|System: Xbox 360, PS3, PC*|
|Dev: Telltale Games|
|Pub: Telltale Games|
|Release: June 29, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Strong Language, Blood and Gore, Intense Violence|
The lack of pressure in social situations is made up for with an increase in action scenes. In Episode 1, you fought off a couple zombies and that was about it. In Episode 2, you deal with bandits and psychos on a pretty regular basis, along with the shambling walkers that constantly plague the party. You'll have to think quickly, keep cool under pressure, and aim for the head with sharp reflexes or you might find several members of your group dying on you. There are even stealth sections and sections where you have to stick behind cover as you try to get to safety. Overall, there is much more variety in the situations your character is put in this time around.
However, all of this is secondary to the real reason you should play Episode 2: The writing is absolutely superb. There is never a point where you're taken out of the experience. Characters react in human fashion to every action you take. Your actions have consequences, which will astound not only the other members of your party, but you as well. At one point, the decisions I made stunned me to such a great extent I was nearly moved to tears. Immediately afterward, I made a decision that was necessary for my group's survival, but which still made me feel like a totally scumbag. The Walking Dead: Episode 2 gripped my emotions from the beginning and manipulated them skillfully the whole way through. In fact, the only writing hitches I found were in the somewhat sloppy introduction of one of the new characters, but he's somewhat minor so it doesn't affect the overall plot all that much.
Oh, and obviously the entire plot changes based on decisions you made in episode 1. In fact, your party may be comprised of completely different characters depending on who survived your first ordeal. Don't become too attached to the relationships you made in the first episode though. You might find out some interesting secrets this time around that will totally change your opinions and allegiances.
The Walking Dead: Episode 2 is flat-out amazing. It's better than Episode 1 in every way. It's better written and more fun to play than other similar cinematic games like Heavy Rain. It's an artistic masterpiece, a pinnacle of cinematic gameplay. If you are a Walking Dead fan, or just a fan of cinematic games in general, then you owe it to yourself to play this episode.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: July 3, 2012