Earlier this month, nearly 250 employees at video game developer Telltale Games received the news that every video game company dreads: they’re getting laid off. The company is reportedly closing down, though details are fuzzy and the future of its remaining projects (including a Stranger Things game and an interactive media project with Netflix, as well as a new season of Minecraft: Story Mode) is up in the air.
The Walking Dead: Season Two follows the aftermath of the first game, where Clementine’s group encounters a horde of ravenous zombies. The gameplay is a blend of adventure, puzzles and action scenes. Players direct Clementine around the environment, interacting with scenery elements, and can trigger conversation trees with other characters to advance the story. Some scenes have quick-time events where the player must react within a limited time frame to avoid being killed by zombies or causing other characters to die.
While these moments are a bit on the hectic side, they’re an effective way to convey Clementine’s unending sense of panic and fear in this chaotic setting. The game’s best scene is a thrilling escape sequence, where Clem and AJ must run from a horde of walkers. The scene is presented without any camera cuts, smoothly blending between cutscene and player interaction (a combination of third-person and brief first-person), and it’s masterfully directed and executed.
The game’s combat is less frantic than in some previous games, but it lacks the finesse of other action titles like the Resident Evil or Left 4 Dead series. Most of the fights are on-rails, with the player simply mashing a button to dispatch a walker.