The Average Gamer

The Walking Dead Episode 2 Review (XBLA)

Kev loves The Walking Dead comic series and is playing through the games as they’re released. Read his review of The Walking Dead Episode 1.

Following a very encouraging episode 1, things really begin to progress with the second of the five planned instalments. It picks up where the first episode left off, with Lee and the gang (depending on your episode 1 choices) secure at their new found haven, the motel.

Straight from the get go, the first of many key decisions must be made; who gets to eat, and who doesn’t. It’s these moments that makes Telltale’s formula work so well; you treat every person the group how you want to treat them, and you genuinely feel for each of the characters in your keep. Particularly Larry, the prick.

As this is an add-on, the visuals, sound and controls are generally the same, but now they’ve been bedded in they are used to better effect here. Camera angles cover the surroundings much better, plus conversation viewpoints are much better directed, with a couple of great ‘panic’ moments thrown in for good measure.

These panic moments are more threatening than before, with little time allowed to make your move. Granted, if you die it’s a case of trial and error till complete, but that initial fear is still there to great effect.

As the episode pushes on, you really start to get engrossed in everything that’s going on, with new characters introduced, new locations, all told by the excellent voice acting and script.

At one stage, even my wife (a Walking Dead fan) had that ‘something’s wrong here’ feeling that this episode intends, and pulls off so well. I finished the game just before going to bed; it certainly made me feel uneasy before eventually falling asleep.

If episode 1 was the pilot, then episode 2 is certainly evidence of a series being picked up. Gameplay-wise, it’s a case of ‘if it ain’t broke…’ but even then it is executed to much better effect. The story, narration and character development are the big successes here. It raises the bar among the genre for sure, but also for Telltale Games. The Walking Dead series could well be their greatest triumph. Roll on August and Episode 3!

The Walking Dead is digital only on PC, Mac, PlayStation Store and XBLA. In total there will be five episodes released. Episodes 1 and 2 are out now for £3.99/400 MSP or you can buy all five in the PSN Store for £15.99 or on PC and Mac for $24.99 (convert here)

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