I am a scared little girl.
Well, I was a scared little girl. Now I'm a rattled reporter, reeling from the experience of playing the fantastic first episode of Telltale's "The Walking Dead: Season Two," titled "All That Remains." The new season casts players as Clementine, the 11-year-old girl protected by protagonist Lee Everett throughout the first season of "Walking Dead." With Lee gone, the player steps into the shoes of a child who is no longer a child, but a fierce little warrior battling her way through a haunted world.
Here's some of what I learned during my first two hours playing as Clementine. A quick word of warning: there are thinly-veiled SPOILERS ahead.
1. Bathrooms Are Dangerous
Not just because they're safe-havens for dirt and disease, but also because of the seedy patrons. Kids, hear this now: Don't trust strangers, period, but especially strangers you meet in bathrooms. You never know when or how they'll break your heart.
2. Dogs Are Dangerous
Sure, they're man's best friend — until you take away their food. Even the sweetest pup will turn rabid when sustenance is on the line, as Telltale makes plainly clear here. A word of caution for animal lovers: "All That Remains" will break your heart, and your skin.
3. Bites Are Dangerous
Bites in the zombie apocalypse are like hangovers in the real world — pretty much the worst thing ever. In the "Walking Dead" universe, a bite-mark usually means that death and flesh-hungry resurrection are just hours away. But what if something other than a walker takes a chunk out of you? Is that any more or less dangerous than a lurker bite? "All That Remains" tackles this question head-on, with all of the subtlety of a needle through your arm.
4. Healing Is Dangerous
It sounds counterintuitive, but in "The Walking Dead," it's true. On a normal day, it's best to let trained professionals perform surgery when you're in need. But sometimes, those trained professionals aren't willing to perform their role, and you're forced to take matters into your own hands. With the right tools, you can heal yourself right up — but don't think it isn't going to require some risk, and don't think it isn't going to hurt.
5. Carver Is Dangerous
That's the assumption, at least, based on how the new survivors I met in "All That Remains" reacted to the mere mention of the mystery man's name. I didn't see anyone named Carver, that I know of at least, but I'm pretty sure I saw his handiwork at the end of episode one — and if that is the case, then I'll cast my vote with the others: Carver is a very deadly, dangerous man indeed.
6. Clementine Is Dangerous
But is Carver any match for Clementine? Based on my experience, I'm going to vote no.
"The Walking Dead" is all about choices: You decide how Clementine reacts to situations. You decide how she interacts with strangers, humans and animals alike. In my first play-through, I chose to build up Clementine as a straight-shooter, someone who tells it like it is and stands up for herself in the face of adversity. My Clementine is a pint-sized force of survival, someone who doesn't hesitate when forced to choose between saving a man with a bite and a man without one. My Clementine is an unapologetic little ass-kicker that would make Lee proud.
My Clementine is built for the world of "The Walking Dead." I only hope I can continue to be as brave as her as the season wears on.
Have you played "The Walking Dead" yet? Tell us your first impressions in the comments section below!