Some spoilers below! Play this game already!
The Walking Dead Season 2: Amid the Ruins picks up immediately after the episode 3 cliffhanger. We join Clementine and her group of survivors as they use a herd of walkers to escape the villainous Carver’s camp. What TellTale did here (and did well) was take the episode 3 cliffhanger and totally make it a moot point with how they began Amid the Ruins. I found myself laughing with disbelief with the reveal of Sarita’s fate. I left In Harm’s Way thinking that I had given Sarita an honest chance to survive only for her to be eaten up in episode 4. Kenny got to share a final moment with Sarita before she passed and soon placed all blame and anger upon Clementine. Sorry Kenny. That was not my intentions. Now back on the road, the group is low on supplies, a baby is on the way, and infighting and distrust threaten to tear them apart.
This episode shines with the most intriguing of character development. Clementine is growing up even more right before our eyes. After almost being beaten to death and suffering so many losses, Kenny is starting to crack causing the others to wonder if they can even trust him anymore. Rebecca is struggling with the idea of having let alone, raising a baby in this dangerous world alone after losing her husband. Sarah has ran off after seeing her father get eaten by walkers right before her eyes. The group is officially damaged. Still, Amid the Ruins finds reasons for us to continue seeking these relationships, reasons for us make friends with people in the group even when we know we’ll probably have to stick an axe in their skulls down the line. Jane is a wonderful example of this dynamic: She’s a lone wolf traveling with this unsteady group of survivors – for now. So far she’s been shrewd and practical, showing little emotion but exceptional skill in taking on hordes of zombies. She knows how to survive alone, and she could easily leave at any moment, but instead, she makes a point to take Clementine aside and share her story. Jane takes the time to teach Clementine new moves and to tell her that she could survive alone, without the liability of people who aren’t as fast, strong, or smart as Clementine is. So the concept of Clem packing up and venturing out on her own in the dangerous wilderness is something that TellTale seems to be leading up to for the finale. Time will tell the tale. (hehe)
The Walking Dead is known for its difficult choices, and some of the decisions in this episode are especially tough. They’re morally gray decisions that anyone would have a hard time making. Especially when making them through the eyes of a child like Clementine. I would often see the dialogue timer almost gone while I was still debating my tough choices. Don’t be surprised to see people die in this episode. Let me rephrase. Don’t be surprised to see people die because of the decisions you make. Whatever we decide, Telltale makes sure that we feel each action. Amid the Ruins forces us to swing that axe again and again and again in unsavory situations. It forces us to feel each step through a mass of hungry zombies, and it makes the steps leading up to an uncomfortable conversation just as tense.
Amid the Ruins is a simple episode, in theory. It revolves around a woman giving birth in impossible circumstances, an event that is going to happen no matter what you do, but it provides a variety of paths to get there. Friendships are formed or destroyed in this episode, survivors die by your hand, and more people are faced with their inner demons. The finale is up next and is already scaring me. How will they top this?Whatever they decide… Bring it on.