Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: The Walking Dead: Episode 2 – Starved for Help

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Electronic Theatre ImageThe first episode of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead series established new ground for the point-n’-click genre not through revolution, but through rejuvenation. The design took long established conventions and made them fresh again simply by rethinking their delivery. There was no trickery or hidden techniques, just plain-and-simple modernisation of tried-and-tested formulae, and for that it was a startling revelation.

One of the greatest strengths proposed by The Walking Dead: Episode 1 – A New Day was its character development, an area in which The Walking Dead: Episode 2 – Starved for Help doesn’t disappoint. Within secondsElectronic Theatre Image a brand new character is introduced, and only minutes later a new story arc is revealed as a completely separate entity from the first title; established characters remain, but a significant amount of time has passed since we last saw them. You don’t need to have experienced the first episode of The Walking Dead to enjoy The Walking Dead: Episode 2 – Starved for Help, though given the quality of the original release you’d be foolish not to give it a try.

While this new episode moves the story along, things haven’t changed all that much. A group of familiar faces are still struggling to survive, and their new recruit isn’t any more prepared for the long haul than the rest of them. Beginning on a hunting trip as our hero Lee tries to secure some food for the group; things go from bad-to-worse pretty quickly, as is often theElectronic Theatre Image case in The Walking Dead. The first few minutes establishes The Walking Dead: Episode 2 – Starved for Help as a story in which surprise is waiting around every corner, while ably reminding players of its intuitive exploration mechanics.

Players take direct control over Lee with the left analog stick, while objects in the environment are interacted with via a cursor that offers information on exactly what items can be manipulated, and in what way, as it glides across the screen via the right analog stick. It’s a simple system no mistake, but when which delivers dividends in terms of both accessibility and exploration, as players are encouraged to check the entire area before committing to one of the available options.

While The Walking Dead: Episode 2 – Starved for Help is largely based on the familiar point-n’-click template – exploring, collecting and combining items, finding the key to fit the right lock – there are also action sequences present that draw inspiration form other genres. Keeping behind movingElectronic Theatre Image cover and negotiating with other characters, are two key areas in which The Walking Dead: Episode 2 – Starved for Help offers tension, but unexpected moments of tension are delivered to punctuate the pacing with QTE sequences.

Of course, as the second episode in a series of five, The Walking Dead: Episode 2 – Starved for Help doesn’t steer too far from the first episode, but that’s not bad thing. The Walking Dead is proving to be one of the most innovative point-n’-click titles on current-generation consoles, pushing the genre into the modern era in the way Super Mario Galaxy had to with 3D platform videogames and Street Fighter IV choose to do with 2D beat-‘em-ups. The Walking Dead: Episode 2 – Starved for Help is a welcome second part to this adventure, and Electronic Theatre simply can’t wait to see where Telltale Games will take us next, and who we’ll meet when we get there.

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