Developer: Telltale Games
Platforms: PS3, Xbox, PC, Mac
Rating: Worth playing
During the week, Kirkman finally released the 100th issue of The Walking Dead, featuring the kinds of full-on content that sticks in your head for days after (for better or worse). Simultaneously, the second instalment of The Walking Dead game also stumbled its way out of the door. While there's no doubt that Kirkman is currently working himself to the bone, luckily it seems that Telltale Games have also been hard at it.
In almost all ways this second instalment fairs better than its predecessor. From a technical standpoint, all the stuttering issues that undermined the intense moments in the first part are gone. Given the technical simplicity of the game, I'm reluctant to praise it too much for ‘working’, but still, I guess it shows the developers are committed to delivering a compelling experience. Given there are still three parts to come, it bodes well for the series.
The gameplay seems to have found a good groove. Obviously it's still rocking the same point-and-click style gameplay as before. On this second occasion, though, I found myself playing through the whole thing in a single three-hour sitting. Notably, the storytelling is far more compelling. A level of interest and intrigue is nicely maintained throughout the game, keeping you interested to see what happens next. That said, the gameplay is still pretty slow paced. The character interactions, which make up a good part of the game, can feel a bit slow. Some will no doubt find this boring, but given it's a zombie game it does well to develop the characters and draw out the tension – each being key threads in the zombie bow. Unlike before, the game avoids hitting any dead spots. Whereas the previous game waited for the action to come to you, the direction in this game is much clearer. While the puzzles are still a little frustrating (at least when the tool tips are off) it avoids driving you to those moments of despair where suddenly Google seems like an option.
It's also worth noting the decisions featured in the game, what with the series being built around this mechanic. The choices on this occasion are more abrupt and confrontational, with the same being said for rest of the game. This helps make the game feel more like a Walking Dead entity. But for the lack of Rick, this game does well to capture the appeal of the graphic novels. So here's hoping the game series can keep it up for the next three chapters.