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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Review: The Walking Dead Season 2 (PS4)

After playing the first season of The Walking Dead on the PS Vita, I decided that there was no way I would pay full price for Season 2, and that the Vita was not a great platform for these games. I noticed, however, that The Wolf Among Us on the PS3 didn't have any of the technical issues that the PS Vita version had, so when there was a sale on the PS4 for Season 2 for $6.25, I decided that it was worth the shot.

You see, what I've noticed is that while the games aren't really games, they've so far been consistently the kind of games I'd play all the way through to the end. The reason for this is that they're not really games, and don't depend on acquiring skill through repetition and frequent failure to discourage you. They're really more like slightly interactive TV shows, and if you view them that way you don't feel so bad that as a "player" you absolutely have no control over what happens in the story line.

In many case, Season 2 is even worse than Season 1. At least in Season 1, you made a choice early on in the game which affected which characters showed up in the next few episodes. In season 2, that illusion was completely stripped away, and you truly have no control over the outcome of the game.

This places more of a burden on the writing, and by and large the writing is actually pretty good. There are several tense moments, and in at least one episode I felt outrage and betrayal, which the added interactivity did enhance over a TV show.

The production values are excellent, with custom music (and different ending theme song for every episode!), and rendered beautifully. Because it's an animated feature, there should be no difference between playing it on a PS3, PS4, PC, or smart phone platform.

In any case, don't pay full price for this work of interactive fiction (where you actually don't have many choices anyway). Pick it up when there's a sale, and enjoy it as though you're watching a TV series, just with a controller in your hand.

Recommended at a discount.

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