PSN/XBLA Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: All That Remains

Yeah, I miss Lee, too.

Yeah, I miss Lee, too.

From the outside looking in, I’m sure the prospect of being sent video games to review doesn’t sound much like work; and it’s a view I completely understand. There is some downside, however, in that I rarely have time to revisit games I enjoyed. One of the few I’ve played through a second time in the past year or two is Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead, so with Season 2 kicking off on Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network this week I was more than ready to catch up with Clementine.

CONTROLS (4.75/5)

For the uninitiated, The Walking Dead primarily utilizes a point-and-click interface. The right stick moves the cursor and hovering over objects opens up icons that allow you to interact with them in various ways. The icons, like the dialogue options, correspond to the face buttons on your controller so it’s very easy to keep track of on the fly. There seems to be a little more quick-twitch action here than the first — for instance, moving the right stick in a specific direction to evade pursuit — and it’s adequately responsive even with the sometimes dicey frame rate.

GRAPHICS/SOUND (4/5)

If you hoped the success of the original would result in a more technically refined product, I’m afraid that isn’t the case. The art style is still excellent, and it continues to fit the unrelenting desperation of the source material perfectly. That being said, All That Remains still experiences frame rate issues that cause awkward stuttering, especially when transitioning quickly between camera angles (as seen during the look back at Season 1 and the teaser for the next episode).

Voice acting remains a strength with very good performances from returning characters as well as the new ones. The soundtrack really delivers as well, combining with the ambient sounds of crows cawing, bushes rustling and zombies moaning to elevate the game’s tension.

GAMEPLAY (4.25/5)

Rather than spoil anything from the opening episode of Season 2, I’m going to try to talk about the plot in generalities. Things begin not long after the events of the first game, though after a brief prologue we’re propelled 16 months into the future to find an older (but still only 12 or 13) Clementine in the midst of more thoroughly miserable circumstances. She’s better equipped to handle it, however, thanks to the toughness Lee and others in the group instilled in her.

More than anything else, that’s what Telltale wants you to take away from All That Remains. That the innocent, dependent Clementine is gone, replaced by this world-hardened version that is tough and self-sufficient enough to serve as the main character. She doesn’t need help to survive any longer, though that doesn’t mean she has become a loner and won’t embrace aid when it’s offered.

It’s a bold move to cast the player as Clementine, and it’s one that’s handled deftly in the opening salvo of the five-episode sequel. She takes her lumps and is presented as competent but not unrealistically resourceful; a combo that works for the situations she’s placed in. Long term, though, it’ll be interesting to see how Telltale navigates having a protagonist that’s consistently at such a pronounced physical disadvantage relative to both the walkers and other survivors.

In terms of the overall story, All That Remains is a table setter. Beyond establishing Clementine’s growth it also introduces new characters, establishes possible threats down the road (both internally and externally) and features the kind of tough decisions the series is known for. It sacrifices some depth in the process — I don’t feel particularly strongly about any of the newcomers, yet — but given the team’s track record in character development I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Perhaps the most encouraging thing is that Telltale clearly still has their finger on the pulse of this world, daring us to hope things are looking up only to dash those foolish notions in a fit of tearing flesh. Few games pull effectively or organically at the heart strings, but The Walking Dead was one of them; and it pleases me to no end to that Season 2 picks up where the first one left off in that department.

OVERALL (4.5/5)

As a standalone experience, All That Remains is solid. As the launching point for The Walking Dead: Season 2, however, it’s brimming with potential. I’m anxious to see how new relationships develop and deteriorate, and to guide Clementine through these troubled times; and after the sudden ending, I’m ready to play Episode 2 right now.

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About Herija Green

Avid gamer, adventurous lover and all-around damned handsome man...
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181 Responses to PSN/XBLA Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: All That Remains

  1. Fabien says:

    Carley was my favorite from season 1.

    I’d like the PSN version if I get chosen. Thanks for the contest!

