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When Kenny Killed Larry!

Since I’d lost all enthusiasm for doing anything more ‘worthy’ or ‘productive’ with my time, and I was probably deluding myself this was the case anyway, I booted up the Xbox and played through episode 2 of The Walking Dead.

If you want my view of the game then you need to check out my episode one experience, this is more a focus on the artistic and narrative choices as the point and click with narrative nature of the game remains the same.

Interestingly, the second episode moves forward in time with the group struggling to survive at the motel. Food is becoming an issue and the diverse personalities within the group are causing it to fracture. I’d previously set myself on the track of supporting Kenny and being attracted to the reporter (which meant I let the chubby Asian kid die in the first episode rather than her).

The narrative is very different to the first episode and this is refreshing. While the first episode was by the numbers Zombie survival, this is one is more a sinister drama on a remote farm. It’s a farm. It’s remote. It’s populated by two brothers ‘and their mah’, you know something is going down. You’re not convinced by their image of perfection and the basket of freshly baked bread the mother brings out, but you go along for the ride anyway.

The story builds and as it does the daylight fades and the weather changes from gloriously sunny to dark and stormy and the camera angles get slightly more odd. It’s very good. I really enjoyed it.

I seem to have made similar choices to most other people playing the game. Nothing surprising in the above. What’s interesting is how some choices are more important than others. So, chopping off David’s leg isn’t hard. He’s a new character and the zombies are approaching. Clamentine isn’t around. Easy decision. Compare that with whether you should kill Larry? You don’t like Larry. You’ve supported Kenny before. Is he dead or can be resuscitated? Decide. It is quite tense. It also has interesting implications as I was supporting Kenny over Larry’s daughter, I’m beginning to shift my loyalties as the narrative unfolds and choices are made.

You care. You feel the tensions. You know there is some long-term implications. I really like the preview of the next episode when you complete the current one.

Looking forward to episode three.

About Ian O'Rourke

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