The Walking Dead: Season 2 had a lot to live up for. After the first game winning what felt like, every gaming award known to man this game had to prove itself in the harshest of circumstances.
There will be spoilers from the first game, you have been warned.
Everyone who plays this game will feel different, which makes it one of the hardest games to give an objective view on. When a game relies so heavily on its story it has to work on so many different levels. For me, parting sentimental words from Lee at the end of season 1 were more important that practical advice. The first game was all about protection and playing the father figure which meant you could kind of see how the plot was going to play out.
Season 2 is a much darker affair.
You play Clementine and she has definitely grown up into a girl who seems a lot older than the 11 year old that she appears. It is about the pain and the struggle that she has to go through with the various people that she meets but perhaps more importantly, the struggle she goes through alone. At times it is very bleak and contains a lot more gore and hopelessness in the first episode, than the entire first series. Bravo Telltale, Bravo.
In the vein of Game of Thrones, all men must die. You soon learn that the world has moved on from the adventures of Georgia and no one is safe this time around. There were times when I felt powerless to change what was happening, even though I was given the choice which actually goes against the entire mantra of the game. The whole point is that you can make a difference to a situation and although it may not turn out the way you hoped, you still had that chance. There were only a few times when I thought my decision actually made a difference - and this was the very last decision of the game.
This doesn't change how great the plot is. If it were simply an episode from the TV series it would have been one with cliffhangers, suspense, sorrow and addiction. This isn't a show though, it's interactive and I think that the writers may have lost their way here since the first game.
Telltale have come a long way with this style of gaming and I think elements from The Wolf Among Us have pushed the genre further than Season 2 of The Walking Dead. There's still something harrowing about this one though - it stays with you and you can't help living through Clem. By its own account, this is a great game but compared with the superior prequel, I was a little disappointed.