The second season of Telltale’s popular The Walking Dead series kicked off at the end of last year with its pilot episode giving players the chance to get accustomed to playing and making decisions as Clementine, the little girl that the main protagonist spent so much time protecting, who is now traveling with a new group due to unfortunate circumstances. The second episode, A House Divided sees Clementine’s new group finally getting used to her presence, but the secrets the group have hidden from her prevent anybody from getting comfortable.
What Is It?
The Walking Dead is based on the post-epidemic world presented by both the graphic novels and television counterparts of the same name. The world was a calm place but ended up being one overstruck with the plague of zombies or “walkers.” In typical zombie fashion, get bitten, and you become a zombie. But it’s not only that. In the world of The Walking Dead, you turn into a zombie no matter how you die.
Naturally, civilization takes on a dog-eat-dog, survival-of-the-fittest kind of turn.
As with previous Telltale iterations of the series and along with The Wolf Among Us, the game is mostly a point-and-click adventure where the decisions you make can heavily impact the way the story goes with the rest of the gameplay being mostly through quicktime events. If you’re not into that kind of game, then it would be best to look some place else.
Why Should I Care?
If the title of this review didn’t make it obvious enough, this is a review of the second episode of the second season of the game, so it’ll be widely assumed that you’ve played each of the seven entries prior to A House Divided. For the sake of any reader’s interest in the story, I’ll try not to go into too much detail regarding this episode’s plot and just runthrough it in a bare-boned fashion.The following sums up the first 30 minutes of the game without going into too much detail. If you don’t want to be remotely spoiled, scroll down.
Like the first season before it, the first episode this season ended with Clementine basically saving one person or another from death. Whoever Clementine picked drastically affects A House Divided‘s introduction. Either way you pick, eventually Clementine ends up back at her camp’s house alone where she pretty much has to take care of Carlos’ daughter.
It’s during this time that an intruder lurks into the house and has some very awkward and uncomfortable conversations with Clementine before taking his leave. Shortly after that, the group comes back into the house, and Carlos’ daughter tells the group about the intruder. Apparently the group has been scouted because they were part of a bigger, and seemingly more dangerous, group.The spoilers stop here for now.
Most of what Clementine does in the episode is purely conversational, especially with the likes of whichever character you saved, Luke, and Rebecca–the pregnant woman that responsible for most of Clementine’s discomfort. This is all much needed, because honestly, at this point most characters should only know and care about Clementine, and to be honest being in such a big amount of control over her thoughts and actions has started to make me care less for her because she really seems to have lost all the innocence I knew she had in the first season.Light spoilers follow.
Eventually though, the group finds themselves in a situation when they try to get inside a ski resort for shelter overnight, and Clementine has a sudden blast from the past. Reunions and tears aside, of course not all is merry.// End all spoilers.
What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?
What sets this episode apart from the pilot is that the first episode required players to put themselves in the shoes of an 11-year-old mature beyond her years. Unfortunately, the second episode doesn’t do much to build upon that.
As stated, Clementine’s relationship with her new group starts to grow, and while they don’t really have a strong comfort level, it doesn’t really feel like all the effort we made to get used to her making decisions is showing any fruit yet. I spent most of the previous episode making Clementine seem independent. There’s even a point in this episode in which you get to choose whether to kill a smaller walker as planned or a big walker (meant for Luke), but I feel like the nature of the group growing as a unit and Clementine running into a familiar face will make players detach themselves from someone we were all just starting to get used to being.
At $5, A House Divided is another interesting use of two hours, but no moment in this episode is anywhere near as intense or as daring as the last.
Our review of the previous chapter of this season of The Walking Dead can be found here.