REVIEW: The Walking Dead Episode 2
Picking up three months after the events of the first episode we find ourselves once more in the shoes of Lee Everett, a simple man who has been put into a not so simple situation. For the first time ever we finally get to see the results of the decisions we made in the first game get fleshed out. Still holding up at the motor inn the crew is more on edge than ever before with food in short supply and tempers on the rise because of it.
The game wastes no time throwing you back into the grim reality of the game’s setting. With what is possibly the most gruesome intro to any game I have ever played, the scene sets the tone and pace for the rest of the episode almost instantly. The twist this time however is that zombies will only play a small role as we learn that sometimes the biggest monsters of all are humans. This episode will force you to make some really tough decisions, more so than the first episode ever did.
The gameplay is exactly as you would expect it to be if you played the first episode. Outside of puzzle solving the game will force you to make decisions on the fly with very little time to really think about the outcome. Since you can’t take back the things you say your words carry heavy weight to them with those around you in this time of trouble. Like it or not the others often look to Lee for leadership forgetting at the end of the day he is just a normal everyday guy like they are.
Episode 2 has the amazing ability to make you feel uncomfortable, something few games can really do. I felt more than confident in all of the decisions I made in the first episode, but here I constantly found myself making choices that I didn’t want to make in the first place. I felt even more uncomfortable with the choices I was given. I no longer cared about the relationships I worked so hard to create in the first episode as you are forced to think about the bigger picture here. I worked really hard to shelter Clementine in the first game and to fill the role of her father in her time of need. While I still felt the need to do that here I found myself forced to tarnish that fatherly image by getting blood on my hands.
At the end of the first episode I was more than happy with the outcome and the decisions I made. This time however I am not so sure. I didn’t feel a need to replay the first episode as I didn’t honestly see myself choosing a different path than the one I had picked. However at the end of episode 2 I was forced to ask myself is this who I want my character to be? Should I play it over again and make different moral decisions? That is where the genius of episode 2, and of the game itself, really shines. The game is what you make it to be and really forces you to feel the gravity of your choices more so than most games ever could!
THE SUMMARY: Episode 2 takes players to a dark place that most won’t be comfortable with. It’s going to take your moral compass and set it spinning. We finally get to see the outcome of our decisions from the first game and get a clearer sense of just how important the ones we make in episode 2 will be for the upcoming episodes. The gameplay is solid and the story telling and character development is unmatched. It’s not more of the same it’s a different experience from the first game and shows just what the series will be capable of with future episodes.