The first episode of Telltale Games The Walking Dead: Season Two, All That Remains, consisted of a lot of set-up for the new season, catching us up with Clementine post Lee and introducing a new group for Clem to deal with. With that out of the way, the second episode, A House Divided, is able to dive right into the action, and gives us plenty of it along with some nice character moments. Between suspenseful combat and escapes, and Clem’s interaction with the other characters, Telltale has crafted possibly their best episode yet. Add to that a new menace in the form of a man named Carver (brilliantly voiced by Michael Madsen) and a nice surprise (won’t spoil it here), and you have the makings of an incredible outing that just begs to be replayed so you can experience the different outcomes. If the final three episodes can keep up this level of quality, than Season Two could very easily be an early contender for GOTY.
Things pick up right after the end of All That Remains, with Clem in dire straits. Again, I won’t spoil things here, but there are some nice character moments and a crucial decision that affects the group. Clem gets back, only to find out Luke and Alvin have gone in search of her. Clem is left in charge of Sarah, leading to a little bit of bonding between the girls. That is soon interrupted by the presence of the mysterious Carver, whom Sarah is deathly afraid of. Clem deals with the stranger well enough, but his appearance makes the others nervous, putting them on the run.
Their flight eventually leads them to a ski lodge, which is occupied by another group. Things look safe for the moment, but we know all too well that The Walking Dead series only gives our characters a brief respite from the horrors lurking in the post zombie apocalypse. Eventually, trouble catches up, and another cliffhanger ending leaves us worried for Clem’s safety until the next installment.
This outing finds some of those pesky technical issues having finally (hopefully) been ironed out by Telltale. This episode runs smoother than most, the only hiccup being the long loading times between scenes. Combat is wonderfully tense, making you work quickly and decisively to survive. The walker encounters here are among the best in the series so far, and really put you on the edge of your seat. Conversation choices are also suitably imbued with tension, giving them some real weight. This adds to the replayability of the episode, as your choices really can impact which way the story goes. Visually the game looks terrific as it has in the past, and the voice acting is top notch. One playthrough can take you roughly two and a half hours to complete, but it’s a good bet you’ll be revisiting this multiple times, just to see how your choices affect the story.
All in all, A House Divided is just brilliant, both in its character moments and its tense action sequences. A slight technical hiccup of long loading times is the only thing that keeps this from a perfect score, but it does detract enough to deduct for it. The new menace in the person of Carver gives us a villain worthy of the Governor from both the show and the comics, as well as Negan from the books (who hopefully will appear in the TV show as well eventually). This is the best episode yet delivered by Telltale Games. They’ve set the bar for the next three episodes very high indeed. Hopefully they’ll be up to the task.
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