Making a continuation of a triumphal project is always doubly difficult. Because the expectations of the public are already too high, and to please the players in the first episode of the new season with the same epic drama as in the last part of the previous one, to put it mildly, is not an easy task.
Apparently, just in order to run off squeezing gamers from the eyes of a mean tear, the authors changed the main character to the main character, making her small, helpless, fragile and, in general, Clementina, whose care was largely devoted the life of our past protagonist - Lee.
Literally on this very spot, we must warn that a decent amount of spoilers awaits you further. Because writing without them about an interactive story like The Walking Dead is simply impossible.
At the end of last season, Clementine was handed over "hands on hands" to Krista and Omid - almost to a married couple. At the very beginning of All That RemainsTwo cooing dove actively choose the name of their future firstborn - and this already leads to bad thoughts. Because we all know that such conversations are a bad sign that testifies to a grave fate either for the parents themselves, or for a potential child.
The rule does not fail. In just a few minutes of playing time, Clementine is already in the company of not two, but one attendant. So that we, so to speak, do not relax and do not put our handkerchiefs aside far.
This plot turner, of course, looks a little far-fetched. The tragic death of one of the main characters is not the result of a difficult moral choice of a player or even the result of a zombie attack. It is all just about chance, about stupid chance, which is usually said "stupid, ridiculous death."
What Telltale cannot refuse is the ability to impeccably keep the rhythm of the story, alternating the stages of stress with short periods of "rest" and action scenes, the interactivity of which was and remains quite doubtful. In any case, even when we just walk quietly through the forest, we don’t get bored on anyone especially without stumbling. It's all about the oppressive atmosphere and the complete helplessness of Clementine - at some point the girl is left alone with the cruel world, even without the usual weapon in her bosom.
The need to make a choice in this episode is quite controversial. From the options that we offer, in fact, little depends. Trying to help a partner or run away - no matter, the result will be the same. To feed the dog, left without a master, or to be greedy - also no difference, it will still end badly. Perhaps only the final fork can really somehow affect the plot.
On the part of tearing Telltaleagain worked one hundred percent. No, even at one hundred and fifty-eight, because it is impossible not to notice some sort of nightmare in everything that happens. When a little girl is forced to sew up a wound on her own hand, not even with harsh threads, but with a fishing line - naturally, without any anesthesia - this is only half the trouble. Worse, we have to manage the process. We have to do five stitches before Clementine does her job. Naturally, each stitch is accompanied by screams, after each you need to pause. In a word, total immersion, which causes not so much sympathy, but disgust, misunderstanding, and the question: why did the scriptwriters need such a naturalistic scene? On the other hand, in the first season there were also enough cruelties - to recall at least the severed leg of that unfortunate guy who fell into a trap.
On the adventure of the series is like less and less. So, never for the entire time of the passage of All That Remains we do not have to strain gyrus to get out of any difficult situation. There is not a single riddle here - just search for active points that you just need to click to achieve the desired result immediately and without the slightest effort. The game is still not about thought processes, but rather about the reaction - in every sense of the word. On the speed of psychomotor reactions in interactive scenes. To the depth of the emotional response - in all others.
This most emotional response, of course, contributes to the beautiful mimic animation. A completely grown-up, very collected, sometimes desperately stubborn expression of the face of little Clementine influences our feelings, but rightly, it is stronger than all the “plot” inquisitive tricks designed to show how an unfortunate child suffers.
The beginning of the second season is fully consistent with the expectations of realist players. In All That Remains, there was indeed a certain recession in the tension of events compared to the final of last year’s history - a recession is absolutely inevitable and predictable. But the rhythm of Telltale's writers is as good as before, the story is as tense as before, they obviously did not get bored with all these wanderings of the living between the dead - in general, everything is good in The Walking Dead . In the end, if the brevity of the episode is still perceived as its main drawback, it means that the series is very tightly afloat.
Pros: a dynamic story; charismatic main character; natural mimicry of characters.
Minuses: the deliberate and somewhat meaningless cruelty of some scenes; far-fetched plot course at the beginning of the episode; illusiveness of choice.