If you haven’t yet played the first season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead game, you’re going to want to do that before watching this trailer and reading this story. Because of the spoilers, yes, but also because it’s a great experience.
It feels like ages since Telltale released the final episode of the first season of their Walking Dead game, earning it a place on our “Best of 2012” lists. In the 11 months since its release, we’ve had to put up with most of yet another uneven season from AMC’s The Walking Dead, as well as the pretty terrible The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, a more straightforward approach to tie-in video games. We finally have our first look at Telltale’s follow-up effort, seen above, and we now know the story will be extended using young survivor Clementine, who served as a major moral tipping point for Lee, the first game’s ex-convict main character. It was obvious she would be showing up in this season, but I’m not sure how rewarding having her as a playable character will be.
All in all, Clementine experienced one of the more tragic arcs in video game history. Separated from her parents, she falls under Lee’s care, and the two of them experience quite a few dangerous and eventually tragic scenarios ending in the death of many characters that they’ve only recently gotten to know. Then she gets kidnapped in a callback to the game’s earlier episodes, Lee gets bitten, and she finally finds her parents, albeit in icky zombie form. And if you chose to do things like I did, you have Clem kill Lee so that he wouldn’t turn into a walker. The game ends with her on her own, eyeing all of the moving bodies around her, unsure of what is dead and what may want her dead.
And really, that’s all this teaser is: Clem looking around at all the grisly walkers. It’s assumed her goal will be to hook up with the remaining survivors on the edge of town, but what atrocities will she have to go through before that happens?
And yes, Telltale did whet players’ appetites by releasing the enjoyable-but-unrelated expansion story The Walking Dead: 400 Days over the summer, but it paled in comparison to what’s expected from the second season sequel. At least for me. Why is it that video games, more so than movies and TV seasons, tend to get better with each successive release? (The recently announced fifth season order for AMC’s series is far more depressing than encouraging.)
There’s still no release date for the game just yet, but hopefully it drops its first episode in time for Christmas, to balance all of that religion and gift-giving crap with bloody mayhem.