The Walking Dead: Season 2 – What went wrong? | Gamerillaz

The Walking Dead: Season 2 – What went wrong?

The Walking Dead: Season 2 – What went wrong?
 

So I finished Season Two of Telltale’s The Walking Dead last night. While the first season’s finale left me feeling devastated, entertained, full of hope and dread and craving the next installment of the adventure, Season 2 has left me feeling cold and emotionally disconnected from the characters that remain alive. Allow me to explain and, don’t worry, the only spoiler here is that The Walking Dead is a game full of tragedy but I think you already knew that.

For me, season one of The Walking Dead was a clear candidate for Game of the Year. Telltale just seemed to get everything right. The storytelling was on point, characters seemed real, likable and dis-likable in equal measure. No matter how awful things got there was a central bond between the protagonist Lee and sidekick Clementine that cemented the whole experience.

Despite some excellent moments, and a great fourth episode, Season 2 just feels uneven. Whether it’s the writing, the characters or the events that unfold, things just don’t seem to gel as well as season one. Perhaps it’s because of this that the inevitable tragic moments seem forced and insincere. Characters are introduced only to be killed off in some brutal manner moments later. Often you can see it coming a mile off and, though the game presents you with choices, I’ve come to learn that usually it doesn’t matter what you choose; the overall result will be the same, you’ll just have pissed off one person over another by being forced to pick one of two unwanted options.

Season 2 introduces lots of new characters… to be slaughtered.

There is a wonderful scene in the last episode where the characters actually take some time to relax and loosen up a little. It’s the one mildly happy moment in the nine or so hours it takes to complete season two and it comes as such a welcome surprise that you’ll wish they could have ended season 2 then and there. I actually turned off the game for a week after this point because I knew I was close to the end and didn’t really want to see what violent twist Telltale had in store.

Of course I had to see things through in the end and sure enough following some inconsistent behavior from a number of characters the game snowballs towards one final impossible choice and more blood is spilled. The actions of every character in that final act, including the ones I was forced to make as the protagonist, felt untrue to everything that had gone before. Obviously the universe in which The Walking Dead is set is one filled with deeply sad and awful things but surely that would make some semblance of a happy or hopeful ending seem all the more powerful than the pointless bloodbath we were given.

It’s as if the things I thought I knew about the characters have become lost, muddied by Telltale’s one true goal; to upset and shock you. The last scene of season two could be seen as something of a cliffhanger for a third season but for me it just seemed as though the remaining characters were wandering the world as aimless and as empty as the walkers that surround them.

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