All them feels!

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episodes 2 & 3 overview 

(caution: only light spoilers for this and other titles mentioned in the blog…this is your one warning. ;))  

After waiting for so long, I played Episode 1 of the new season and absolutely loved it. Even after 400 days bridged that ever painful gap between one and two, I can and must say that Season 2 has all the feels.

All of them.

“A House Divided”
Luke and Clementine

TellTale pulls no punches in this gritty tale of desperation, despair and destruction.  As we follow Clementine into Episode 2, we find that it picks up directly from the conclusion of Episode 1.  Following the format of choice and consequence guiding your way, who you help will ultimately affect how it presses on from here.  Once it was all over, I can tell you there was no sigh of relief. You know, that sigh of relief you have after you’ve finished a game and you can set it down and rest easy?

Not here.

I found the complexity and range of emotions sought out in Episode 2 essentially twists that proverbial knife once the episode comes to a conclusion.  Clem helps her peer Sarah hide from an intruder.  Clem stands her ground against a hormonal storm and onslaught from Rebecca and also looks up to her partner in crime, Luke.  You find a safe haven and watch as Sarah and a new found friend hang decorations on the Christmas Tree.  Clementine helps out win dinner.  Bits of dialogue and interactions on top of the turmoil they must face really leaves you wondering why the developers leave such a painstakingly long gap between episodes.  Upon the resolution of the episode, you are reunited with a friend, though I won’t say who because you need to experience this for yourself.  Also, you lose some companions along the way (there’s no spoiler there, as I’m about 90% sure George R. R. Martin wrote this game…) and if that doesn’t seem awful enough, so the game doesn’t become too warm and fuzzy, you are also taken away from safety by the man that your companions have told you to fear. Some old folks, some foreign folks, some frail folks…oh yeah, and a PREGNANT LADY?? This can’t be good.

NOW. Episode 3 was where the real shit went down.  Like most adventures games with a strong protagonist, the young Clementine is burdened with tasks that no child her age should ever have to face.  The ever-fearless Clem risks her hide several times for the companions she hardly knows (and someone she never thought she’d see again), putting herself in danger constantly for those she believed were her friends, or rather her family.  You find other familiar faces at this compound, faces that remained unseen since 400 Days.   It is here that you get to see a different side of Clem; one that surfaces slowly but surely, and is purely dependent upon the many different occurrences scattered throughout her adventure.  Once you get to the finale of this trial, however, the decision you have to make is quick and altogether brutal.  I won’t say much here, because the choice is yours.  In the split second I had to make my choice, it made my stomach turn.  I let the credits roll, set the controller down and further contemplated my humanity.

“You’re silly, its just a game!” right? You were going to tell me that right now.

The main point I’m trying to make here (segue cue) is that no matter what the game looks like — it entertains you in some way, right?  There’s so many different ways that a game can look:

 = The stylized way, that TellTale did with The Walking Dead
 = The simplistic way, that Mojang did with Minecraft
 = The classic way, that Square did with Final Fantasy VII
 and of course …
 = The mesmerizing way, like Rockstar did with Grand Theft Auto V

All different styles, all different levels of graphic complexity, but all extremely compelling.  There’s more than the aforementioned list and there’s even mixtures of the categories as well like the fantastical realism in the Bioshock series.  Nevertheless, games can make you laugh, cry, rage, bored, or even seek out your general purpose in real life, though that may be stretching things a little thin.

Booker’s companion, Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite

I was trying to find a good way to express my love for the expression of emotion in games, no matter what they look like and I felt like there was no better way to convey my thoughts than this.  Nowadays with 4k or 1080 resolution, pixels, realistic movement, picture clarity, motion-capture, graphic adjustments and scales — everyone gets so caught up in what something looks like, when they don’t just open their eyes to see what’s right in front of them; a glorious backstory to a character that has seen so much hell, trying to fight for her life and the safety of those around her.  TellTale’s The Walking Dead as well as its sister-title The Wolf Among Us are cel-shaded, a form of art that brings the works of comics and graphic novel to life.  It didn’t need too much along the lines of 3D to make me interested in it.  It didn’t need all of that fancy stuff to make me bawl like a sissy baby at the end of Season 1 Episode 5 either.

Max & Michelle Payne

Most will say that it’s because I’m an artist that I look for something like meaning behind a game like…Minecraft.  It’s all perspective, I suppose, but there’s no denying the fact that games generate emotion.

Remember when Max Payne‘s wife and daughter died in the first game?

How about when your mind was blown after the Inception-esque ending of Bioshock Infinite?

How did you feel at the end of Red Dead Redemption?  OR The entire Metal Gear Solid franchise?

Yeah, I’m just gonna leave that right here… </3

In one way or another, your favorite games have managed to find a way into your heart, for your own personal sentiment or because of pure immersion with the experience.  Gaming is definitely an art appreciated by the handlers who not only allow it to become a part of their lives, but allow themselves to become a part of the game.

With that being said, I cannot wait until Episode 4.

Game On, guys!
IC Krys


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