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The Walking Dead: Season 2: Episode 1 - All That Remains
Score: 78%
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Survival Horror/Puzzle/Adventure

Previously on The Walking Dead:

[Spoiler Alert for The Walking Dead: Season 1]

Last year, Telltale Games introduced us to one of the only excellent TV/Film adaptations of all time as far as videogames are concerned. The Walking Dead: Season 1 introduced us to our main hero character, Lee Everett, as he progressed from a criminal on the way to the pokey in Macon, GA into a tall hero to his group members. Along the way, Lee found an orphaned little girl named Clementine whom he adopted as his own in a search for Clem’s parents in Savannah.

Along the way, hard-nosed Lee overcame many obstacles and grew to respect and be respected by others. Other characters came and went in the story, and one will make a return in an upcoming adventure (but we’ll keep that a secret!). Lee also became the father-figure to Clementine, and after a long road, was able to help her find her parents… only to be too late. Unfortunately for Lee, upon saving Clementine’s life, he lost his own, leaving Clem in an upsidedown world where the only person you can trust is yourself and your friends. That is where we continue our story…

All That Remains:

We begin The Walking Dead: Season 2 following our new main character and heroine in the making, young Clementine. The Walking Dead: Season 2: Episode 1 - All That Remains quickly has Clem getting into precarious situations with her only surviving partners, Omid and Christa (who also happens to be pregnant). From the get-go, you will be making hard choices about life and death, and this sets the tone for things to come. Cutting to 16 months later, Clem is noticeably older in both model and character, as the choices she is able to now be responsible for match her slightly aged face and voice. To outsiders, however, she is still a sweet little girl.

Lost and alone, we continue to follow Clementine and realize that All That Remains in her world is that there is only one whom you can truly trust in the zombie apocalypse - yourself. After a run-in with a canine and then immediately some walkers, however, Clem is found by a hesitant group. With her being bitten, it is a huge decision for the group to accept her, so she spends the night in their tool shed and that is where the episode’s slow-paced nature begins. It is up to Clem to fend for herself and try to find some answers, and this is also where new relationships are born.

The Walking Dead: Season 2: Episode 1 – All That Remains follows the same types of interactions that Season 1 got us accustomed to, but did change them up slightly visually and in responsiveness. Still present is the point and click nature of The Walking Dead with a different crosshair and no real explanation that the up/ down/ left/ right nature of it corresponds to the Y/ B/ A/ X respectively, but it is pretty easy to figure out. The other thing that is more than worth noting is that moving the cursor with the Right Analog Stick just feels too loose, so it may take a while to get used to the play in responsiveness. This is especially noticeable in quick-react situations, although it can also be a bit more forgiving at this time too. Also returning are the button-mashing sequences when strength is needed, and the addition of pressing the D-pad or Left Analog Stick in response to on-screen action to evade.

All well and good, the above interactions work well for the game once you get used to them. However, I have to admit that finding things to interact with is really not much of a challenge as they are clearly and visibly marked in the environments (you can additionally hold the Left Trigger to make them visible throughout). Also, it is quite unfortunate considering the strength of Season 1, but All That Remains was rather boring the first time through. It just didn’t have the punch that past episodes packed. In fact, it wasn’t until I played through the next episode and went back to play again that Episode 1 was more enjoyable solely due to being able to anticipate what my decision-making may affect in the future.

In all, The Walking Dead: Season 2: Episode 1 – All That Remains turned out to be a lot of setup for future episodes. Looking at it like that, players may appreciate it a bit more. Of course, you can skip this one and pick up other episodes down the road (which allows the game to simulate the story that was missed), but I do still recommend that you pick up the entire season and for sure play through the first season if you have not done so. There is an additional past episode called 400 Days that will also play a minor part later on, but if you are going to pick that up, you’d want to play it prior to All That Remains as well.

Next time on The Walking Dead:

After Clem is forced to make a potentially life or death decision at the end of the first episode, the story closes and like its predecessors, All That Remains shows brief glimpses into the next episode. Here we see a few possible upcoming interactions with other characters, but more importantly is that the epilogue gives the feeling of evil things to come.

Admittedly, All That Remains was quite linear in nature and that probably took away from some of the enjoyment initially. Sure, decisions that are made will affect things to come, but overall, after playing through multiple times, we can see that ultimately the decisions in this first episode appear minor in affecting the overall outcome of Season 2. Still, the one thing that persists throughout the series and into the next episode is the building of relationships through Clementine’s continued interactions with the characters she will meet.

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox 360 Call of Duty: Ghosts - Devastation Microsoft Xbox 360 The Walking Dead: Season 2: Episode 2 - A House Divided

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