The Walking Dead: Season Two (Xbox One)
Action & Adventure, Graphic Adventure
Mac OS X, Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: October 2014 (Full Season Retail Disc)
The sequel to 2012's Game of the Year continues the story of Clementine, a young girl orphaned by the undead apocalypse. Left to fend for herself, she has been forced to learn how to survive in an unforgiving world. Experience what it’s like to play as Clementine, meet new survivors, explore new locations and make gruesome decisions in this five-part game series of choice and consequence.
When Telltale Games first announced The Walking Dead for the Xbox 360, I was a bit apprehensive being a huge fan of the comic series and the AMC show. That apprehension faded quickly once it came out, and to this day it remains one of the best games I’ve ever played. I passed on playing The Walking Dead: Season Two on the 360 because I had an Xbox One. With the recent release of the entire season on Playstation 4 and Xbox One, I couldn’t wait to see how it held up against the original.
If you played the first game, you can import your choices into The Walking Dead: Season Two, which affect the story line. Unfortunately, there is no way to import a save from the Xbox 360 version to the Xbox One version so the game pre-loaded with random choices before starting in on the second season. The story then picks up where The Walking Dead left off. Instead of playing as Lee however, you continue the story as Clementine. I won’t get too much into the story to avoid spoilers, but this season starts out with Clementine travelling in the company of Omid and Christa and continues on from there. New faces are introduced throughout the game, and some old friendly faces make a reappearance.
One of my favourite things about the first season of the game was sitting in disbelief at some of the choices you were forced to make as Lee, and, as a father of two, not believing some of the choices I did make. Playing as Clementine built on this as I found myself having to quickly choose between two choices that a kid should never have to make – and then letting the fallout of that choice fully sink in. Given that this game is rated M, Telltale was able to follow more in line with the comic series style story complete with more gore and foul language, as opposed to the scaled back AMC television series.
As I had hoped after playing through the first season of the series, Season Two definitely lived up to my expectations in continuing the story and moving it along, while keeping with the tougher choices you must make as you continue your journey.
The graphics were to be expected given the style of the first season and the 400 Days DLC. Developed in a comic style doesn’t leave much room for improvement over console generations, and the game looked just as good as it did on the Xbox 360. The location settings were well done, as were the character models.
Here’s where I felt the game stumbled a bit. One of the key elements of a game like this is continuity, building up to an event then working your way through said event and watching the resulting outcome. Unfortunately, the Xbox One version froze frequently – not for long, 5 or 10 seconds at most, but when you’re in the middle of an intense scene and have to wait 5 or 10 seconds on a static image frame while the music or dialogue continues in the background, it really disrupts the momentum of the game. A couple of times I even experienced a longer freeze up and misalignment of graphics and game dialogue.
I’ve played plenty of games on my Xbox One over the past year, and when games like Ryse, Forza Motorsports 5, or Sunset Overdrive can play smoothly, there’s simply no excuse that a simpler game like The Walking Dead can’t.
While the story and delivery of the game is outstanding, the constant pauses and occasional glitches overshadow the rest of the game. Even though it’s worth playing for the story, be prepared for the frequent hang ups in the game.