After playing through Episode 1 of The Walking Dead’s new season, It was time to jump straight into episode 2 to ensure I got to know my new group all the more better than our initial encounter. I wouldn’t recommend playing The Walking Dead straight through from start to finish, but playing a day between each episode seems to be the best experience.
The episode starts out from the offset with your decision from the previous episode taking full effect. You’re being chased down with your choice of character that you saved whilst zombies make their way towards you. Clementine and Nick (I saved the guy that hadn’t been bitten), manage to find a shack that they can hold up in, and so starts the next 2 hours of character building, where not much actually happens in the scheme of losing characters or making big decisions, but instead you get a bit more intimacy in this new and weird group you’re now a part of.
Eventually, you and Nick manage to get away from the shelter of this little hut, but are soon thrown into another danger: another group of survivors that are after the group you’re currently with for reasons unknown. So starts your adventure of getting away from the shelter of the house you’ve been staying in, where you now have to go on the run from these maniacs. It was this part of the episode where I most felt that the group, for all its flaws and weaknesses, was annoying in the way in which they both didn’t trust Clementine, but also in the way in which they went about doing everything. It felt like their arguments were contrived, senseless, and made no sense in the grand scheme of the narrative. In Season 1 of the walking dead you’d have Kenny constantly cause tension in the group through his worry for his own son Duck, which was understandable for any father in the apocalypse, but in Season 2, all arguments just seem trivial in comparison.
Your group will eventually make their way to a ski resort, a place which seems to have a plethora of food, electricity and safety in an otherwise hellish world. It’s here that you’ll meet an old friend from the original season: Kenny. Kenny has seemingly managed to survive in this world, even after losing his whole family, managing to get a new family in the process. It’s himself that will introduce Clementine to the group at the ski lodge, and in turn bring up reminders of the past by asking about Lee and explaining a little about himself. It was nice to see a familiar face after seeing so much hostility from this new group of people, and was definitely one of the highlights of the episode, ensuring I look forward to seeing Kenny more in the next few episodes.
The rather mundane episode comes to a climatic end when the rival group manages to catch up to the ski resort, saving everyone from a zombie hoard, but in the process taking everyone hostage. It’s in these moments that you’ll see the most death of the episode, with plot pieces being set up to ensure that players have to be put on the spot in their decision making, leading me to regret the choice I had made seconds after making it.
Overall, The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 2 felt quite contrived in the grand scheme of things, with characters worries feeling mundane compared to past predicaments and their current situation. It’s definitely a far cry from the episode 2 of the previous season, with that one feeling more of a one off than an actual progression of the narrative, something Season 2 Episode 2 ensures not to repeat. In continuing to progress the story rather than have a one off episode, everything ends up coming off very obtuse, with situations lacking in substance and arguments feeling contrived, to the point that characters act outside of their usual selves just to make a plot point to further the narrative at a later time. I’m definitely interested in where this season will go, but so far I haven’t been impressed compared to how ground breaking the original was on so many levels.