Telltales The Walking Dead has become one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2012. Players fell in love with many aspects of the game because it was nearly crafted perfectly. Now, Telltale has released episode 1 of season 2 which is creating a lot less buzz than in the past. After playing the game, we realize exactly why this installment to the series has been less the center of attention than ever before.
The Walking Dead season 2 episode 1 is a great game to an extent. It is what you would imagine the next installment of the game being aside from the story aspect. It follows the same choice pattern and picks up right where The Walking Dead season 1 episode 5 leaves off. The game play of the game is exactly the same, safe, easy and expected. The graphics are also the same; cartoonish. Everything is comfortable and unchanged which makes for a prefect second season to the game. Why mess with something that isn’t broken?
What took us by complete surprise regarding The Walking Dead is the turn of the story. Putting all spoilers aside, we felt that the story aspect of the game lost its mark in this episode. There was something about season 1 that left players heart warmed. This feeling helped lead the game full of completely negative circumstances because the hint of love provided hope through obvious misery. season 2 doesn’t have that; the entire story follows a completely grim narrative in episode 1. We were disappointed to see that episode 1 cared so little about delighting players in terms of story.
When something good could have happened to provide hope, something completely gruesome would stand in its place. We hope that Telltale knows we loved The Walking Dead for more than the shocking choices and bloody gore; we loved their game for the care and expertly placed love in the rottenest of settings. The Walking Dead was about survival but in season 2 episode 1 we are asking ourselves why anyone would even wish to survive. Literally all hope is lost which takes away the main wanted conclusion for the game. When you leave a player with nothing to hope for why do they continue to play the game?
With that being said, at least for The Walking Dead’s sake this is only the first episode in the second season which means we have very high expectation for the story to wrap us up and give us that hope we are looking for to want to keep playing. For all fans of Telltales version of The Walking Dead, hang in there, play the episode and lock in those new choices. For all others who are thinking of picking up the game for the first time, season 2 isn’t for you. This season is crafted for those who have already played the first season; the only improvement we would make to season 2 episode 1 of The Walking Dead would be for Telltale to remember why we love them and ask them to give us some hint of hope in this madness.