The Walking Dead: Season Two Episode 2: ‘A House Divided’ Review – PC/Steam
Fantastic art style, immersive music, chilling sound effects, great voice acting, story really finds its stride, impactful choices
Major decisions start to reveal their irrelevance, proving the game is more linear than you'd think. Almost too many characters to keep track of.
After a painfully long wait we can finally continue our adventures with Clementine in The Walking Dead: Season Two Episode 2: ‘A House Divided’. These 2-3 month intervals are killing me. I have a hard enough time waiting seven days between TV episodes, and if it weren’t for me having to review these episodes as they came out I would probably just wait for the entire season to release before playing. I’m finding that with this series and The Wolf Among Us that I am really losing my connection with the story and the characters between episodes. At least the “Previously on…” montage helps a bit.
Anyway, when we last left Clem she just had to make one of those life and story altering decisions when forced to choose who to save – Nick or Pete. I chose Pete and I stand by my decisions even after the story played out. Clem eventually makes it back to the house and the entire group rushes out to find Nick and Pete leaving Clem alone to watch after Sarah. Almost immediately a strange man arrives at the cabin asking all sorts of prying questions and snooping around the place triggering some of the most intense conversational choices in the episode.
When your new friends return you tell them about the visitor, and everyone decides it’s time to leave before he returns. After nearly a week you arrive at a river, spanned by a massive bridge. On the other side is a large ski lodge at the top of a mountain that could be the safe haven your party needs for now. Getting across the bridge is an adventure unto itself with events that will greatly impact the story in the near future. When you finally reach the lodge you meet a new group of survivors and this whole, “who do we trust” dilemma beings to unfold with Clementine caught in the proverbial middle.
A House Divided has its fair share of action moments although nothing as interactive or excruciating as stitching up your own arm in the previous episode. Clem continues to prove her value as both a fighter and a diplomat, often showing more restraint and intelligence than the adults around her, and we continue to see subtle influences of her experience from the first season carry over into current events.
As with the first episode, the graphics, sound and overall presentation are outstanding with exciting new environments and some great cinematic camera angles for exploration and action sequences. The voice acting is pure perfection as is the script they are reading, and once again they include a hypnotic closing credit song, “In the Pines” sung by Janel Drewis that will make you sit through those credits and ponder the events that have just transpired.
Episode 2 is slightly longer than the first, clocking in at just over two hours. I was surprised at how much content this episode actually has given the fact you are really only in three major locations, but the designers really maximize every moment of exploration and fill it in with personal conversations and conflict that will test your own personal morality in addition to the way you are role-playing Clem.
Telltale Games really picks up the pace with their second episode, and A House Divided takes Clem, and the gamers controlling her, to new and exciting places presenting her with very adult decisions that no child should ever be forced to make. I appreciate the fact that the designers give you some latitude during choices and conversations to test Clem’s moral boundaries and tailor the game to reflect those choices, both immediately and in later events and future episodes. The only thing tougher than making some of these choices is the two month wait to see how it all unfolds, but I’m a sucker for a good zombie survival story and this is proving to be one of the best.