The Walking Dead Season 2: Full Season Review

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SPOILER ALERT: The previous page contained my spoiler-free review of The Walking Dead Season Two. This page is FULL OF SPOILERS. I’m going to talk about my impressions of some of the major points of this game with complete abandon, including its dramatic conclusions, so don’t read this if you’re not done with the game!

So, when I said on the previous page that I really didn’t care about any of the characters besides Clementine in this game, I actually meant I cared about none of them but Kenny. Kenny coming back was a gamechanger for me. Because even though the guy could be absolutely awful, I had stuck with him in Season One and supported him as best I could. Kenny became the only person I could trust. And though there were moments where I wished I was Lee so I could restrain him and knock some sense into him, in the end, I was right. There was literally no one you could trust in this season.

After watching the endings with Jane and Clementine alone, Kenny was by far the best choice. The other endings were seriously lackluster and disappointing by Telltale’s usual standards.

I took Kenny’s ending first, and my heart broke when he tried to leave AJ and Clementine in Wellington and go on alone. It was the biggest act of self-sacrifice in the game, after Lee’s journey to save Clem in Season 1. And I didn’t let him take it. Because we had become a family by the end, and families stick together. After watching the endings with Jane and Clementine alone, Kenny was by far the best choice. The other endings were seriously lackluster and disappointing by Telltale’s usual standards.

By taking Kenny’s path, I risked alienating everyone else, but I didn’t care. Jane was ambiguous, and hard to figure out. Luke was nice in one-on-one conversation, but in front of the group he always seemed to pick the stupidest option available. I’m sure his death was supposed to make me cry, but it didn’t. He was just another sad, needless casualty. Both Jane and Luke disappointed me. The game tried too hard to make me care about them at the last minute.

The decision of who to sit by in the ski lodge though…I can’t believe *that* was one of the hardest decisions in the game for me.

Bonnie and Mike’s betrayal was awful and surprising. It didn’t hurt, but it properly pissed me off. I couldn’t even remember Mike’s name for half the game because we never knew ANYTHING about that guy.

The minute Sarah showed up, I knew she was going to die because she wears glasses like mine and is so lovably weird. Sarah was the Ben of this Season. The person I kept trusting and helping because I knew, I just knew that they’d do this Amazing Epic Thing and save someone’s life and become awesome at the last minute. But I was disappointed, both times. I wish Sarah’s death (at the museum) had been less anti-climactic.

I was actually really surprised the characters from 400 Days didn’t play a more prominent role in this game, and that Tavia and Bonnie turned out to be so heartless. More surprising twists, Telltale. I like it. Too bad the other characters that came with Tavia from 400 Days (Shel and Becca, for me) only got a few seconds of cameo.

Carver was an appropriate and interesting villain. I wish we would’ve gotten an opportunity to know him better and what made him the way he was…and man, he brought about some of this season’s most painful moments, particularly when he beat in Kenny’s eye. This whole season seemed more physically brutal than the last. I cringed the whole time I was stitching up Clementine’s arm, and when Kenny was killing Carver.

I complained on the previous page about how this game made me feel jaded, but I also got the sense that Telltale was very aware of that. I was jaded because Clementine was. The Episode 5 campfire scene highlighted what little innocence remained in Clementine, and contrasted her upcoming decisions. For my Clementine, it became harder to be kind to others as the game wore on. It wasn’t worth it anymore. And as terrible as that is, it’s amazing that a game can make you feel that and be aware of it.

I kept pining for the cast of Season 1–I wanted Molly, Christa, Vernon (that jerk), Lilly (even Lilly!), the characters I missed in 400 Days: anyone who might still be alive. Hopefully Season 3 brings the stories back together instead of handing me another new cast of characters I don’t get time to relate to before they’re swarmed by walkers.

Season 2 was amazing on its own. It’s when you set it next to Season 1 that you realize it didn’t quite measure up. I loved this game, but I was spoiled already on how 1 had made me feel. Don’t play these games back to back, by the way. It’s a roller coaster.

My final word, and what impressed me the most, was that The Walking Dead as a whole made me feel so much. The story is well-written, but it’s not just that; this is more than a movie, or a TV show. I’m responsible for how the story played out. I chose this. I’m weeping openly in front of a screen because I’ve been moved so deeply, not by what I saw on it, but by what I did on it.