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The Walking Dead: Season 2 – Episode 2: A House Divided (PlayStation 3)
Developer/Publisher: Telltale Games
Released: March 4th, 2014
MSRP: $4.99, $19.99 (Season Pass)
“Well, that’s just peachy.”
The thought crossed my mind several times while playing through the latest episode of The Walking Dead: Season Two, “A House Divided,” and not just because characters are suddenly pointing out cans of fruit.
Everything is going about as well as you would expect for The Walking Dead — which is to say, not well at all — but it’s already a stark contrast to a season opener that moved so fast that there was barely any time to think at all. Although Episode 1 moved at a mile a minute, it seemed a bit scattershot. “A House Divided” feels more deliberate now that the pieces are in place, and it seems that the game is finally getting its first Big Bad.
Episode 2 begins with cleaning up the first episode’s mess, and despite how terribly things went it seems that the new group is warming up to Clementine. It’s strange because, for as easy as it was for us to fall in love with the kid in the first season, she hasn’t given them much reason to trust her so easily. But I digress.
What matters is that the group goes out looking for someone, leaving Clem to look over the house they’re holed up in with the only other kid in the group. It’s during this most opportune time that a strange man named Carver comes a knockin’, a man who seems to be looking for some old friends of his. A man that, very clearly, the group has been hiding from all along.
Between the time of the intrusion and the end credits, plenty goes wrong for Clementine and her group. The adults make their mistakes, and Clem gets shoved into the middle of much of it. Loyalties are tested, and we’re finally seeing how last season’s 400 Days DLC fits into the Season Two puzzle; things might be taking an especially bad dive, real soon.
A couple of quick technical notes before moving on. This episode seems to suffer some skipping issues, especially right after a cutscene. The Walking Dead has never been a graphical showcase on PS3, but these issues were worse than usual for some reason. I also had some trouble performing one specific QTE action — more specifically, pushing the analog stick left on the bridge — when similar actions before and after presented no trouble at all. Very strange.
In any case, “A House Divided” is the stronger of the two episodes so far this season. Faces both fresh and familiar combine to push Season Two of The Walking Dead into uncharted territory. Clementine is suddenly bearing responsibly that no child should even have to fathom, and the comic’s history with villains makes me shudder to think of what Carver might have in store for us all.