The Walking Dead- The Game: Season 2 to Bring the Tears, Puberty
Telltale’s first The Walking Dead- The Game was an absolute game changer. It repopularized the idea of episodic gameplay, of releasing a game in segments over time like a television show that allows you to mash X periodically. It also brought into the forefront the idea of choice, and that your choices really matter. You were one man, Lee Everett, put in one terrible situation after another. Often, you had to decide to save the life of one person, or save an entirely separate person who would die if you didn’t save them.
Choice is not a new idea in video gaming, introduced first when you had to decide whether or not to give your friend a Charlie horse in the middle of a game of pong, but the choices in Telltale’s The Walking Dead meant more than those offered to us by the likes of Bioware, where the blue choice meant you were the good guy and saved all the orphans and the red choice meant you were an actual piece of crap who uses the orphans as fuel for your death locomotive. It was a terrible, awful gameplay experience that was also great. People were clamoring for more, probably because we all secretly want to be waterboarded at heart.
The first “season” was phenomenally successful, and a sequel was inevitable. What would happen in that sequel, however, was far from inevitable.
Big Booty Spoilers For Season 1 After This Point
Only three characters survived the first season of the game, the most major of which was a nine-year-old girl, so it seemed incredibly unlikely that we’d be playing as her. Well, fuck you, because that’s exactly what’s happening.
Yes, we will be playing as Clementine, Lee’s trusty sidekick/ moral compass/ constant source of enormous stress from Season 1. The young girl, whose worldview has been shaped equal parts by the zombie apocalypse interrupting her 3rd grade class and the moral decisions made by her surrogate father figure regarding the fates of cannibal farmers who look like Mitt Romney, will be our eyes into Season 2, her actions at our fingertips slathered in Cheeto-dust and manly tears.
Originally, this was an idea that I wanted to steer far away from. I considered Clementine’s story to be finished. Her tale of growing up in this terrible new world was over. But now that this is placed in front of me, I’m actually rather excited. The idea of playing as an eleven-year-old girl is intriguing and certainly unique. With almost all modern videogame protagonists being aged men with large guns and larger numbers on the end of their game titles, it’s almost unheard of to be playing as a young girl. That’s not only cool, but incredibly brave of Telltale. They know, as any intelligent person does, that people are going to buy this game regardless of who the main character is, and I think that it’s really neat. Every writing class you’ve ever taken has told you to “make bold choices” and this is, like, the boldest choice.
Plus, we’ll finally be able to put all that gun training from the first game into practice here.
Now, for Speculation Nation…
How Will Our New Protagonist Affect the Choice System?
Season 1 allowed the character to be put in actionable situations of great choice because he was an adult, trusted to at least some extent by the other dick-measuring adults in your group. Clementine is an eleven-year-old. She probably hasn’t even read “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret” yet. Assuming that you’re going to be traveling with other people so that this game isn’t the most boring thing ever or a platformer of some kind, it’s going to take a lot of narrative figuring to get us to accept Clementine as a decision-making party. At least on choices larger than “Do You Like Me? Yes, No, Maybe.”
Who’s Coming Back?
It was heavily implied with a big wooden stack at the end of Season 1 that Clementine ended up traveling with Christa and Omid, who were characters with the unfortunate side effect of coming in after everyone started dying so no one really cared about them. I’d be fine with that, and it would actually be neat to see those two expand as characters.
Also implied with the wooden stick was the idea that Christa was pregnant, so that could be fun. Maybe we’ll be presented with the opportunity to drop the baby behind us as bait for a rampaging horde, or we’ll have to choose between saving the baby or saving the other, second baby. Either way, I am already crying.
But there are other characters to take into consideration here. Season 1 had supplementary material entitled “400 Days,” which introduced seven new characters into the universe. It’d be a shame of those people didn’t come back in some capacity in the sequel. I loved… Asian guy. And Stoner Guy? Were those their names?
Finally, and most importantly, there’s Lilly. Lilly was the ringleader for the first two and a half episodes of Season 1 and managed to make a total mess of almost everything. Her fate is unconfirmed in the game because it turns out that she drove off with your RV and right into the comic books. And even after killing a major character in the book, her fate is still up in the air. It is heavily implied that she was torn limb from limb, but you just can’t be sure of these things, can you? I think the concept of Lilly and Clementine out in the wilderness together is fantastic, and I would give Telltale all of my money right now if I found out that was coming down the pike.
How Will the Amount of Tears I Shed Playing as an Eleven-Year-Old Compare To Those From Season 1?
Oh, dear God, I do not even want to think about it. I’m purchasing a few gallons of Haagen Dasz in preparation for this big Christmas release.
Telltale has announced that Season 2 of The Walking Dead will debut before the end of the year, releasing the first episode at the perfect time to give you a sad Christmas. Like, your-presents-are-socks level sad Christmas.
Chekhov’s Gunman is a film and television blog moderated by Kevin Lanigan, a future writer of movies and TV and current writer of out-of-context Bible verses on the walls of safehouses. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below, and remember to follow or subscribe above for all my updates.
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