The Walking Dead Season 2: Amid The Ruins Review

Jimothy Sterling

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The Walking Dead Season 2: Amid The Ruins Review

Things get bleak in this episode. That makes a bright change of pace.

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Pops16

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Just curious, what prevents you from giving it more than four stars? It seems your review was pretty favorable. I was just wondering what is keeping it from being truly great in your mind.
 

CharrHearted

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Sadly because of damn psn in Europe, we have to wait until tomarrow, same as the dark souls 2 dlc... yay!
 

Yossarian1507

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All right... so what changes if
You don't steal meds from Arvo? I'm pretty sure the same thing ie. pissed off Russians and a stand off, but for a different reason. I just want to know for sure to reassure myself that I didn't fuck up completely with this.
Also, I'm totally calling right now Clem and the baby being the only survivors of the episode 5, and she'll name him Lee.

Outside of spoilers: damn. I really thought I started to get some resistance to TellTale cliffhangers. Wrong again. Episode 5 can't come soon enough.
 

roboman123

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Yossarian1507 said:
All right... so what changes if
You don't steal meds from Arvo? I'm pretty sure the same thing ie. pissed off Russians and a stand off, but for a different reason. I just want to know for sure to reassure myself that I didn't fuck up completely with this.
To answer...
If you don't, the same thing does happen, except it's really odd because he claims you still stole from him, and it makes mention of Jane stealing something, but I saw nothing in that scene to confirm it, it was the one part of this episode where I was like "That's not how it happened!
 

Don Incognito

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roboman123 said:
Yossarian1507 said:
All right... so what changes if
You don't steal meds from Arvo? I'm pretty sure the same thing ie. pissed off Russians and a stand off, but for a different reason. I just want to know for sure to reassure myself that I didn't fuck up completely with this.
To answer...
If you don't, the same thing does happen, except it's really odd because he claims you still stole from him, and it makes mention of Jane stealing something, but I saw nothing in that scene to confirm it, it was the one part of this episode where I was like "That's not how it happened!

I think it relates to
Arvo hiding the meds. He's trying to keep them from the rest of his group, for some reason. So even if Clem & Jane don't take them, he is still stashing them somewhere to hid them from the group, and he has to come up with a cover story.
 

karma9308

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If you
Axe Sarita
Can you not
Axe her face in?
Because I kept trying to not do it, but I only had like 5 seconds and I would keep getting munched if I didn't do it. Which led to people freaking the fuck out for obvious reasons. Because I didn't want to do that!
 

Frozengale

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Don Incognito said:
roboman123 said:
Yossarian1507 said:
All right... so what changes if
You don't steal meds from Arvo? I'm pretty sure the same thing ie. pissed off Russians and a stand off, but for a different reason. I just want to know for sure to reassure myself that I didn't fuck up completely with this.
To answer...
If you don't, the same thing does happen, except it's really odd because he claims you still stole from him, and it makes mention of Jane stealing something, but I saw nothing in that scene to confirm it, it was the one part of this episode where I was like "That's not how it happened!

I think it relates to
Arvo hiding the meds. He's trying to keep them from the rest of his group, for some reason. So even if Clem & Jane don't take them, he is still stashing them somewhere to hid them from the group, and he has to come up with a cover story.
Also Jane stole Arvo's gun. So yes, even if you refuse the meds you get accused of stealing, because if nothing else you do take his gun.

As for Kenny...

I'm so sick of Kenny. I was happy to see him at the beginning of Episode 2, but by the end of it I was starting to remember just how much of a nuisance he can be. It was hard enough keeping him in line when I was Lee, now that I'm Clementine he is an even bigger threat when he comes unhinged. He can be helpful, but he's also the first to cause problems. I really hope the Russians kill him so I don't have to eventually make the choice myself.

Also this is perhaps the first time I wish it would let me just split up from the group and never come back the only reason I was sticking around was because I liked Jane and Sarah but...

Once Jane leaves and Sarah gets killed I can't think of a reason to stay with the group. Mike is alright, but no reason to stick with him. I hate Bonnie. Rebecca is okay, but she's dead now anyway. Kenny is just a liability waiting to happen. Luke was okay but he's slowly becoming an annoyance, especially now that Nick is dead and Jane is gone.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Is it just me, or...

