The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 1: All That Remains Review
Ah, The Walking Dead…one of the most surprisingly amazing games of the last generation. So many things were working against it when it was released: it wasn’t based on the phenomenal hit TV show, it was a point and click adventure game and TellTale’s previous 2 games were Back to the Future (critically mediocre) and Jurassic Park (critically abysmal). I didn’t expect much, as did the rest of the world, but through emotion, heartbreak, player choice and good old fashion plot twists the first Walking Dead game was a turning point for its genre (one that is solely owned by Telltale at this point), and Video Game story telling in general.
But we aren’t here to discuss the first game, we are here to dive into Season 2. The story picks up directly after the events of the first game. If you played Season 1, all of your choices carry over to Season 2. I couldn’t tell if anything I did in the first game would have carried over in this first episode because I played the first season on a different platform. Unfortunately there’s not a way to rebuild a decision tree without replaying the first game.
Fan favorite Clementine has a little more age on her and obviously the end of Season 1 has changed her forever. You play as Clem, and things get bad for her very quickly. Like all The Walking Dead fiction, the humans are just about as dangerous as the walkers, and trust comes into play shortly after the action starts. If you played the first season, there are some familiar faces, but many many more new ones. All That Remains has some of the most memorable story beats the series has seen so far. In particular, the scene with the dog, and the scene stitches will affect you in wildly different ways, and its clear that one of the gimmicks of Season will be “Oh my god, she’s just a little girl.”
Where the first game was from the perspective of a middle-aged black man, Season 2 is from a small girl, so everything is going to seem more extreme and violent because of who is dealing with it. Also, other characters will react to you differently because you are a child. Where some people might not trust an adult, a child would seem like less of a threat. This should make everything significantly different.
The new characters are already standing out as individuals, at least most of them are and the subplots are laid firmly. Like any good first chapter most of the time is spent setting up the pins. The action is still plenty and the tension is amazing, but Telltale is telling alot of story here, which is to be expected.
As for Episode 1, it starts the season off with a bang. The Walking Dead has never been more serious, and the tone is set at the gate. This is going to be sad and most likely before the end of the season you will cry. Some of the character interactions towards the end are a bit contrived, and some of the situations seem like they were easily avoidable, but overall, the episode ended with me wanting more. I played the first game on 360 and this new game on PC so I will be missing out on any connective tissue the two might have had. It would have been incredibly nice for them to have included a save builder or a decision tree, of at least the main story beats so that aspect of the game isn’t completely lost for new players, but it may be asking too much out of the small team at Telltale.
Verdict: It’s more of the Walking Dead you loved…