The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 2
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Game Reviewed: The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 2
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Platform: PC, Mac, Xbox360, PS3, iOS, PS Vita, Ouya
ESRB Rating: M
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At this point, having written reviews of the first season and the first episode of the second season, I feel there’s little I can say about this game that I haven’t said already. It’s incredible, it’s one of the best explorations of the human psyche under pressure I’ve ever seen, and you owe it to yourself to experience it provided you’re mature enough to handle the graphic, and dare I say entirely justified, content.
To recap the basics, however, this series is based on The Walking Dead, which originally sprung from Robert Kirkman’s comic series and has since branched into a television show (which thankfully has nothing to do with this game—not that it has much to do with the comics anyway) and another game called Survival Instinct, which is to be avoided at all costs if you value good art and game design. This series seeks to use the zombie apocalypse as a backdrop to explore the various ways characters react to intense situations under immense amounts of pressure, and at it’s best (that is, the comics and this game series), it does so very effectively.
This game series is exceptional in the way it allows you to explore that theme yourself; instead of just watching characters act and react, you are tasked with making major decisions that will alter your relationships with the characters around you, and sometimes, their very lives. You are faced with very difficult decisions that stretch your morality and force you to confront some truly difficult issues within your own worldview, and you come out of the experience with a richer understanding of yourself as a result. It truly is one of the greatest things of which video games are capable, and this game does it remarkably well.
So then, this latest installment… Does it live up? Will it be any more or less appropriate for you or your children?
What Parents Need to Know
Being a story about zombies, the violence is rather graphic. Zombies will appear missing limbs, or with parts of their body so torn up you can see muscle and bone. They can also be killed in a variety of ways, with a variety of bladed or projectile weapons. People die too, of course. One is shot in the throat, and is shown with blood pouring out of his neck as he falls to his death, another can be eaten by zombies. More are shot in less graphic ways.
Language is used ranging from the F-word to all sorts of lesser swear words. No point in outlining all of them; they’re said commonly by many characters.
Nothing to speak of.
Nothing of note.
As always, this game offers many moral choices, and the player can act in many ways. So it’s worth noting that they can act vengefully or violently, but can also act with forgiveness and a level head.
A Child’s Perspective:
I wouldn’t want my child to play this game (if I had one), so I’m not going to ask it of anyone else’s.
So, back to the question asked before: is Episode 2 any more or less appropriate for you or your children than previous episodes in the series (which, by the way, you absolutely should play before this)?
Short answer: no. It’s the same level of gore, language, and moral ambiguity as previous entries in the series. If you decided the previous entries in the series (or for that matter, anything else in the franchise as a whole) was not appropriate, this entry will not change your mind. And if you had previously been alright playing, or allowing your child to play, the series, this will offer no new content to make you second-guess your decision.
In terms of its quality, it’s a step up from episode one, straight back up to the excellent writing, character interactions, and difficult choices. It’s another fantastic entry in the series, and like the first season, I can’t recommend it highly enough for those mature enough to handle its content.