The Walking Dead: Season 2 – Ep. 1: All That Remains Review
The first season of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead were made up of five episodes that told a gripping, emotionally charged story. Despite a few technical flaws the game was widely hailed as one that breathed life into the dormant adventure genre. Armed with the accolades from the first season it was a no brainer Telltale would hit us with a second installment which begins with All That Remains.
If you’re not familiar with the first season, cliff notes will be in order that I’ll leave spoiler free. Taking place in the same world as Robert Kirkman’s comic book series of the same name, The Walking Dead follows an original plot with unique characters. It makes use of exploration-driven mechanics that will be familiar to anyone who’s played any classic adventure games albeit with more emphasis on player-driven interactions between characters. The world of The Walking Dead is an intense one but pressure busts pipes, so you’d be wise to keep that in mind as you make life altering decisions. Telltale’s heavy focus on character and narrative made for a great ride as you navigated through the Lee/Clementine (the main characters) story arc.
Season two picks up from where season one left off but this time you’ll be playing as Clementine, the young adolescent survivor who has somehow survived the zombie (and human) carnage. Clementine’s remaining ties to the old group are cut but she can't hope to make it in this world on her own, so she has little choice but to buddy up with a new group of survivors which gives you an opportunity to learn a little bit about these people. As expected, Clementine’s arrival causes dissension among the group as some of them are wary of the kid and view her as a burden. Pete, who’s one of the new characters players will meet, is one among the few out of the group who opens up to her. As All That Remains unfolds, Clementine makes one particularly foolish (and unavoidable) mistake early in the episode reinforcing the idea that Clem, for all her resolve is still a mere child thrust into a hellish and dark world. Mechanically, it’s almost identical to what came before, but with some refinements that make the gameplay tighter. Situations in which you have to move the cursor and react to something quickly used to be mapped to the face buttons, but those actions have now been moved to the shoulder buttons, making for a less clumsy transaction.
The XXL Endgame
Overall The Walking Dead’s first episode in season two puts more of an emphasis on character building and laying the foundation for what’s to come. As a result All That Remains doesn’t bring the same intensity that was found in the first season. That’s understandable though as The Walking Dead is more to be judged by the sum of its parts as it's clearly not intended to stand on its own in the long term. Still, it does enough to whet the appetite as we eagerly anticipate what fate awaits our young Clementine.—Written by DJRhude (@DJRhude)
XXL Rating: L