Continuing immediately after the shocking ending of part 1, Ties That Bind part 2 continues Javi and Clem’s stories. In brisk and even dire fashion nonetheless.
Playing through episode two left me entertained, yet concerned about this season going forward. So far I have been thoroughly impressed by the change in structure and overall quality of each episode thus far. On the other hand I’m not really sure where the season is heading as a whole. That’s not to say there’s no story development.
One thing I really appreciate is that each episode sinks its hooks into me. Javi and Clem’s stories slowly become more fleshed-out, yet there still leaves an aura of mystery that’s waiting to be unraveled. When certain things do get revealed the story takes on a whole new meaning. These sudden revelations set the stage for certain decisions that tend to be genuinely tough to choose from.
Decision making has always been a core pillar of every Telltale game. Despite being a core pillar, some choices never feel truly consequential in past series. With Ties That Bind both episodes have left haunting implications as to what may, or may not happen later on. However there are a few times where some of my decisions didn’t fully register. On one occasion I made a choice in choosing to let a certain character leave my group. Yet that same character ended up rendered in a cutscene even though he/she left my group earlier.
Exploration works to the players benefit as well. Wandering around the linear environments can lead to item discoveries. For example I found a somewhat well-hidden water bottle lying on a table. The use of this water bottle later in the episode made me glad I went out of my way just to pick it up. Considering how some items are meaningless, its rewarding to see item’s used to good effect; even if its to the games discretion.
Part 2 is somewhat of a short episode, but its an episode that’s stuffed with momentum. In the over 90 minutes I put into the episode there was never a dull moment. The constant struggle each character faces left me on edge. More than any previous season has done before. Moments of tension linger, especially with the addition of a certain character that fans of the comics will be familiar with. As a player who is unfamiliar with both comic and t.v. adaptations of the series; I grew to like this particular character.
The end of episode 2 left me intrigued-yet worried-as to what will become of the rest of the season. The quality and story structure are intriguing enough to keep me engaged. Even though the final destination of the season is unknown. Despite these small complaints, I am still optimistic as to what Telltale has in store.
Episode 2 may not make substantial progress in the season, but what it makes up for is its intense action, tough decisions, and intriguing characters.