Has Kenny officially gone off the deep end? Just harken back to Season 1 for a moment. Remember what happened when Katja and Duck died? He kind of went emo and became obsessed with finding a boat, and not even for any real clear reason. After Sarita dies, Kenny becomes obsessed with finding a home for a baby - a baby that Kenny clearly thinks is his. Its a very obvious pattern. He's one broken straw away from losing his mind and becoming an immediate threat to everyone around him. If you didn't shoot Rebecca yourself, Kenny, without a second's hesitation, shoots Rebecca in the face. What. The. Fuck. Kenny. He's gone off the deep end over that baby. Anybody remember S1E4 when he told Lee to let Ben die because Kenny's a petty fuckwit? How well do you think he'll handle his antagonism with Luke, and the fact that he kind of blames Clem for Sarita dying? At best, he's unreliable, and at worst, he's an immediate threat. Can't have him around. Its kind of sad, but I don't think he can be helped or saved, sort of like Sarah.

Yossarian1507 said:
All right... so what changes if
Arvo still calls you a thief, but this time you can blame it on Jane... even though Arvo still walked away with the bag of medicine. I guess he's referring to the pistol that Jane keeps, but thats just fucking stupid. I think he may be lying about losing the medicine for some reason or another. After all, its quite clear that he has his own physical handicap. Nobody would willingly walk around with a squeaky leg alerting every walker within 100 feet and preventing them from running, crouching, or crawling.
 

Burnouts3s3

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I really liked this episode. Though, it felt pretty sad that
Sarah always dies, no matter how hard you try to save her.
 

MediocrePear

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Burnouts3s3 said:
I really liked this episode. Though, it felt pretty sad that
Sarah always dies, no matter how hard you try to save her.
Wow
She does? That's dumb. I felt bad about not saving her before, but now I know it doesn't matter so who cares. I love this series to pieces, but am I the only one kind of getting tired of how pointless your choices feel? Especially in regards to which people you try to help/save? I feel like Jane may have genuinely had the right view, because it feels like all of the effort and sacrifice I put into being nice and merciful and helping people and giving them second chances, ALWAYS turns out to be pointless. They ALWAYS betray you anyway or blame you anyway or just die without making any contribution. Like I was sooo pissed at the ending when Arvo blames you for stealing his crap even though I didn't. What was the point of making that a big moral choice (echoing the one in S1E2) if it didn't freaking matter at all?! I had Zero hesitation in making the choice to shoot Rebecca, because I knew it didn't matter. A gunfight was gonna start anyway. Maybe that's deliberate and I'm supposed to be turning bitter and cynical.
Can't wait for the final episode!
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Burnouts3s3 said:
I really liked this episode. Though, it felt pretty sad that
Sarah always dies, no matter how hard you try to save her.
I'm gonna be that person who says it.

I'm glad she's dead. Well, maybe not "glad", but nothing of value was lost. She has never, ever been anything but a liability. She's fifteen years old and less competent than an eight-year old girl. She contributes nothing to the group at all, and while I wouldn't give her the death sentence for that, she is just to fragile. I saved her in teh trailer park, and back at the war memorial she's like "I want my daddy and to go back to the cabin". You know, at that point, fuck it. Its clear that she couldn't be helped. I thought the slap to the face might be some sort of wake-up call, as it was a callback to the first time that her father slapped her, but she was back to her usual idiot self shortly afterwards. Then she is pretty much responsible for her own damn death because she's being completely useless, watching while people keep walkers at bay. At the very least, she could've been helping give emotional support ot Rebecca while delivering the baby, but she stood on the deck being completely useless and died because of it. Then, when she's screaming for help, I can't really think anything but "too little too late". I did yell at Jane to at least try to help Sarah, but I wasn't going to push it if she wasn't willing to risk herself over Sarah.

Funnily enough, the achievement you get on Steam after finishing the trailer park is called "A Heavy Burden". You're so right, TTG, she is indeed a heavy burden to lug around. A fifteen-year old who has less maturity than Duck - that is an achievement.
 

Sqrt(-1)

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Great episode. Waiting for the next one is going to be tough.

Kenny
First of all, I didn't really think that Kenny went to crazy in Season 1, especially after what he went through. After this episode, I might need to do a play through of it again, because he has gone completely insane. Personally, I think that the beating from Carver gave him a concussion, which probably made him worse.

Jane
I really liked Jane, because the ending of episode 3 had me convinced she was a complete psycho, and this episode proved me wrong. Come to think of it, she's a lot like Mollie from Season 1. I'm sad to see her go, and I doubt we'll see her again.

