The Walking Dead: Season 2 aka Clem Can’t Catch a Break
Warning: Spoilers for the end of Season 1! Some spoilers for season 2, but no spoilers for the ending.
I don’t think I’ve ever been more emotionally devastated by a gaming experience than I was by the end of Telltale’s The Walking Dead season 1. I grew such a strong attachment to both Lee and Clem and after everything they went through to be together only to have it end like that…well, I was an inconsolable sobbing mess. If you’ve played an MMORPG game like League of Legends, you know you end up having to buy an ELO boosts, or game credits – it becomes a hassle. I’m not sure what your choice was, but I chose to do it myself and that was extremely painful as well.
So when we last left Clem, she was setting out on her own: a little girl in a world filled with monsters who lost the person that protected her.
Clem seems to keep reuniting with her old comrades, only to lose them just as quickly. Along with her, we learn how to survive on our own and lose all trust in everyone and everything. Think that dog is super cute and you want to play with it? Well, DON’T because it’s going to attack you and you’ll have to freakin’ kill it. Geez. Think that group of new people seems nice? Well, don’t trust them because they’re going to lock you in a shed because they think you’ve been bitten by a walker instead of a dog and you’re forced to sew your own arm wound up while a zombie breaks in and tries to eat you! GOOD TIMES, GUYS.
PS: The arm sewing up scene was pretty horrifying–not as horrifying as chopping your arm off in season 1 if you chose to do that (which I did), but still pretty teeth gritting and I couldn’t help scream right along with Clem.
Eventually, you make nice with this group and encounter many terrifying and awful shenanigans along the way. One very important person you reunite with is KENNY! I cried and it was so comforting to hug him and finally be with someone Clem (and Lee) actually trusted that would go to the ends of the earth to protect her. Sure, I was growing to like some members of my new group, but they could never replace Lee. Or Kenny, for that matter. In my play-through of season 1, Lee and Kenny developed a pretty good bond, which is why reuniting with him was so important to me.
Eventually the gang falls into the hands of Carver and his gang of mostly assholes. Carver was voiced by Michael Madsen, which was a really cool/creepy/scary touch. And one of my favorite comedians, Kumail Nanjiani, voiced a new character named Reggie. I listen to his X Files Files podcast regularly, so hearing his voice in the game was also enjoyable.
The game reaches its peak at Carver’s base of operations in episode 3. And also becomes a turning point for Clementine’s character, depending on what you do when Kenny finally deals with Carver. (You just know I chose the badass option…Heh.) And then another insane thing happens at the very end of episode 3. The most hilarious (I’m terrible!!!) and shocking way to end an episode. I loved it. Because I’m terrible.
The danger is far from over. Rebecca is very pregnant. Kenny seems to be slowly losing his grip. Bonnie won’t stop reminding you that she gave you that ugly blue coat (ugh, I get it, lady!). And Jane and Mike from Carver’s camp have joined your crew.
The last two episodes are all about finding a safe place for Rebecca and her baby and also about choosing where to go. Do you continue north to Wellington like Kenny and Lee planned all along even if we’re not sure it really exists? Or do you go south to Mexico where it’s warm?
I won’t go into any more specific details, but you’re in for some insanity, no matter how the rest of your decisions play out. Either way, I was once more reduced to a sobbing mess due to one very special scene and the overall ending.
The fact that a game can have such an emotional impact is very telling of the story and the connection we feel to the characters. I love that our decisions and interactions dictate how the game plays out and it makes some decisions so scary to trust. I can’t help but question my own morals during certain decisions.
I really enjoyed playing as Clem and I am apprehensive, but also looking forward to what a season 3 could bring.
Maybe a happily ever after for Clem? Or just maybe let her find a chocolate bar or something? Give her like 5 seconds of peace? Hahahahaha…*sobs*
So, uh, enjoy, I think.