    @VofEscaflowne

  2. Bob says:

    Lilly
    PS3
    @bwiest1

  3. Domenic Paolo says:

    Twitter: @DomPaolo
    Console: XBLA
    Answer: Carley

  4. Polerand says:

    Man, outside of Lee and Clementine, it gets tough … Probably Carley.
    XBLA
    @Polerand

  5. I say Kenny, he was pretty cool. PS3 btw. @moggsster

  6. antonio says:

    Doug because he is very similar to myself.

    I’d like the PSN version if I win! Thanks for the opportunity!

    @Teburninator

  7. Really found Bonnie from the 400 days content to be quite interesting, so Bonnie it is. @l0ve211

  8. gmanvg says:

    Ben
    PSN
    Thanks for the chance!
    @gmanvg

  9. hsith says:

    Larry form S1, the angry old man, love his grumpy stare.
    x360 please 🙂

  10. Caitlin says:

    My favorite character was Carley.
    Xbox 360
    @goodbyetonight

  11. Joseph says:

    Kenny was my favorite, he became mad/mean towards the end but can you really blame him?

    XBLA please.

    @joe10136

  12. Colin says:

    Kenny(
    XBLA
    @Colin8166

  13. xGATOxMALOx says:

    Charles

    XBLA

    @xGATOxMALOx

  14. Granosx says:

    My favorite character apart from the two obvious ones is, Glenn
    I’d like the PSN version. My twitter username is “Granosx”

  15. Ron Valencia says:

    Carley was my favorite character from the first season!
    PSN
    @ronmanx8

  16. Chase says:

    Kenny “Duck” Jr. is my favorite from season 1.
    PS3
    @Real_i_t_y

  17. Emsaic says:

    Carley
    I’d like it for PSN if I win 😛
    @Emsaic

  18. Johnny Blaze says:

    Doug
    PSN

  19. Besides Clementine, Lilly is probably my favorite from season 1. PSN would be my console preference.

    @derick_m_diaz

  20. @mysticfail says:

    Going with Carley

    @mysticfail

  21. Benderbrodrig says:

    My favorite character from season 1 is Carley
    PSN
    @BenderBRodrig

  22. Seriously Carley
    PSN
    @Xtemma

  23. Ben says:

    Ben was one of my favorite characters. Such a problematic one, but at times you couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. @benac PS3

  24. BLbeel says:

    Kenny was amazing, because based on your decisions he could be a total bro or an absolute jerk.
    He was a true bro for me.
    XBLA
    @blbeel

  25. Aaron says:

    Love Duck. Just because it’s an awesome name.

    Love the xbla code if I win.

    @indiotechknow

  26. Sam Hines says:

    Carley
    XBLA
    @samhines

  27. Kenny
    PSN
    @davey_jaafari

  28. My all time favorite character was Carley! She and Lee could of been a great couple!! 🙂

    XBLA

    @NeonIndieKid

  29. Nicole says:

    KENNY ❤
    XBLA
    @Nikibaby219

  30. James says:

    My bro, Kenny.

    PSN version.
    @FSNsaber Thanks for the chance and good luck all!

  31. The FDR says:

    Kenny was my favorite.
    XBLA
    @TheFDR

  32. cybermario says:

    Have to go with Carley
    XBLA
    @karmaquarius

  33. I’d have to say Kenny, he was a dick but he was only doing the best he could for his family.
    PSN
    @rogXue

  34. Jason says:

    Carley
    Xbla
    @jalansk0

  35. Kenny – could totally see his side of things – might even act like him if this was real.

    PSN

    @JCTango

  36. Amy Brown says:

    Meryl is my favorite character

  37. Carley was my fav! Thanks for the chance!
    PSN
    @AbripperX

  38. Chuck, the old dude from the train. He gave Lee some pretty good advice, plus he could play a nice tune on the guitar. Molly (Ep. 4) was pretty good too, she could handle herself very well and was a great climber to boot.
    PSN
    @LazyTriangle

  39. celsowm says:

    Kenny

    @celsowm

    XBLA
    Thanks

  40. Chris says:

    Kenny
    PSN
    @ChrisHolland70

  41. danielrl says:

    Carley
    PSN
    @cdanielrl

  42. Saeyin Oh says:

    @the_100
    XBLA
    Kenny

  43. zerop1 says:

    Carley
    PSN
    @ZeroP1

  44. Dustin Drinkard says:

    Carley !!!! PS3 @LiLugly420

  45. Ytang Jauregui says:

    Have to go with everyone else an choose Carley 🙂
    PSN

  46. BadderNinja says:

    Carley
    PSN
    @BadderNinja

  47. Freelance says:

    I liked Mark from the episode with the family of you-know-whats. He was pretty smart and all. I think that was his name. He only appeared in that one episode I think.

