*SPOILER WARNING FOR BOTH THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 1 AND 2*
Telltale Games is back in the second season of The Walking Dead Season 2! Lee’s gone, and Clementine’s all by herself now. With no one to depend on and no one she can trust, this season is about Clementine growing up, making tough choices, and learning to survive.
This game, unlike the first, is less focused on the zombie apocalypse, and more of human interaction and politics. Everyone in the world has acclimatized to the situation, and it humans become more fearful than zombies in this second season. There is constant lying and scheming, and sometimes realization comes too late, and fear and suspicion creeps into every statement and choice. Opinions and intentions become dubious, and the audience soon realizes that the living is far more dangerous than the dead.
You play as Clementine here, and the story takes place after the events of Season 1 when Lee left Clementine to find Omid and Christa. Things take a swift turn downhill and Clementine gets left alone to fend for herself. She finds safety and a new group, but trouble’s always around the corner, and the people bring more problems than Clementine can handle by herself. The writers are just as good, and the game does not suffer from ‘sequel syndrome’, but rather, rides out the wave of success from the first season pretty well.
Lee’s death is constantly refreshed in Clementine’s mind, and it’s obvious she misses him constantly. But she pushes on and struggles to survive, and her strength and courage against a dangerous world really makes the audience sympathize with her. Her maturity and independence shine through in Season 2, and some gruesome scenes really emphasize that she’s no longer the innocent, protected girl she used to be in Season 1.
I will still reiterate the problems I had with the first season. Choices are fed to me to give me a sense of freedom, yet still leads me down an arbitrary linear path. I’m less upset at this than the first because I understand the writers and developers do not have the time or capacity to branch out so many twisting storylines. But I’m still frequently brought out of the immersion by unreasonable reactions to some of my choices, and how I felt no matter how kind I was or evil I was, the end result would’ve been the same.
Some deaths felt forced and arbitrary, and there was really nothing I could have done to change the situation either way. The helplessness in the choices are slightly alleviated by understanding that Clementine’s a little girl, but it still feels like my hand was forced, regardless of circumstance.
Saying this, I’m still absolutely entranced by this game, and I’ve been caught between a rock and a tough place several times and struggled immensely to make my choices. The game was psychologically taxing, and I loved how it brought me to the very edges of my morals. It’s a testament to how invested I was in the game.
Season 3 was rumored to be in the works, and at the last episode of season 2, I find it very difficult to imagine how the writers would continue Clementine’s story as there were several different endings, all with very different consequences. Perhaps Clementine’s journey ends there, and we play as a new character in the next season.
In the end, Season 2 of the walking dead was super fun. The story line was satisfying, and the resolution of the last episode was, for once, truly your own choice. It was super tense, super exciting, and super tough. Lee’s raised Clementine well, and they’re both amazing characters to love in this unlovable zombie world. Until Season 3, I know I’m psyched!