Welcome to “At a Glance” where first impressions mean everything! Ladies, gentlemen and well written gay characters, I present to you; The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 2, A House Divided.
After a little break, Telltale has delivered the second episode of The Walking Dead Season Two. Now with the last episode, I felt that Telltale needed to pick up their act, as the episode felt like a re tread of season one and not in a good way. The characters introduced all felt very one dimensional and really just made me want the Season One cast again, and I think that was intentional. This second episode picks up the pace drastically, adding depth to these characters and a real sense of tension. I feel like the first episode was needed to introduce us to this new cast of characters and build Clementine as a character, and while it felt too fast at times, and the characters came off as unlike able, the second episode builds upon all of this expertly, while introducing new curve balls every 5 minutes to keep things interesting. It takes these relationships and stretches them to their breaking point and really makes you wonder who you can trust.
When we last left Clementine, she was getting used to the world after The Walking Dead Season One. We meet a new group of survivors and got into a lot of zombie fights. The episode ended with a big decision, and episode 2 picks up right after that. The characters are improved greatly in this episode, as they turn from cartoon villains to genuinely human people, people with issues, struggles and motivations; the episode does do a great job of introducing a fair share of red herrings to the mix, to make you doubt your alliances constantly.
The group is forced to leave the security of their house due to a violent presence, and so begins another road trip. This is a fantastic change of pace, as season one was so memorable for its constant pace of moving from place to place. This season needed a push, and this was defiantly it. The group is on edge, tired and hungry, and that’s when people tend to start sharing with Clementine. In a mere episode characters completely change, and you begin to wonder if they are really that bad. Relationships and trust are planted ever so delicately and you know they will show up in later episodes. One relationship I was worried about was that of Clementine and Luke, as I didn’t want Luke to just turn into a replacement for Lee, but luckily he has become more of a close friend of Clem, each trusting one another to get them out of a bind, and its reassuring to know that Clementine isn’t just a kid to these people. The game also introduces a gay couple, which certainly isn’t something you see everyday in this industry, and its a breath of fresh air to see a character who is homosexual not be a walking stereotype. They act as normal, well rounded human beings, and while its refreshing to see any representation of homosexuality in video games, its especially so when they aren’t just labelled as “the gay character”.
This episode is positioned in a very interesting place, as in some ways it is deeply rooted in moving forward(literally) but calls back to events from Season One quite a lot.
In terms of game play, its the usual choice making point and click action, but with some gun play sprinkled in for good measure. The choices presented in this episode are far more important in terms of having an affect on the story. Some will change the course of the plot drastically and some may not even have an effect, but feel extremely important on a personal level. These are some of the best choices TellTale has ever conceived, and never feel unfair or contrived. I am not going to spoil any, but the amount of different scenes that play out based on your opinions are very impressive, possibly better than Season One.
The visuals as always are spot on, blending the comics and Telltale unique style perfectly. You visit a number of new places and meet some new people, all which look great. The soundtrack continues to use the same melodies for scenes as the last episode, but this time we get a different ending theme, In the Pines, which really is quite lovely and works tremendously well with the coming of age narrative.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. This is a phrase I think sums up the second episode of The Walking Dead Season Two very well. Telltale have crafted possibly the best episode of The Walking Dead yet. The choices presented to you in this episode are soulrenching at times, and always feel fare. The call backs to Season One somehow improve this Season greatly, by putting the lessons Lee thought Clementine to practice and bringing back familiar faces will surely continue to make things interesting. This episode is a huge leap forward in terms of narrative and quality, and with the many contrasting relationships and choices made in this episode, the rest of the Season definitely has some interesting places to go.
The Walking Dead Season 2 can be purchased on PS3, Xbox 360, PC and iOS .
For more information head over to the official site!