A bit unrelated, but was there a teaser clip for episode 5 at the end? For me, it went straight to the choices and credits, and I don't know if it was a glitch, or intentional.
Also, the Telltale pet names at the end of the credits are hilarious. I think they put those names in to counteract the depression of the game.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Sqrt(-1) said:
A bit unrelated, but was there a teaser clip for episode 5 at the end? For me, it went straight to the choices and credits, and I don't know if it was a glitch, or intentional.
I didn't get one either. Even last seasons episode 4 had a "Next time..." clip at the end, so the only reason I can think of it being so for this one is that they just didn't have one prepared. Telltale is really stretching their resources thin with all these projects they're letting out.
 

Raggedstar

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Sqrt(-1) said:
A bit unrelated, but was there a teaser clip for episode 5 at the end? For me, it went straight to the choices and credits, and I don't know if it was a glitch, or intentional.
Nope, no teaser. I don't think there was one for season 1's finale either, so it's likely intentional.

OT: Great episode ('dat ending. Holy crap). I even laughed a few times, though a few issues.

I feel like Sarah got the axe (...I'm sorry) a bit hard here. I thought she would've had some kind of redemption, something to make her a bit more than a whiny burden. Nope, whiny burden was the way she went out. Jane had a discussion about how her sister was dragging herself following, and how she decided she would give up. They could've had a callback to that and have Sarah make a conscious decision to not live. At least then she would've had some sort of control. Either she dies because she's huddled up in a trailer barely moving or talking (even in the face of a walker invasion), or she dawdles around doing nothing in the deck (not even hiding inside, which is where one would think a scared girl would be). Ben was treated as an irredeemable burden too, but his death had a lot of significance and character to it (both ways he can go, at the bell tower and the alley).

I heard Nick got the shaft too in a very strange way, but I'm surprised the dude made it this far anyways. Gold star for making it longer than Doug/Carley and Alvin as characters not every file will have alive.

Also, chalk up another who wasn't satisfied with the Arvo encounter aftermath. I didn't rob you! Your gun was taken, but you got the meds, which was the item of interest and arguably the most important thing. Jane wasn't around and Clem spared you. Telltale could've changed the dialogue to comment how Jane threatened him or nearly killed him, but nope, we didn't take the meds.

Really like Jane though. I'm happy they tried to give her a little more character than just the cold-hearted, cool survival chick. Molly was alright, but Jane and Clem had a lot of chemistry going. I was really unsure who I would stick with, though. Kenny is at the end of her rope and the group is obviously falling apart (shot Rebecca because I was afraid of her snacking on a baby-burrito), but I don't fully trust Jane either despite her ability and sense. Maybe Clem and the baby will survive and they can be a Virginian Tarzan and live with that raccoon family.
 

Xman490

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Pops16 said:
Just curious, what prevents you from giving it more than four stars? It seems your review was pretty favorable. I was just wondering what is keeping it from being truly great in your mind.
It could be that games based on pre-ordering give Jim a bad feeling, or that the episode wasn't that good by Escapist standards: 3.5 stars is a very common score on this site.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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I really didn't see the
"harsh detail" of the consequences of my actions. Maybe because I chose differently? What was supposed to be the "harsh detail"?

Plus, I (and I assume most everyone) figured this out in regards to character deaths after Season 1:
Anytime you have a choice to save one or the other, they will both eventually die, unless your choice is ineffectual. Happened with Doug. Happened with Ben. Happened with Sarah. Will continue to happen to everyone. Your choices are pretty ineffectual.
 

shintakie10

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MarsAtlas said:
Sqrt(-1) said:
A bit unrelated, but was there a teaser clip for episode 5 at the end? For me, it went straight to the choices and credits, and I don't know if it was a glitch, or intentional.
I didn't get one either. Even last seasons episode 4 had a "Next time..." clip at the end, so the only reason I can think of it being so for this one is that they just didn't have one prepared. Telltale is really stretching their resources thin with all these projects they're letting out.
This one ends on a pretty heavy cliff hanger though. Any sort of teaser clip showing anythin other than Clementine all the time and nothin else would spoil what actually happens.
 

Yossarian1507

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MarsAtlas said:
I'm gonna be that person who says it.

I'm glad she's dead. Well, maybe not "glad", but nothing of value was lost. She has never, ever been anything but a liability. She's fifteen years old and less competent than an eight-year old girl. She contributes nothing to the group at all, and while I wouldn't give her the death sentence for that, she is just to fragile. I saved her in teh trailer park, and back at the war memorial she's like "I want my daddy and to go back to the cabin". You know, at that point, fuck it. Its clear that she couldn't be helped. I thought the slap to the face might be some sort of wake-up call, as it was a callback to the first time that her father slapped her, but she was back to her usual idiot self shortly afterwards. Then she is pretty much responsible for her own damn death because she's being completely useless, watching while people keep walkers at bay. At the very least, she could've been helping give emotional support ot Rebecca while delivering the baby, but she stood on the deck being completely useless and died because of it. Then, when she's screaming for help, I can't really think anything but "too little too late". I did yell at Jane to at least try to help Sarah, but I wasn't going to push it if she wasn't willing to risk herself over Sarah.