    PSN
    @freelancewolf

  48. SpudimusPrime89 says:

    Kenny
    Xbox 360
    @SpudimusPrime89

  49. Dr. Dave says:

    Duck.
    XBLA
    @Twittemus_Prime

  50. memku says:

    kenny
    PSN
    @memku

  51. Josh says:

    My favorite character was Kenny, why? Because he was a family man first before everything else. And Family is really all that matters in the zombie apocalypse.

    XBLA

    @LessThanJake182

    Thank you and I hope i win!

  52. Michael Lahey says:

    I really liked Chuck.

    Preference: PSN

    Twitter: @mlahey1

  53. BeAttitudeForGains says:

    Carley.
    XBLA
    @AttitudeForGain

  54. Elf says:

    Chuck

    XBLA
    @thepetelf

  55. malouff says:

    Chuck from the train
    PSN
    @malouff

  56. David Gowers says:

    I gotta spread the love for Omid, he was chill AND kinda funny
    PSN
    @Rowdy__One

  57. Darklurkr23 says:

    DOUG ALWAYS SAVE DOUG (Cause he’s Fat, and the other one HAD A GUN)
    PSN or XBLA doesn’t matter
    @Darklurkr23

  58. andybam says:

    My favorite character from Season 1 (other than Lee) would have to be Glen (though he was only around that short bit) and that’s really just an after effect of him being my favorite character in both the comics and the television show

  59. iersmeisje says:

    Lilly
    xbla
    @iersmeisje

  60. andybam says:

    andybam :
    My favorite character from Season 1 (other than Lee) would have to be Glen (though he was only around that short bit) and that’s really just an after effect of him being my favorite character in both the comics and the television show

    Also, my twitter is @andyzer0 *dodges bullets*

  61. Alex says:

    Carley was one of my other favorite characters. XBL
    @One2LeeCombo

  62. incphi says:

    Well, jeez, if you’re taking the two best characters off the table, I guess I’ll go with Maybelle.

    XBLA preferred

    @incphi

  63. Anthony says:

    Kenny. He was your best buddy and you get to know him better if you take his route.

    PS3
    @Fiery_realm

  64. sergiosuperche says:

    Kenny
    XBLA
    @sergiosuperche

  65. I’d have to say Kenny is my favourite.
    PS3
    @Chronorayven

  66. Roger says:

    Larry 😀
    XBLA
    @rogerishere

  67. roski415 says:

    One of my all time favorite characters from the walking dead game would probably be Doug. Why Doug you ask? Well it’s simple the guy was very resourceful and once you really get to know him he has a great personality.

    Xbox all day

    @roski415 all social media
    Gamertag: roelski415

  68. Grecco says:

    Kenny
    XBLA
    @grecco

  69. levi says:

    levi
    ps3
    @josephfuller6

  70. levi says:

    Kenny
    ps3
    @josephfuller6

  71. Gabriell says:

    @GabriellPC
    PSN
    Kenny

  72. Also Carley
    PSN
    @DontJudgeMyADD
    Thanks!

  73. ilRadd says:

    Definitely have to go with Carley – I was quite upset when she bit the dust.
    XBLA
    @ilRadd

    Thanks

  74. Horse says:

    Kenny
    PSN
    @fishhat1534

  75. Marco says:

    Carley
    Xbla
    @markdepeche89

  76. Kenny was a pretty cool guy.
    PSN
    @redrumbllefish

  77. Carley is my first choice ,
    PSN
    @Pixolator

  78. Nick (@OverseerNick) says:

    Kenny, of course.
    XBLA
    @OverseerNick

  79. Jess says:

    Kenny
    PSN
    @jess4002

  80. LondonGaijin says:

    Glenn
    XBLA
    @LondonGaijin

  81. Squirley says:

    Kenny
    XBLA
    @midgetsquirrels

  82. Papu says:

    Kenny
    PS3
    @Nathy_99_

  83. Carolina says:

    I’d have to say Kenny
    PSN
    @Tassol

  84. Mike says:

    Kenny
    PSN
    @Miketheking75

  85. Michael de Silva says:

    Kenny was pretty good.

