Let’s torture an adolescent girl! (Episode 1: All That Remains)
Warning: Probably some spoilers
I’ll admit to be very skeptical in regards to the second season of Tell Tale’s The Walking Dead games because I’m very much of a mind that lightning can’t strike twice. That first series was so unexpectedly amazing that I the bar is now so high that I can only assume that there will be all sorts of attempts at emotional manipulation to get people sucked into these new episodes.
So far, I think I’m right.
All That Remains comes across like Wally Lamb style misery porn where the throw as much awful shit at a 10(?) year old girl as they can to create some sort of emotional investment into the proceedings. For all of the negative reaction that Crystal Dynamics got for their wanting of the player to feel they need to look after Lara Croft, that is the exact sentiment that is on full display here. Maybe it is more acceptable given that we are talking about a child here and not an adult, but Clementine has proven to be able to handle herself. Hell, the first time you meet her she has already been surviving on her own for some time.
The game picks up several months after the conclusion of season one with no explanation of how Clem managed to get back with Christa and Omid. The only evidence of the passing of time is Christa’s considerable more pronounced pregnant stomach. However it doesn’t take long before things go real bad, the body count starts to rise, and we jump forward 16 months to Clem and <redacted> forging ahead. Shit goes bad. Rinse. Repeat.
Ultimately Clem finds herself amongst a new group of survivors, including a really terrible doctor who is unable to distinguish animal bites from human ones, and must fight for her acceptance. Very little time is given to establishing many of these new characters, so its hard to grasp their behaviour. Perhaps most confusing is a woman who is in that way that is remarkably hostile towards a child clearly in need of help.
As is the way, more bad stuff happens and then the episode ends with a teaser for the following episode. There still people unaccounted for, though assumptions can probably be made, and I didn’t notice any connection to the 400 Days episode that Tell Tale added on to season one. I understand that this is largely an establishing story meant to set up the remaining episodes, but beyond some typical shock visuals, not much interesting happens. For a series that is so character focused, we’ve been provided will very little character to get attached to.