The first episode of The Walking Dead video game series was superb. It was paced well, had interesting characters, and really made you think about the decisions you were making. It showed a lot of potential, the question is does this second episode keep things interesting? Read more to find out!
Episode 2’s story picks up three months after the first episode. You are still playing as Lee Everett trying to survive with your group at a hotel during a zombie outbreak. The game starts out with Lee and introduces Mark as they are hunting for food when they hear a cry for help. What Lee and Mark find is a school teacher screaming because he was hooked in a bear trap. His students try to get him out but can’t and the screaming is attracting zombies. It is up to you as Lee to leave him there to be consumed by the living dead or chop off his leg trying to save him. I chose to chop his leg off; it took four chops and it was truly gruesome as you could hear him screaming and watch him writhing in pain after each chop. Another rough choice early on is you only have four rations for the day, but have to feed ten people. Do you feed the children or those who have to defend the group? These tough choices are part of what really makes the story so fantastic and really draws you into this world because you care about what happens to these characters. While the first episode was focusing on surviving the zombie infestation, episode two focuses more on how humanity can turn against each other during times of peril. Be it characters fighting over what decisions need to be made, or whether they should trust a new group of survivors.
One thing I really enjoyed about the second episode is seeing my choices from the first game carry over such as Larry hating my guts for not siding with him, or Clementine expecting me to be her protector. Characters will bring up past events when you sided with them or when you didn’t. This really helps the whole decision-making concept carry a lot of weight.
The main plot revolves around Lee and the group from the first episode finding themselves with excess fuel and running short on food. After handing out the day’s rations, two brothers from a dairy offer a trade, food for fuel. At this point, Lee, joined by a few group members. check out the dairy. At first, everything seems normal, then suspicious activity happens making members of the group wonder what is really going on at this dairy. I won’t spoil it, but I will say it is brutal, disgusting, and made the story’s climax all the better.
Gameplay is the same as the original episode, solve simple puzzles by finding items to combine together to do what you need them to do, make decisions on the fly siding with someone or staying neutral, and quick time event action sequences that involve fighting, running from something, or doing both. Outside of a few frame hitches, the gameplay is about as good as it can get when it comes to point-and-click adventure games. Decisions matter, puzzles, while simple, still require some thought, and action sequences are tense keeping you on your toes.
A game like The Walking Dead lives or dies on its presentation so it’s a good thing that it continues to be excellent. The environments are more varied then in the first episode while still having that comic book art style come to life. Character models look superb and faces give off a lot of expression. Voice acting is great, no performance is weak; with each characters having their own unique personality. The music fits the mood or tone of what is happening on screen at all times. A scene towards the end of the game involving a fight in the rain combined all the positive elements of the presentation and it really wowed me. One problem I do have occasionally is the off-sync lip syncing. This is a pretty minor complaint for the most part; I was able to get over it pretty quickly.
The Walking Dead Episode 2 is just as good as the first episode, if not better. The decisions you have to make are more intense, the action is more gruesome, and the decisions are as tough as they have ever been. A few minor glitches and some audio syncing issues do not hold back a fantastic second chapter and just like I said after my review of the first episode, I can’t wait for the next one.
Final Score: 9.5/10