On April 24th of 2012, Telltale Games released what was arguably their best episodic content to date when they debuted “A New Day” from their highly acclaimed first season of The Walking Dead. Each emotionally charged episode that followed afterward not only raised the bar in terms of storytelling and character development but also made Robert Kirkman’s unforgiving world of zombies and survival fresh and engaging for both new and old audiences alike.
Fast-forward to the end of 2013 and we are treated to the release of the first episode of The Walking Dead’s highly coveted second season. All That Remains sets the tone for what’s ahead and proves that we are all in for what is sure to be another phenomenal season of The Walking Dead. Here are a few reasons why this episode is worth the $4.99 price tag attached to it.
All That Remains picks up shortly after the events that transpired at the end of No Time Left. After Lee Everett’s untimely death in the closing moments of last season, Clementine is left to fend for herself in a cruel world filled with chaos and desperation. This results in the beloved character going on a personal journey that not only makes use of the skills she learned in earlier episodes, but also forces her to learn and adapt to her ever-changing surroundings when necessary.
From a storytelling standpoint, All That Remains is a major improvement over the 400 Days episode that was released back in July. This is mainly due to the fact that this episode makes Clementine the centerpiece of everything that develops over the course of time. By approaching things from this angle, the writing and pacing is tighter and Telltale is able to successfully illustrate how in the eyes of a little girl some adults can be just as threatening and cold-blooded as the walkers themselves. Without spoiling too many details, I can safely say that playing as Clementine is easily the most fun you will ever have in a Walking Dead video game.
When it comes to the core aspects of gameplay, All That Remains borrows some of the signature joystick moves originally found in action sequences from The Wolf Among Us. This new direction is a welcomed change because it offers yet another way for fans to enjoy the experience from beginning to end. Additionally, both the rich art style and superb voice acting remains consistent with what fans have come to expect from the series as a whole.
The one nagging issue that prevents this episode from being perfect is the ongoing technical frame rate dropping issues that have plagued the series since day one. This is a problem that has showed up in virtually every Telltale Game to date in some form or fashion. While it doesn’t take away from the core gameplay experience, it is frustrating that we still have to deal with technical hiccups like these on a regular basis. Hopefully this is the one aspect that the studio can fix as they continue to make more games in the years ahead.
As a whole package, All That Remains delivers an emotionally strong start to season two. While it may be too early to tell exactly where everything is headed, there is absolutely no doubt that Telltale is putting together something special that definitely is worth both your time and your money.
This review was based on a digital review copy of The Walking Dead: Season Two – Episode 1 “All That Remains” for the Xbox 360 provided by Telltale Games.