company. For the most part Episode 1 focused on Lee, his criminal background, and finding sanctuary. Episode 2 on the other hand focuses on the group, their survival, and maintaining one’s sanity. The moral dilemmas and tough decisions are back, although this time around they are often rash decisions with rather unsettling outcomes.
There were several instances in Episode 2 where I was only given a split second to make a decision before it was made for me. The excitement bar gets raised quite a bit for Episode 2 because of the requirement to have quick, knee-jerk, reactions in order to keep the group alive. Of course, you’ll make wrong decisions too, like when I grabbed a butter knife instead of a gun to defend myself. However, the game plays through these blunders and you are ultimately left wondering what could have been. Luckily, The Walking Dead is meant to be replayed, so be sure to make a mental note for your next playthrough.
The Walking Dead -Starved for Help has several plot twists that will keep players on the edge of their seats. You’ll run across two brothers, who at first seem pleasant, but in reality they have a very dark secret. Telltale does a magnificent job of giving players subtle clues about these brothers, slowly honing in on their creepiness. You will get the heebie-jeebies from these two fairly early in the story plot, but I definitely wasn’t expecting what came next. No spoilers here though, you’ll have to play the game to find out what happens.
Aside from the blatant omission of the characters you allowed to become zombie chow in Episode 1, the significance of earlier decisions is subtle and sprinkled throughout Episode 2. For instance, near the end of Episode 1 you’ll find a wobbly deathtrap of balcony on the second floor of the motel parking lot. Based on the decision you made regarding the suicidal woman in Episode 1, the balcony may or may not remain a hazard.
The visuals, sound, and voice-acting all remain top notch; the final scene of Episode 2 is absolutely jaw-dropping thanks to these elements, and shows what the visuals are truly capable of. Controls, playability, and user interface unsurprisingly do not change since Episode 1. If you were turned off by the limited mobility and dialog rich gameplay of Episode 1, you probably won’t find Episode 2 any more enjoyable. However, if you’ve been clamoring to get your hands on Episode 2, rest assured, you will not be disappointed. I found the replay value to diminish just slightly, for now. I‘m in too deep, and would rather finish all five episodes with my honest and noble Lee before I start my evil playthrough from the beginning.
For a more in-depth look at Telltale’s The Walking Dead be sure to read our Walking Dead: Episode 1 Review.
To find out more about The Walking Dead, click here.