The Walking Dead: A House Divided – review

Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead: Season Two started in a pretty dire way, forcing Clem into some really rough decisions. Now this second episode follows up on those last moments of the prior episode, letting you play out the ramifications of your last choice.

For the non-spoiler version (regarding episode one) of the review read this paragraph only. You are given many tough decisions, more so than in most episodes of both seasons. There is a large amount of variation in this episode that will leave you wondering not only how it’ll play out but also how much the rest of the season will change. It’s certainly not as dark as some of the episodes are but it doesn’t make any of it less shocking the first time round. It’s another strongly written episode that lets you get a good feel of who all the new characters are and what makes them tick.

Now for a more spoiler based review. When we last left Clem she was left with a major decision; Pete or Nick. Your choice felt like a big one at the time but does it really hold up to what we were expecting? You certainly manage to get away with your preferred ally but you’ve only managed to stave the undead off for a short time.

Now trapped you have to deal with the situation you’re in with either Nick or Pete, going through the motions of them adjusting to their situation. It’s not the hugely deep face-to-face time that you might have wanted, but under the circumstances it does well to characterise them more than when you last spoke to them. Both of them do want to help you escape and meet up with the others but how everything pans out is varied in how interesting it gets. One particular outcome does raise an interesting question that won’t be fulfilled until later down the line (if at all).

Once you get back to the house, things take a turn for the worst, as you meet the mysterious shadow that was teased at the end of the last episode. It is definitely one of the tenser moments of the episode but such moments come thick and fast here. That encounter does spur a lot questions which are slowly answered as you progress, though there are still a fair few blanks left to fill in. It is an interesting character, and they promise to bring a lot to the table, even if it’s only for their lack of predictability.

The other tease, of a familiar face you’ve already met reappearing, is definitely interesting. Clem hasn’t had a chance to talk to them for a while, so finding out what exactly happened gives you a little peace of mind. You may have already guessed who it is – or at least one of the many possibilities – when you watched the teaser and they don’t disappoint thankfully. It adds another layer of conflict to the group and should help to spark some exciting clashes later down the line.

All in all, this episode fixates on travelling and learning more about your new group and the ethics that they hold. The writing is strong, there are some pretty big decisions to be made, and some which may have larger repercussions than any single episode prior has had. But again, playing a second playthrough with alternate choices still seems to bring reasonably similar results. Unfortunately while the methods may be different, the results are still usually the same – something that does make a second playthrough less appealing but at the same time, it still feels like a story worth revisiting despite its minor differences.

critical score 8

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Written by Sean P

I enjoy playing games and I enjoy writing things, so I decided to combine the two. I do bits here and there and have a twitter that mainly just announces things I've done as my life revolves around very little that is truly interesting.

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