Telltale’s first series of The Walking Dead game was a phenomenal critical success. Each episode in the series received reviews ranging in the region of 8.5 to 10, and gamers loved the story. After the final episode, demand was so high for more that Telltale announced a second season of the game series would be making its way to us in late 2013, and finally, here it is. Does it match up to series 1 thus far? Read on for our review of the premiere of the new series.

The first series was our choice for 2012 Downloadable Game of the Year, and we gave it an overall 10/10 rating. Needless to say, we were very excited to hear that we would be seeing more from Telltale’s creation, with the announcement of season 2. Telltale, without much warning, sent us a review code for the season on Steam and told us it was live there and then. I downloaded and began the game immediately, and played through in one sitting.

Firstly, if you enjoyed the first series of the game, you will definitely enjoy the first episode of the second season. The same difficult choices, deep characters and emotional events occur in the new episode, and the episode builds a solid base for another fantastic series of brilliance. If you have not yet played season one of the game, I strongly urge you to go play it; it will probably be one of the most immersive gaming experiences you will ever have. DO NOT play season two before you play season one, as the story continues on and you will be left at a loss if you miss out on season one’s content.

One thing I will say is, ‘All That Remains’ takes a little bit to get going. The pacing is not akin to the usual commencement of a game, but rather the continuation of a previous story. Despite this, there are many tough choices and deaths in this first episode alone, so, there will be plenty of action. It is very difficult to see characters being carried forward from the previous series and to then have to make a difficult choice regarding them, or see them die. The emotional attachment you had to these characters in season one will be rekindled almost instantly following sight of them.

I will never ruin any of the major story points in my reviews for The Walking Dead, as the story is the focus of the game, and the entire reason for playing it. I will, however, give you a brief background on episode one. The series no longer follows Lee (anyone who played season one will know why) but rather his young companion; Clementine. The style of play, however, does not change. You are given limited time to make dialogue or gameplay choices, which will affect the game events and the attitudes of other characters towards you.

‘All That Remains’ sees you joining another group and discovering parts of their own tough backstory. This is in contrast to the first season where the group formed and then suffered their own horrible events, and I found it to be a nice change. It may be a little slow to sink in, however, I thoroughly enjoyed the new outlook and the new set of characters. It isn’t quite as emotionally gripping, however, I am sure it will in time as Telltale have more time to toy with the characters. Overall, I found the tale behind the first episode to be a slow but sure introduction to the second series.

It is only The Walking Dead that can create this type of emotional connection with characters. The world in which the characters live in is a depressing, horrible place where everyone is doomed to eventually die. You will also feel responsible for many of their deaths due to your choices within the game. I cannot remember any other game in which the player begins to care about fictitious characters to such an extent.

The game looks identical to the first series for the most part. A few technical issues which distracted from the original have been fixed, and the game feels a little smoother now. The same cel-shaded comic book art style is present, which is, as always, a joy to behold. It really does capture the story in a unique way which makes it synonymous with the comic book series, but far more interactive and tense. The voice acting is, again, outstanding. Each character (new and old) have the perfect voice attached to them to suit their appearance and what we have seen of their personality. Sound effects and music are also excellent.

The use of Clementine as the protagonist was an intelligent move. By using a character players of the first season are already attached to, the attachment and emotional depth from the first series carries over the second series of the game and has the player hooked instantly. It is VERY difficult to play through the first episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead and not long to learn more about the fate of Clementine and the other characters. Despite the advantages, the disadvantage is that we have no backstory to explore with Clementine, as we are aware of her backstory from the first season. I do, however, feel that the pros outweigh the cons.

To conclude, ‘All That Remains’ is an immersive and solid jump into the second season of the critically-acclaimed game series. It paves the pathway for a series of exciting and gripping events, interesting characters and tense action. I strongly believe that the slow start will pay off with astonishing events later in the series, and I have full faith in Telltale to pull off another outstanding series of horrible events and deep gameplay. Look forward to another masterpiece…