Open your calendar. Take a look at the week ahead. If your plans don't already include "playing the new season of 'The Walking Dead' until my brain melts from pure awesomeness," then your week needs some work.
Telltale unleashes the second season of the award-winning "Walking Dead" video game series this Tuesday (December 17), tasking players with guiding a 10-year-old girl through the zombie-apocalypse. Yes, it's a frightening concept, and the game is likely to deliver even more shocks and scares than its bold premise suggests.
Are you new to the "Walking Dead" games? Your first course of action should be to play through season one before heading into season two. But if you want to hop right into the new season without prior experience, we have you covered. Read on for everything you need to know to start playing season two of "The Walking Dead" right now.
What Is "The Walking Dead," Anyway?
Oh, you know, only one of the most popular television shows and comic books currently in existence. It takes place at the end of the world, where the dead no longer stay dead, except with a well-placed blow to the brain. In all its iterations, "The Walking Dead" focuses on small groups of survivors, the human leftovers in a kingdom of rotted-flesh. Telltale's "Walking Dead" series features some characters from the show and the comics, but by and large, it centers on a new set of heroes and villains. Such as...
Who Is Lee Everett?
You'll probably hear a lot about him in season two, so before we get to the current protagonist, let's talk about this fallen hero. Lee is the main character of the first five episodes of "Walking Dead." He's on his way to prison for killing a man when the zombie apocalypse begins, trading in one life sentence for another. Throughout the game, Lee makes choices to keep himself and his group safe, but eventually pays the ultimate price when he suffers a lethal zombie bite.
Who Is Clementine?
With Lee gone, the player now assumes the role of Clementine, a young girl no older than 10. Everything she's learned about survival, she learned from Lee; he protected and watched over her during the events of season one, and passed along the lessons that will guide her forward throughout season two. When season one ended, Clementine was off on her own in the wilderness; where she begins when season two picks up, is anybody's guess.
Who Else Is Out There?
Aside from Clementine, few characters survived the first season of "Walking Dead." It's confirmed that Omid and his pregnant girlfriend Christa are back for season two, but their role remains unknown. It's possible that Kenny, one of Lee's closest allies, is still alive, due to an ambiguous, off-screen "death" in season one, but we're not counting on it. Beyond that, a "between-seasons" episode of "Walking Dead" called "400 Days" introduced five new main characters: Vince, Wyatt, Russell, Bonnie and Shel. It's expected that all of those characters will factor into season two, but smart money says only some of them will be friendly faces.
What Should I Do?
That's up to you! In essence, "The Walking Dead" is all about choices. As the player, you'll determine how Clementine reacts to certain events. If she runs into a man with a broken-down car on the side of the road, you can have her help the man, ignore the man, or possibly even kill the man as a preemptive measure. Clementine's choices are yours to make; those decisions will inform how the rest of the game plays out.
Does My Decision Matter?
That depends on your definition of what matters and what doesn't. More often than not, all roads will lead to the same place. In season one, for instance, Lee dies no matter what choices you make along the way. It's less about what happens, and more about how it happens. Do you want to play a benevolent game, helping strangers survive the apocalypse? Or do you prefer a more cold-hearted approach, keeping to yourself and rejecting warmth whenever it's offered? Those choices are up to you, and will influence how the game plays out, but you'll arrive at the same destination no matter how the specifics shake out.
Let us know what your "Walking Dead" gaming plans are in the comments below!