Review: The Walking Dead: The Final Season Episode 2
The second episode of the season takes us further into the end of both Clementine’s and AJ’s campaign. Though much wasn’t expanded on compared to the first episode, this is one you still won’t want to miss.
Developer – Telltale Games
Release Date – September 25, 2018
Platforms – Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
If you missed our review of Episode One: ‘Done Running’, you can check that out here.
Returning to Telltale’s The Walking Dead: The Final Season for Episode Two: ‘Suffer The Children’ was as refreshing as the first episode. With the wait between only being a month kept the image in focus when coming back to Clementine and AJ’s story. Following the events of ‘Done Running,’ this review will have spoilers based on the decisions I made during my three-hour playthrough of this episode and Episode One.
[Story Spoilers Follow]
Coming back from the conclusion of Episode One, after discovering that Marlon murdered Brody and on top of lying to the camp about the disappearance of Tennessee’s sisters, Marlon was caught up in the moment with a gun in his hand. But, after talking him down from causing more violence, AJ shot him in the head as a response for doing the right thing. Turning most of the kids against you as a result, more importantly all trust earned from the previous episode was lost. The following day a vote was pitched determining if you would stay at the school. The support from Violet and Tennessee was reassuring, but still Clem and AJ are forced to leave.
AJ’s actions for killing Marlon fall onto Clementine as he looks to you for wisdom and insight. What you tell him reflects you as well to the rest of the kids. My decision to make AJ pity for his action brews the rest of the episode for him. Making him determined to do right and atone for what he has done. Being left to fend for yourself in the surrounding woods didn’t last long as you soon discover that the nearby raiders are planning to give the kids of the school the same fate as Minerva and Sophie. It is revealed when confronted in the woods that Lilly from The Walking Dead: Season One is part of the raider group that is ‘recruiting’ kids.
In an attempt to escape them, AJ is wounded during the chase and attracted walkers. While clearing them out, you discover one of the walkers is actually a human disguised to make it through the hordes. Learning that his name is James, he helps you bring AJ back to the school. Though the kids aren’t happy about your return, the school needs Clementine’s help to fend off the raiders, giving her a second opportunity to earn the kids’ trust.
This is where the episode breaks off from the first. Already losing the confidence from those at the school, Clementine creates something more out of it with her return, delving into more personal relationships, rather than it being with Violet or Louis. Near the end of Act 3 you have the choice deciding between friendship or something more which can be expanded on in the following episode.
Episode Two is the shortest experience this season, but it lacks substance that’s developed compared to the season’s introduction. Though we got some progression in the plot, there is not much else introduced to the player in either settings or characters. ‘Suffer The Children’ ends more to the point with no major cliffhanger this time around which is nice, but pushes the unexpected out of the picture.
The overall gameplay of the episode ran smoothly for the most part. Some audio is out of sync in certain cutscenes and audible hiccups in timed events are present as well. But it is still cleaner compared to previous titles from Telltale. Playing on Xbox One X, there was a hike in both performance and resolution during my playthrough, but will vary on other platforms.
Following the recent news of Telltale suffering from major layoffs for the studio’s staff, the remainder of the season is in doubt, though Telltale has promised they are “working towards a solution that will allow episodes 3 and 4 to be completed.” With this episode lacking compared to Episode One, more is expected from the following two episodes for the season. It was revealed that Telltale is looking for help to finishing the last season, so we might still have a chance to see our way through to the true ending of Telltale’s series.