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The Walking Dead: Season 2 – A House Divided Review: Better Than The Best

We’re only a couple of episodes in and already The Walking Dead: Season 2 is proving to be the better of the two seasons. Given a mostly powerless adolescent as the lead protagonist in a consistently devolving world, Telltale continues to impress with its involving and tense narrative. Offering up several literal jaw-dropping moments along with genuinely surprising encounters, A House Divided can be summed up as everything you never thought it’d be.

The Walking Dead: Season 2 – A House Divided SPOILERCAST!
Martine, Tim and Andrew divulge all in this special spoiler-ridden podcast… of DOOM!
[display_podcast] In the Pines – Credits Theme for A House Divided provided by Telltale Games. Composed by Jared Emerson-Johnson with vocals by Janel Drewis. Obtain the track free at Telltale’s bandcamp!

For every well-written script there’s ever been in gaming, there’s ten-tons of steaming mounds that represent the rest. Not every game needs to tell a thought out, compelling tale but the ones who brave the unknown and figure it out are widely celebrated; case and point – The Walking Dead: Season One. Say what you will about its true game classification, Telltale has taken a derivative tale of an apocalyptic zombie outbreak, circumvented its source material and prepared an unforgettable tale that continues to grow more compelling by the episode. A House Divided continues this trend by exploring deeper into the pasts of those within the party Clementine has discovered. It’s just about as pretty as you’d expect it to be.

From the moment I interacted with the likes of Rebecca, Carlos and Nick the more I realized how much hate I could harbor for fictional characters. Nick’s senseless attitude and reckless behavior achieved higher levels of asshole-ism than I original thought physically possible. Rebecca’s condescending, bossy demeanor and Carlos’s mysterious, disgruntled designs didn’t exactly win me over either and that’s the magic of it. As much as I hate the characters in A House Divided, their constant bickering and disingenuous statements give this episode all the more potency. I don’t like these people, I want them to go away but yet I’m forced to deal with them in a humane fashion (until I don’t). There’s true personality at work here and A House Divided absolutely crushes it.

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The hardest part about writing one of these reviews is evading potential spoilers, of which there are seemingly infinite. A House Divided is the standard, a little over an hour-ish, length and it uses almost all of that time to spring surprise after surprise with an occasional “OH NO HE DIDN’T!” on you. The cameos Telltale has tryingly eluded to have tremendous impact and, if you’ve played through Season One, you’d be lying if a smile doesn’t cross your face when they happen. There’s also a couple of the notorious Telltale QTE (Quick Time Event) and ‘point your gun at this thing and click’ sequences, but it doesn’t tarnish the overall package.

There’s only been two episodes released so far in Season Two, but they’ve packed the most explosive bicycle kicks to the gut since, perhaps, the last couple of episodes of last season. A House Divided personifies the characters of Season Two even further, delivering a startling emotional burst with Clementine right in the thick of it. With what’s happened so far and the quality it’s happened under, it’s even harder to believe that we have three more episodes to go. If you have yet to jump into the beast that is The Walking Dead video game, the time has never been greater than now.



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