    I’d prefer Playstation.

    @mdesilva_

  86. le8emenain says:

    Carley

    for ps3

    twitter @machiasse

  87. kurokitsune91 says:

    Carley
    PSN
    @kurokitsune91

  88. Josh Gibbs says:

    Answer: Doug. I’m glad I played through season 1 twice to see what it would be like with him, because I enjoyed having him more,
    Platform: PSN
    Twitter: @cali_yo

  89. logandx says:

    I gotta go with Carley from season 1. I’ve only beat episode 1 so my character interaction is limited. I’d prefer XBLA and Twitter is @LoganDX

  90. I really liked Glenn
    PSN
    @shadowcreep84

  91. I was fond of Kenny myself.
    PS3
    @johnbacovcin

  92. Simon Breckin says:

    Carley
    Xbox360
    @mrbreckin

  93. Dexter says:

    Carley from the 1st season
    XBLA
    @DexterJJ

  94. Travis Boswell says:

    Molly, because she actually seemed to have realistic expectations about the zombie apocalypse.
    XBLA
    @PerfidiousSinn

  95. Marco says:

    My favourite is Glenn! And is one of my favourite characters in the tv series too!

    XBLA
    @Markcop88

  96. Ryan says:

    Kenny
    XBLA
    @FenDozer

  97. William says:

    Carley
    XBLA
    @ohryn32

  98. Thad Whithed says:

    @sw0mp_d0nk3y
    Xbox
    Kenny

  99. Pokedude97 says:

    Carley was my favorite.
    Console: PSN
    @Pokedude97

  100. MirrorCake says:

    Carley
    Xbla
    @MirrorCake

  101. benrudolph says:

    I’m a redneck so Kenny it is!
    XBLA
    @pooroldru

  102. @Lasor4 says:

    My favorite character was Lilly up until she shot uhhhh… Yeah those were some hard times but I had to leave her there. It was for the safety of the group and I think it was for the best.
    PSN if I get picked… Brb crying ;(

  103. Ben had to be one of my favourite’s a guy that really meant well but didn’t quite go the right way about it, tried to please everyone at the same time.
    XBLA
    @jazza1975

  104. abacate16 says:

    Doug
    XBLA
    @Abacate16

  105. Kenny, the most lovable redneck since Jeff Foxworthy!
    PSN
    @ScreamingFalcon

  106. Dr0py says:

    Doug, for sure!
    Twitter: @Dr0py

  107. D. Patrick Deisher says:

    Definitely Kenny. PS3 @enodrawkcab

  108. Raymond Gallo says:

    Carle
    XBLA
    UNEMPLOYEDxJEDI

  109. Austin Tonning says:

    My favorite character from season 1 was Carley!
    Xbox 360
    @wolfmanastn

  110. Dave G says:

    Kenny
    PSN
    @beerrun77

  111. Matt says:

    My favorite was Glenn. I hope we see him again.
    XBLA
    @shadowzone_

  112. George Kot says:

    Kenny. That man was awesome in every way, right down to his mustache.
    PSN
    @georgekot1

  113. Zombie #27 was my favorite. Do they count? If not, then Carley.
    XBLA
    @jaypx85

  114. 299 says:

    Lilly was my favorite
    XBLA
    @_M317

  115. Juan Sanchez says:

    Kenny, he’s with you from beginning to end (sort of!)
    XBLA
    @liljrSanchez

  116. Joe Cool says:

    Kenny
    XBLA
    @snpyjc

  117. CinematicSky says:

    My favorite character was Molly!
    PSN
    @cinematicsky

  118. NHFIG says:

    Mark from episode 2, poor guy.
    XBLA
    @HowItGoesFast

  119. I liked Molly. She seemed pretty cool. Geeks!
    XBLA
    @Dharmaville

  120. digital ink says:

