The Walking Dead: Season Two
By Chad Sapieha,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Riveting zombie adventure but definitely not for kids.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The Walking Dead: Season Two wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.
The story strives to deliver an authentic apocalyptic experience marked not by the number of zombies you kill but rather the decisions you make to survive. Players are frequently forced to make hard moral and ethical choices as they decide whom to trust, what to tell people, whom to save, and, sometimes, whether to kill. All of these decisions have realistic consequences.
Positive Role Models
The game's star, a young girl named Clementine, is no action hero. Her goal is simply to survive and to earn her life, which many of her adult friends paid for with their own. She runs from danger whenever possible but also shows courage in dealing with scary situations and cleverness in coming up with novel solutions in tight spots. Parents certainly wouldn't want their kids to go through what she goes through or do what she has to do, but they'd probably be proud of how she acquits herself.
Ease of Play
Most of the game simply involves choosing responses in dialogue. All players generally need to do in action sequences is follow on-screen cues. Quick reflexes are key. Some puzzle-like scenes require players to examine objects within the environment and figure out how to use them, but the solutions are generally pretty clear.
Violence & Scariness
The player's character only infrequently engages in violence, but she often finds herself present in violent situations. Zombies are destroyed in a variety of ways, from gunshots to bludgeoning. A few people die, too, shot with guns or bitten by zombies. Dark blood typically gushes from wounds and can be seen smeared on clothing and around the environment. Players see an animal impaled and have the choice of putting it out of its misery.
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Spoken dialogue includes occasional utterances of words including "f--k" and "s--t."
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Products & Purchases
This game is a spin-off of the comic books of the same name, which also gave birth to the popular The Walking Dead TV show.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know The Walking Dead: Season Two is an episodic adventure game set in a near future in which the dead have risen from their graves and are laying waste to the human world. There are many very tense and scary sequences, some of which involve brutal destruction of zombies or the deaths of humans, often with dark blood gushing from wounds. Though dark and sometimes terrifying, the narrative is filled with moral questions that make players question what they would do under similar circumstances. Often there is no right answer but instead simply a choice between the lesser of two terrible outcomes. This game stars a child, but it's definitely not for kids. (Common Sense Media will update this review as necessary as additional episodes in Season Two are released.)
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The Walking Dead: Season Two
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What’s It About?
THE WALKING DEAD: SEASON TWO picks up where the first season of this critically lauded adventure series left off, with young Clementine trying to make her way through a world of living corpses after her protector, Lee, gave his life to save her. It begins with Clem joining up with a pair of kindly strangers she meets on the road, but things swiftly go awry, leaving the girl on her own once more. A series of thrilling and sometimes emotionally moving sequences follow, including an interlude with a wandering dog and Clem's discovery of a house full of survivors in the forest. As in the first season, combat appears sparingly. The focus is on the interactive story, in which players make dialogue choices that impact how the rest of the game plays out. When the action does start, it's a matter of following on-screen cues to run, dodge, or take a swing at a zombie with a weapon. Expect each episode to run a couple of hours, with replayed episodes potentially resulting in very different situations, depending on the choices players make.
Is It Any Good?
As with the first season of this episodic adventure series, The Walking Dead: Season Two isn't about accumulating kills or mastering stylish attacks but instead about the characters who star in the game. It's about what ordinary people do under extraordinary circumstances in which their lives are in almost constant danger. Do you give strangers the benefit of the doubt? Do you trust a dog that seems to be looking for a friend but with whom you'll likely need to share your food? Do you find strength and solace in a group or try to go it alone? In a life and death situation, whom do you save: The good man who's mortally wounded and sure to die soon regardless of what you do right now or the morally questionable man you don't necessarily trust but who could go on to live a long life?
There are few games like The Walking Dead. Depending on how you choose to play -- whether you really try to place yourself in the shoes of the lead character -- you may end up learning something about yourself and what you would do in stressful situations. It’s definitely not for kids, but older teens and adults looking for something substantial and evocative in their interactive entertainment won’t be disappointed.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how to handle stressful situations and make hard decisions. Not all choices in life are clear-cut. What are some ways to prepare yourself for making big decisions that will impact your life or those of others but that don't have straightforward answers?
Families also can discuss the story's main character, Clementine. What do you think is the purpose behind making a young girl the star of a decidedly grown-up tale set in a world of death and destruction?
- Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Windows, Xbox 360
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: solving puzzles
- Available online?: Not available online
- Publisher: Telltale Games
- Release date: December 17, 2013
- Genre: Adventure
- ESRB rating: M for Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Strong Language
- Last updated: August 25, 2016
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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