Friday, December 27, 2013

MiniREVIEW - Telltale's The Walking Dead - S2 E1 : All That Remains.

A year later, I still love Melissa Hutchinson's Clementine. The ultra-endearing orphan stole our collective hearts with Telltale's traumatizing Season 1 - the first really effective and important adventure game in years - and in Season 2, we thumb the analog sticks to guide Clem herself through the horrors of post-undead-outbreak America.

I was practically giddy to get to spend more time with her when I first booted it up - a feeling that's multiplied by the even-greater attachment we now enjoy, as she becomes the instrument of our expression.  The story picks up a year and a half after the previous series.  Clem is a bit taller, a bit harder, but still a little girl, not nearly as capable and confident as the legendary Lee - she must survive on her wits and sometimes, intentionally, on the puppy dog look in those big pale-gold eyes.

This is still Telltale's The Walking Dead - still a game and world built on relationships, deceit, honesty and occasional punctuations of horrific violence - and Clem's latest adventure, at a mere hour, has wound around my heart in the way that only The Walking Dead (or The Last of Us) can.

As it was last year, this isn't the be-all end-all of the adventure genre - I'd suggest disregarding those 10/10 scores you might see across the 'net, as the game's tech remains mediocre at best, with this graphically-decent title regularly shuddering to a near-halt under major framerate hitches, but it's hard to mind when the world, the story, the characters are so involving.

Clem's first solo adventure isn't as immediately arresting as Season 1, Episode 1 - it relies quite a bit on our knowledge of and love for its heroine - but even here, it's delightful to watch the girl grow and become something that approaches badass.  Under our direction, she does some shady shit in this episode.  She's desperate to live and smart enough to figure out how, and I can't wait to see where Telltale will take her and how far she's willing to go.

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