I loved Season One of The Walking Dead. Telltale Games took the popular license and used it to take us on an emotional journey. The story of Season One revolved around Lee and Clementine. An escaped murderer trying to protect a little girl who he just stumbled across in a world suddenly changed. The season focused on this impromptu father-daughter relationship more than the zombies and brought us one of the most emotional video game stories to date. As a dad with two little girls Season One’s story hit me hard. It was easy to lose myself in the game and become Lee, with one of my little girls becoming Clementine. In Season 2 Lee is gone, and the player controls Clementine. I wasn’t sure about this change of protagonist when it was first announced. Let’s start talking about how it turned out.
Continues To Do What The Walking Dead Does Well
It felt good to be back in the world of The Walking Dead. Actually “good” may not be the proper word. The world of The Walking Dead, especially this episode is depressing and nearly hopeless. I guess I could say the world feels exactly as it should, and I’m very glad that hasn’t changed. The change of protagonist could have easily had a negative impact on the atmosphere and overall feel of the game. But I’m happy to report this game feels like a Walking Dead game should.
All the gameplay elements I liked from Season 1 have come to All That Remains as well. The conversation system and quick decision making Season 1 was known for makes a glorious return as well. But the change of protagonist from a fully grown man to a little girl adds a unique twist to the conversations. In Season 1 people listened to Lee, and cared about his opinion whenever an issue arises. But the adults largely don’t care about what Clementine says, and why should they? After the apocalypse I’d want the adults to be able to talk too.
Does An Amazing Job Showing How Clementine Has Grown
In Season 1 Lee spent a lot of time teaching Clementine how to survive in the new world they found themselves in. The Clementine we knew from Season 1 is gone in a lot of ways. All That Remains largely takes place roughly two years after the events of Season 1. The Clementine we meet in this season has been hardened by a combination what Lee taught her and whatever she had to do just living through that time.
This is incredibly evident through her actions and dialog. She kills a number of enemies with nothing more than rocks and sticks, or maybe a knife if she was lucky. She also manages to sneak through a house full of people undetected, and even stitch her own would.
Another child is introduced in this episode, and how childish she is in comparison to Clementine further shows how much she has grown. Sarah is clearly at least a year or two older than Clementine, but has been sheltered from what is happening in the world, and is possibly a little mentally handicapped. Although Clementine only talks to her for 2 or 3 minutes Clem is clearly sick of her childish nonsense by the end. You can see it on her face, and I even was playing a nice Clementine.
Better Action Than Season 1
The Walking Dead was never known for it’s action; this episode largely doesn’t change that. The little bit of action present is still largely QTE based, but this episode does action a lot better. Clem isn’t physically big and strong like Lee was. So simply over powering zombies isn’t an option. This leads to every single confrontation being a big deal. You can’t just hit a zombie in the head and continue your day. You need to somehow gain leverage on them so you can weakly hit them repeatedly.
There is one segment where you are running from a human enemy and walkers start showing up as well; it might have been the most desperate I’ve ever felt in any game. Poor Clem had to do whatever she could to get the man to let go of her and run away, while trying to dodge the prying hands of zombies as well. When it was all said and done I had to stop and catch my breathe. I can’t wait to see what else they do action wise in future episodes.
Other Than Clementine Nothing Matters Yet
Where Season 1 of The Walking Dead really stood out was the story and the emotional attachment you built with the characters. All That Remains hasn’t really done that yet. If you played Season 1 you should already care about Clementine, but the rest of the characters don’t really matter. Your only motivation is to push Clementine’s story forward. If I hadn’t played Season 1 and didn’t care about Clementine going in I don’t know if I’d continue with Season 2 after the story of All That Remains alone. That all being said, this could be looked back on as a good introduction after a few more episodes. Time will tell, but right now I’m not impressed with the story and new characters.
All That Remains left me craving the rest of the season. All the action was great and Clementine rose to become a great protagonist so far. Some of the new characters aren’t very interesting yet, but who knows how they could develop over the rest of the season. I had a very good time with All That Remains as a stand alone episode, and it set a solid foundation for the rest of season to be built on. Definitely worth a download.