The Walking Dead Episode 1 surprised a lot of gamers. A million-seller based on only one episode, TellTale Games had a hit on their hands that was going to be hard to follow-up. Can they manage to top the stress and difficult choices from the previous episode?
They did in so, so many ways and by the end of the game, I felt bad for some of the things I said and the actions I made.
The Walking Dead: The Game – Episode 2 Starved For Help starts off three months after the first one. Lee, Clementine and the group of survivors (including newcomer Mark) are all bunkered up around the motel. They’re struggling to find enough food to feed everyone, causing Lee and Mark to go out on hunts for any animals nearby. Without revealing too much, you’ll soon meet people that will help you out with food in exchange for gas.
One thing you’ll notice is, while zombies are prevalent in The Walking Dead, you’ll start to see other miscreants around as well. Bandits are there trying to scavenge and only look out for themselves while the crazier ones raid camps with bows & arrows.
On the gameplay side, it feels very similar to the original episode but there’s much more action-heavy sequences. You’ll have to dodge behind a moving tractor to avoid arrows while it slowly moves and get zombies off its tires. Instead of normal QTEs or simple adventure-style, ‘find the right item for the right situation segments,’ there’ll be moments where you have direct control of the character and be able to sneak around in situations where one screw-up means death.
Right out of the gate, you’ll have hard decisions to make such as giving out rations to specific people. I ultimately decided to help the children because they’ll inherit the earth. But depending on who you give food to, people will garner certain opinions of your decisions.
The narrative side of this game pays off tremendously and in that episodic nature, it fleshes out the characters and you’ll begin to see their true motivations. The series’ story started out as a man and a little girl against the world, but now it’s evolved into making sure the group gets along, forcing you to side with specific characters in life-or-death situations.
Although nothing is entirely perfect in The Walking Dead: The Game Episode 2: Starved For Help, its narrative sometimes fails technically for a variety of reasons. At times during cut-scenes, you’ll notice character models jumping and strange collision detection. At one point, the game’s entire audio track skipped and started repeating everyone’s lines. I had to reload from my previous save point often during the ordeal but nothing really messed with my progress.
The Walking Dead: The Game – Episode 2: Starved For Help continues the narrative endeavors of the previous episode, but in a harsher, more stressful way that makes you think about each option you choose. It’ll make the wait even longer for Episode 3 all that much worse, but I’m just aching to see how this deadly tale ends. It’s available now on Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and on the PC.