Funnily enough, the achievement you get on Steam after finishing the trailer park is called "A Heavy Burden". You're so right, TTG, she is indeed a heavy burden to lug around. A fifteen-year old who has less maturity than Duck - that is an achievement.
Damn right.
I did everything to save that girl in the episode up until the choice "help Jane vs help Sarah". At this point I just said "Nope. I'm sorry Sarah. You were useless. You didn't even help us with the walkers, you just stood there. I really tried, but you are just hopeless."

Of course, that made me mad too, because Jane leaves afterwards.
 

senordesol

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A fine installment.

I ditched Sarah first chance I got. It's been four episodes and I didn't see a single glimmer of hope for her...but at least she's in a better place...well, several different better places (ba-dum-tish).

What's interesting is that I found Kenny to be the least of my problems. I was able to talk him down and keep him under control pretty quickly. It's Luke who's gotten on my nerves. I mean...fucking somebody when we're literally seconds away with a woman in labor? WE DON'T NEED MORE BABIES RIGHT NOW, YOU A-HOLE!

The only thing that truly bothered me, however, was Rebecca's sudden deathly illness. I don't remember her hacking up a lung at any other point and it seemed to only happen *because* she delivered a baby. Now I know a lot can go wrong in childbirth, but this seemed like the cheapest, vaguest way to go about it.

Finally, Jane you *****, at least see us off safely before you split...and where'd you go even with all the zombies outside?
 

Kingjackl

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The ending for this one was one of the harshest yet. That was almost as harsh as the ending to season 1.

As I was playing this, my brother and I kept debating what the inevitable ghastly fate of Rebecca's baby was going to be. I was almost certain there would be at least one immediate death as a result of the birth, either her dying in childbirth or the baby being a stillborn. I was so pleasantly surprised when the baby started coughing in Kenny's hands. There were some lovely moments with the mother and the child (Kenny's creepy obsession notwithstanding), all the better for Telltale to kick us in the guts at the end.

This one was pretty much a bloodbath. Sarita dies no matter what, as does Sarah. Nick dies if he wasn't dead already, and the ending sees Rebecca turning into a zombie and the Mexican stand-off erupting. I wonder if they'll be brave/foolish enough to kill off the rest of the supporting cast with that ending. I know the whole point of the series is that none of the choices really have any effect and it's all about how you justify them, but I'm starting to find the nihilism tiring, especially when it doesn't make sense. Nick's death was a complete cop-out, and the fact that Arvo accuses you of robbing him even when you didn't was especially grating, since I chose to give him back his meds specifically to avoid a situation like that (which I knew would happen anyway). It feels like they're stretching the choices too hard.
 

42

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I just saw the embodiment of Dota 2's Russian Community.
 

Ichigo

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I still canßt get interested in anything that happens between those people. From the first time i met them they treated me like an asshole, seeing them dieing one after another is more a relieve then shocking. The only one i ever cared for was lee and he is long gone. Also i´m getting sick of all-the-worst-case-scenarios-that-could-ever-happen happening on the same exact time. People getting killed by zombies? naaaaaaaaaaa, how about people getting killed by zombies while the whole building is collapsing during a snow storm and also a wild angry burning horde of elephands is chasing us backed up by the worst cliche russian stereotypes after putin took over ukraine? i also wish there would be just once one sentence to choose from that would actually make any sence during the same endless two-people-are-arguing-about-bullshit scenes. i think i´m just getting tired of zombies.
 

Redd the Sock

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While less tense than last season, I'm liking this one more. Group dynamics are hard to get right and most people will have a group agree, or put aside differences for the greater good. Yet Walking Dead reached the point of characters having to accept the situation is long term, and as such, facing issues with the long term prospects to dealing with others that don't always see eye to eye, or can't just drop the baggage of loss as easily as others. No one in the group is bad, and only people without a soul couldn't at least get Sarah's having been sheltered a bit too long, or Kenny's survivor's guilt. This was the first time I held back letting arguments happen because I didn't see a solution, and didn't think people would take "stop fighting" too well in the long term.

