The Walking Dead’s second season reached its harrowing end last week. If you’d like to read my spoiler-free review, you can find it at SideQuesting. I gave it 5/5 stars. You’ll have to read the full review for yourself to find out why.
It was a difficult review to write because, as a season finale, its most noteworthy features were also the most spoilerrific. I’ve opted to write up my spoiler-ridden impressions under the cut. Read at your own risk.
My opinion of Destiny can be defined by its detritus in the real world as much as anything that I write below. Any rating that I might give the game is meaningless next to the number of minutes that I sat in traffic, patiently going from store to store in hopes of nabbing a Ghost Edition. Somewhere, at one of the many Gamestops in town, there’s a forgotten deposit on a pre-order. I bought it with weary looking dollar bills and a fistful of change. I already had a bigger deposit on a pre-order elsewhere; this one was just to ensure that I had beta codes for both consoles when the time came.
This degree of loyalty and enthusiasm is usually reserved for established franchises–those series which have proven their merit through multiple sequels. With Destiny, it just took the Alpha to hook me. The Beta drew the line taut, and now I find myself being (willingly) reeled in towards an uncharacteristic launch-day purchase.
The Walking Dead’s latest episode “Amid the Ruins” is host to a few of the series’ finest—and most heartbreaking—moments. Despite the episode’s preoccupation with things in ruin (as its title suggests), the episode is equally concerned with building things up. Dialogue returns as the gameplay’s focus, which allows for some great moments of character development. The episode’s primary tension—which revolves around the crumbling ties of Clementine’s group—relentlessly drives the plot towards the climatic season finale. These traits are best understood in the context of the episodes that preceded “Amid the Ruins,” so this review heavily spoils the events of past episodes (though you’ll find no Episode 4 spoilers).
For a game with a silent protagonist, the world of Transistor is saturated with its leading lady’s voice. The songstress Red’s lyrics swell from the game’s soundtrack. When players take advantage of the gameplay’s Turn feature, Red hums to herself as players plot out her plan of attack. Even Transistor’s reveal trailer from last March spotlights the vocal talents of Supergiant Games’ latest protagonist (voiced by the inimitable Ashley Barrett).
Transistor may give its heroine many ways to make her voice heard, but it leaves me speechless.
Telltale Game’s The Walking Dead has always been known for its focus on monsters—both undead and living—and this theme is central to Season Two’s episode “In Harm’s Way.” The season’s third episode puts players in, perhaps, the most difficult and tense situation yet, forcing both players and characters to face the unwanted consequences of their actions. Because of the degree to which this episode revolves around the building tensions from past episodes, this review will contain spoilers from the previous episodes of the season, though there will be no major spoilers for the third episode itself.