    I have to go with my man Kenny. We went through some sh*t together.
    XBLA
    @digitaIink

  121. Charisse says:

    Carley
    PSN
    @charissecalvez

  122. Grouken says:

    Larry
    PSN
    @Grouken

  123. Gram says:

    Carley
    XBLA(or PSN too)
    @Gram_Cracker

  124. Don says:

    Fave character was Kenny. I hated him through the entire game, but missed him in the end. @RoboticBiscuit PSN

  125. fardeen says:

    kenny
    ps3
    @fardeenah

  126. Jay Torres says:

    Kenny
    PS3
    @g0tdiz

  127. Phillip says:

    Doug was the man.
    PSN
    @kinsie21

  128. g2-1f2543485ae7587d8b5ded0ee2b50848 says:

    Kenny was my favorite.
    I’d like PSN if chosen please.
    I’m @Bones00 on Twitter.
    Thanks!

  129. Anthony Males says:

    kenny definitely
    psn
    @ant56777newacc

  130. chimphehe says:

    My fave is Kenny.
    (@ctrlchris)
    (#ps3)

  131. Well, my third choice stands with Duck. I just couldn’t “do that” with him. It was incredibly harsh.

    Console preference: PS3
    @tweeEeest

  132. Curtis tonge says:

    Favourite character has got to be Kenny.

    @Catvoca

    XBLA

  133. genxsis83 says:

    Carley ^^
    @genxsis83
    XBLA

  134. Brandon says:

    Kenny, with Carley & Molly close runners up.
    @moldyclay
    XBLA

  135. Egi says:

    Kenny 😀
    XBLA
    @gegigege

  136. Tom says:

    omid
    XBLA
    @negative_gram

  137. José Requena says:

    Kenny 😉
    psn

  138. Big B says:

    Kenny
    @Crippldogg
    PSN

  139. Erick Calli says:

    Carley!
    Ps3
    @drackum

  140. Samba Toad says:

    Lilly
    XBLA
    @SambaToad

  141. Gamer Canvas says:

    Omid
    XBLA
    @GamerCanvas

  142. Chris says:

    Hmm…my favorite character other than Lee or Clementine…haven’t thought of that. I haven’t completed the game yet but so far I’d choose… Carly, because of the radio incident. Most of the others are either little girls or a-holes anyway. I’m not here to enter the contest, I was just speaking my mind.

  143. XyBlaze says:

    Lilly
    @XyBlaze
    XBLa

  144. Pakhair says:

    Carley
    XBLA
    @RRavine

  145. Kojubat says:

    Carley, because that one hit the hardest
    XBLA
    @Kojubat

  146. Omri Alon says:

    Gotta go with Molly. That girl was badass.
    XBLA
    @phewfighter

    Cheers!

  147. Loved Kenny, being a family man myself hit the spot.
    XBLA
    @S1XTH_GFX

    Gotta try to win something to make up for the sad holiday im going through right now!

  148. gaiages says:

    You know, I thought Kenny was a well-done character. My Twitter is @gaiages and the XBLA version would be awesome. 🙂

    Good luck to everyone!

  149. buster42 says:

    Carley
    PSN
    @busterkuri

  150. Gotta go with Lee
    XBLA
    @Tidus_Blitz

  151. Kenny, got some smiles out of him, from dialogue.
    XBLA
    @nai13omb

  152. Kenny
    XBLA
    @GlassGhost0

  153. Tanelorn82 says:

    I vote for Kenny
    XBLA
    @Tanelorn82

  154. Scott says:

    As a family man myself, I’d have to go with Kenny (besides Clem, ofc)

    XBLA
    @jasumski
    Thanks!

  155. @week_semana says:

    Omid
    XBLA
    @week_semana

  156. season one was great and i liked lee he was good.

  157. Brian says:

    Clementine was pretty baller. @brianchasalow

  158. Ben
    PSN
    Thanks for the chance!
    @rik_rgz

  159. Pingback: PS Vita Review: The Walking Dead Season 2 | RotoRob Gaming

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