Telltale Games is working hard to follow up the first episode of The Walking Dead, which achieved massive sales soon after its release. The first episode proved to be a well-written and exciting experience, presenting players with moral choices and several quicktime events that made people truly think about the consequences of their actions. The second outing was expected to be released in late May or early June, but Telltale has now confirmed that The Walking Dead: Episode 2 will be released close to the end of the month.
Be advised: the following preview contains a few spoilers for the game.
Episode Two picks up three months after the end of the first Walking Dead episode, with Lee and his companions taking refuge at the local Motor Inn. The survivors have fortified their surroundings, and it is quickly apparent that the choices made in the first game will play a large role in how things pan out for Episode Two. For instance, if Doug is still alive, he builds an advanced alarm system out of strings and bells which will undoubtedly come in handy later on. Relationships between characters will be a major focus for this episode, with the group running out of options and turmoil set to tear them apart — of course, that’s if the zombies don’t do it first.
The episode is titled Starved for Help, and it’s immediately clear why: after the introduction, the camera pans down to the forest where Lee and Mark, a newcomer for Episode Two, are hunting for animals in the forest. The group has reached the end of their rations after three months, and the threat of starvation is looming over everyone’s head. This leads into a tough moral choice which will be presented to the player later in Episode Two, when they must choose who gets food and who doesn’t — of course, this will affect more than just the group’s opinion of you, and may have far-reaching consequences.
It’s not just dialogue choices that will have an impact on the group. During the demo, which covered the first twenty minutes of Episode Two, Lee is left with a choice he has to make in the heat of the moment: a man has his leg stuck in a bear trap as zombies approach. Does Lee keep trying to break him free with his axe despite how close the zombies or getting, does he leave the man to a gruesome fate, or does he make the brutal decision of using the axe to cut the man’s leg off? Telltale Games opted to show the third option, which resulted in half of the group supporting Lee’s decision and the other half placing him under extreme criticism for, you know, chopping off a guy’s leg. This choice will be presented to gamers in the beginning of Episode Two, and it’s easy to imagine any of the three options ending badly – remember that in most cases, you can’t make everyone happy.
Earning the trust of characters in The Walking Dead isn’t an easy task – watch your back.
Unlike the first episode, Starved for Help won’t contain any characters from the comics. Telltale Games wishes to truly branch into the story of Lee Everett, and will refrain from including well-known faces in fear that it would be seen as a gimmick. It’s a good decision which allows the team to take more creative liberties with the entire franchise – and with three more episodes to go after Starved for Help, it means Lee could literally end up anywhere.
Episode Two is poised to bring back more of what made the first episode such a success: the writing and character development are top-notch, the quick moral choices make gamers truly think, and the action remains simple and easy to execute. Fans of the television show, and those who enjoyed the first episode, are in for another entertaining few hours of zombie action, moral dilemmas and tough conversations. Telltale has done a great job crafting the story of Lee Everett, and Episode Two looks to provide more of the experience that fans of the first game are accustomed to.
The Walking Dead: Episode Two is currently on track for a late June release for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.
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