Despite there only being a couple days gap, it feels a little weird writing about a 2013 game in 2014, especially now that I’m doing comics for each one that I complete. Sorry, episode 1 of Telltale’s The Walking Dead; all you got was a stinky ol’ haiku. But I’m sure you’ll get at least four comics out of me this year, since I bought the season pass and am already hungry for more since the beginning of the second season, much like the appetizer that 400 Days turned out to be, doesn’t really satisfy one’s hunger, only starts to fill you up with characters and places and problems to be. Y’know, for down the line.
Some quick catch-up, and I’ll do my best to be as unspoilery as possible for those that have not yet experienced the first season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead. But really now, shame on you. Just do it. I think the first episode is constantly being thrown out there for no cost, so snatch it up, love it, and burn through the remainder eps one after the other like I did, without having to wait months between story breaks. Anyways, by the very end of the Savannah storyline, Clementine is all by herself in the zombie-infested wild, eventually taking notice of two people in the distance. Flash-forward several months, and Clem is now travelling with Omid and a visibly pregnant Christa in search of…well, somewhere safe. We pick up as the three reach a gas station to scavenge for supplies and rest before getting back on the road.
Naturally, as things tend to do in zombie anything–films, books, TV shows, games–things quickly take a turn for the worse, but thanks to everything that Lee taught Clementine in the previous season–well, my Lee taught her, but your mileage may vary–she can mostly handle herself just fine. Alas, there’s a tragic encounter with a stray dog that really puts Clem in a dangerous spot, and a big portion of episode 1’s latter half is righting this error. Medically speaking, that is. She eventually becomes part of a new group, though they don’t trust her, and the best sequence has Clem sneaking into their safehouse to steal enough vital supplies to heal her own wounds, since the others are waiting for her to turn into a walking dead girl. This shows off just how brave and independent she’s become over the past several months, now a young woman of action and not hesitation. So far, there’s no real clear objective like season one’s “find a boat,” but I guess staying alive–and keeping those we like alive, too–is game enough for some, though I’d like to see Clem eventually have some kind of concrete plan.
Not much has changed in terms of how The Walking Dead plays from the previous episodes, and that’s fine. Always a mix of adventuring and stay alive moments, with enough of both to keep me satisfied. You still look around for items, talk to people and make choices, and explore confined locations for clues or bits that flesh out the story. I did notice that Clem now has an inventory sub-menu, where she can grab items to use on other items, making this a bit more like a point-and-click adventure game than it probably wanted to be at the beginning of its creation. Action scenes are still, more or less, dominated by quick time button prompts, but now with the added innovation of swiping left or right, using the analog stick on the controller, which leads me to think that some of these scenarios were designed with tablet and iPhone users in mind.
For “All That Remains,” there’s a couple of somewhat minor decisions to make along the way, as well as a number of unavoidable deaths. That’s right. Try as you all might, you can’t save that certain four-legged critter from its depressingly authentic conclusion. I only know this because Tara checked online. She had to. Come the very end of the episode, like it’s last two minutes, you do get to save someone’s life over another’s, and that decision will most certainly play a part in the events to come, but again, this is only the beginning, a nibble, and I’m hoping we get the second episode sometime early in February. Still also waiting for a connection, big or small, to 400 Days; that better not had been all for naught.