So, here we are. The round-up of the second season of Walking Dead, [s]perfectly on time[/s] fashionably late. And you know what? I was pretty negative about the first episode, but here, in the end, I gotta say… This was pretty, pretty, pretty good. Not season one good–Mojo didn't design this game–but about as good as one reasonably could hope for.
I was unsure how Clementine would develop throughout the season, but, luckily, any worry I had after the first episode got kicked right to the curb. And that's good, because I was worried, and I believe justifiably.
The game, in the end, played to the strengths of the franchise: the survivors, and not the zombies. As Clementine's new posse starts breaking down, she grows more cynical, and most signs of of her wide-eyed optimism deteriorates, and quickly so. Compare her persona in the last episode to how she started out in season one, and you can see a pretty extreme transformation. Thankfully.
The choices you make throughout the game is very much rooted in that element. You can choose to send Clementine down a very cynical road, or keep the last remanence of optimism left in her. In that sense, I assume the next season will play on the choices you make here, seeing that you can end the game on a pitch black note. We shall see.
I was entertained and intrigued by this season, and the soap opera that is The Walking Dead–Betrayal! Backstabbing! Sex! Murder!–plonked well along. Seeing the fate of your group was once again pretty nerve wrecking, double so seeing your actions dictated it.
And thankfully: There was a lot less reliance on zombie-coming-at-you-from-nowhere this time around. Those jump-scares have grown old.
Season two didn't have quite the emotional toll as the first one, but that probably wouldn't have been doable anyway. Season one benefited from an element of surprise.
So, where does Telltale go from here? As far as I'm concerned, there is a level of uncertainty on the horizon. They're at a point now, where they're highly successful, and there was little to no surprise when a season three of Walking Dead was announced, long before the end of the second one.
It worries me that Telltale seems to buy into its own hype. The rather embarrassing #myclementine Twitter campaign pandered to people who loved Clementine a little bit too much–not unlike some people and Guybrush–and when I look at the action figures, I can't help but wonder if creative games like Puzzle Agent is a thing of the past.
With Tales from the Borderlands and Game of Thrones coming up, I can't help but wonder if Telltale shouldn't consider starting looking at more original IPs. With the commercial successes they've had recently, it seems like the time is ripe for it.
Then, I probably shouldn't complain as I'm already looking forward to season two of The Wolf Among Us.