I don't know whether to look forward to the final chapter or not. I drool in anticipation, but at the same time, I saw the ending of the last season coming, and given the themes of the season this time, I just know that

telltale's going to put me in a position of having the chose if Clem kills that baby, probably in a building surrounded by walkers as it starts crying
 

Frankster

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Well that's another episode of drama done, liked this episode and Jane was a really cool character and felt rather small as clem in the face of an angry kenny xP

Ending pissed me off though. I didn't steal. Heck I wanted to let avro do his thing and let him walk away without revealing my presence when you first saw him but even though game gives you the option of saying you will do that, you're still forced into poking your head out and talking to him.. Fucking BS.

Felt Nick's death was cheap too. He dies off screen and you find him as a zombie? bleh.

Sarah's death was a total kick in the gut, my clem did all she could to help her and even begged Jane to go save her (which she does, and fails at, but I cant blame her, she actually did go and try, Jane is a total BRO and am glad she decided to get out whilst she could otherwise she would have been killed at start of ep5) but sadly there is nothing you can do.

Honestly as much as I love the series, I really feel way too railroaded at times and the game can feel very cheap in how it sets you up for drama by forcing you to act like an idiot (srsly wtf was clem forced into talking into arvo?)
 

joshuaayt

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MediocrePear said:
Burnouts3s3 said:
I really liked this episode. Though, it felt pretty sad that
Sarah always dies, no matter how hard you try to save her.
Wow
She does? That's dumb. I felt bad about not saving her before, but now I know it doesn't matter so who cares. I love this series to pieces, but am I the only one kind of getting tired of how pointless your choices feel? Especially in regards to which people you try to help/save? I feel like Jane may have genuinely had the right view, because it feels like all of the effort and sacrifice I put into being nice and merciful and helping people and giving them second chances, ALWAYS turns out to be pointless. They ALWAYS betray you anyway or blame you anyway or just die without making any contribution. Like I was sooo pissed at the ending when Arvo blames you for stealing his crap even though I didn't. What was the point of making that a big moral choice (echoing the one in S1E2) if it didn't freaking matter at all?! I had Zero hesitation in making the choice to shoot Rebecca, because I knew it didn't matter. A gunfight was gonna start anyway. Maybe that's deliberate and I'm supposed to be turning bitter and cynical.
Can't wait for the final episode!
It's important to note that you did feel like it mattered before you read that Sarah always died. The whole game is built on the illusion of choice. That's the main problem, people research the choices, and feel like the game has no depth. It does, but they can't possibly have forks for every choice- but, like you said, there was tension when you played it. I honestly thought that I could save Sarah when I got to that part, it just only works for the first playthrough.

I do agree about the meds, though- I think the idea is that Arvo was himself stealing them, and he just pins it on you? He was being super weird, and shoving the bag into the bin. Seems like a weird place to drop off your bag full of looted drugs. Still, even if that were true, the game could have made it clearer.

Ha, whoops, responded a few days late to the party. That's what happens when you don't have the internet for a week.
 

Xman490

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MediocrePear said:
Wow
[Sarah] does? That's dumb. I felt bad about not saving her before, but now I know it doesn't matter so who cares. I love this series to pieces, but am I the only one kind of getting tired of how pointless your choices feel? Especially in regards to which people you try to help/save? I feel like Jane may have genuinely had the right view, because it feels like all of the effort and sacrifice I put into being nice and merciful and helping people and giving them second chances, ALWAYS turns out to be pointless. They ALWAYS betray you anyway or blame you anyway or just die without making any contribution. Like I was sooo pissed at the ending when Arvo blames you for stealing his crap even though I didn't. What was the point of making that a big moral choice (echoing the one in S1E2) if it didn't freaking matter at all?! I had Zero hesitation in making the choice to shoot Rebecca, because I knew it didn't matter. A gunfight was gonna start anyway. Maybe that's deliberate and I'm supposed to be turning bitter and cynical.
Can't wait for the final episode!
Well, that's the Telltale Trope: major decisions have little consequences. That's right. I said it. I'm not putting a spoiler warning on that, because all the Telltale seasons have been that way.
But on the bright side, that means you can go for a "good person" playthrough in hopes of things going right for some time, and later you can do a "bad person" playthrough where you see how far being mean gets you. At least the stories we get stuck on are always either good or great. And yes,
I had no hesitation in shooting Rebecca. She was obviously turning into a walker. Might as well have one less problem for whoever to deal with, because there was going to be a shoot-out anyways.
And that brings up another Telltale Trope: cliffhanger endings right before final episodes! I don't see the point in having them, and they only serve to irritate me, knowing there's a threat around that I can't deal with until the next episode!