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Note: This review might contain spoilers for Season 1, so it is best to avoid reading it if you haven’t played Season 1. If you simply want to know about the PS Vita version difference, just jump to the specific section at the end.
The Walking Dead is the critically acclaimed game series from TellTale Games, which received plenty of awards and accolades last year. It is an episodic series based on the popular comics of the same name by Robert Kirkman. There is no denying the popularity of The Walking Dead brand but it was never accurately reflected in games until recently.
TellTale Games have managed to not only succeed in creating an excellent action/adventure game based on the world of The Walking Dead, they have also created a game that can hold well on its own. For Season 2, they have clearly refined the gameplay mechanics and story structure, which was already good enough, but is even better now.
The Walking Dead Season 2′s first episode is titled All That Remains and continues the story from Season 1 and also features some returning characters from the first season. The main protagonist this time around is Clementine, the girl who lost her parents and then later got to meet Lee, who in turn not only taught her how to survive, but also protected her throughout Season 1. Unfortunately, Season 1 had a really grim ending which left Clementine all alone at the end. That’s not it though, as we see at the start of Season 2, Omid and Christa from Season 1 manage to find Clementine and she is shown to be in their care.
All That Remains begins brutally and keeps this pace throughout the episode. If I had to sum up this episode in one word, I would say that this episode was all about “Trust”. In a post apocalyptic world gone astray, there are no morals. Humans are just desperate for doing about anything to survive and this, in turn, creates trust issues among each other. TellTale Games have laid out this situation excellently, presenting a bleak picture of this post apocalyptic world.
The best parts of The Walking Dead Season 1 were its well written characters and dialogue. The game also spared us no moment to give us particularly painful moral choices, and depending on what we did, we could see our actions change the course of story. The same thing continues in Season 2, where we are similarly given choices on what to do in some of the situations. Will you make a good choice or bad choice? What if there is no good choice? Will you select the least of the bad choice? The game is constantly judging our actions like that and reflecting that all on screen in the story of the game. It does a great job at that as well.
All That Remains will see the struggle of Clementine as she has to go through this dreaded world alone. As explained above, the episode has a brutal opening and it makes up for an excellent introduction for the rest of the episode. Along the Journey, Clementine will meet new people, make new friends including a dog, and also witness moments that are just as painful to watch as they appear to be for Clementine. The episode also ends with a cliff hanger, which might not be as powerful as the ones from Season 1, but the teaser at the end sure sets up the drama for episode 2, making us crave for more.
The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 1 – All That Remains is a great introductory episode for the new Season. It makes us realize how bad the world has turned out to be in The Walking Dead and prepares us for the worst to come. Clementine’s struggle and character development is again well written. There are even nods to the very first Season, seen during one of the sequence in the story when Clementine uses an Hammer to bash the head of one of the Walkers, just like Lee from Season 1 does in the very first episode. To conclude, TellTale Games have not only upped their game with Season 2 – by refining the gameplay mechanics – they have also maintained their quality of writing from the first Season 1, which makes up for another great Season this time around as well.
The PS Vita Version Difference:
The Walking Dead Season 1 on the PS Vita was a pretty good port, although not without its issues. The load times were a bit too high and the game also used to stutter during the auto save moments. The other issue was with the controls, there was no way to switch properly between touch and physical controls. All we were left was a choice in the beginning of the game, and if we choose to use Touch, we would have been stuck with touch controls throughout the game.
The Walking Dead Season 2 rectifies this situation. Not only the loading times and random stutters are reduced, the touch and physical controls now seamlessly switch places on the fly. There is no need to manually select them. If you want to use touch, just touch the screen, similarly, if you want to use the physical controls, just press any button. It is really a neat feature and TellTale Games have done a great job integrating it for the PS Vita in Season 2. This definitely makes the PS Vita version of The Walking Dead Season 2, the definitive version of the game.