A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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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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
- Price: $14.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Telltale Games
- Release date: December 17, 2013
- Genre: Adventure
- ESRB rating: M for Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Strong Language
For kids who love adventure and zombies
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.