The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 2: Suffer the Children (PC) Review

By Josh Di Falco 07.02.2019

Review for The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 2: Suffer the Children on PC

When Episode 1 of The Final Season of Telltale's The Walking Dead ended, it brought an ending that was unexpected. While Marlon and his bad decisions opened a rabbit hole with no safe return from, the bullet that entered his brain was heard by all. The shocking moment was made even more devastating when the realisation came about that the young and innocent AJ was the one who fired the gun, in a bid to protect his guardian, Clementine. So where to next in Episode 2: Suffer the Children, and how will the ramifications of Marlon's death affect Clementine and the other kids, but most importantly, AJ?

The opening sequence that plays out prior to the opening credits is some of the better episodic editing of scene juxtaposes Telltale has done. Playing simultaneous scenes of the morning after the tragic death with Clementine and AJ having their private discussion about the matter; with scenes interspersed from the moments straight after the death, with Louis, Violet and the rest of the kids was no easy feat. But it was emotionally charged from all aspects, where battle lines began to get drawn up. Louis is one character who is deeply confused and angry by the whole ordeal; he knows Marlon wasn't a great guy - but he was his best friend, and that fact alone seems to trump the fact that Marlon basically murdered Brody. Violet on the other hand becomes one of Clementine's supporters - seeing Marlon for who he truly was and noting that his death is probably for the better. However, it is this situation that threatens to split the entire school up and poor AJ, and by extension Clementine are caught smack-bang in the middle.

It is worth noting that AJ is just a child; a child who has known no other world except the one where he currently resides, a world filled with monsters behind every corner, and even scarier monsters within the camps, as human survivors get desperate in their acts of survival. Suffer the Children keeps throwing out reminders that AJ is just a kid as well; and there is some nice dialogue where Clementine tries to keep AJ from growing too quickly as well; but the bullet in the head of Marlon courtesy of the child does cause the duo to get kicked out of the safety of the school, and they must fend for themselves out in the wild yet again.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 2: Suffer the Children on PC

Surprisingly, once Clem and AJ are out in the wild, this is when the story begins to drag a little bit. There is a surprise reveal that throws a few complications into the mix for future episodes, and a new character is introduced who questions the overall morality of the undead - and asks the philosophical questions of whether they are evil, or simply just misunderstood beasts. Unfortunately, with only two episodes remaining to wrap-up the entire series, this is hardly the time to begin tossing up the philosophical debate of whether the zombies are monsters or not.

The best part in terms of story for this episode is the dialogue between Clem and AJ throughout the tale. The themes they discuss, and the morality of whether AJ is even growing up on the right path, or whether he is learning poor habits is an interesting one with no obvious right or wrong answers. Some think he may be asking for trouble after he fired that gun, though others state the importance of needing to defend oneself in these dark times. There is a real interesting discussion here that can have dire effects on AJ's future self. Fortunately, the story does pick up again in the third act of the episode, though a bit of time has passed in the middle that the final act doesn't quite save the whole episode from being a bit of a slog to get through. Making matters worse is that the Telltale engine has always been a poor design for battles, and this final act has plenty of combat sequences. Both melee and ranged sequences play out with a knife and bow & arrows respectively, but they both play horribly in these cases.

Trying to aim for the head of the moving undead is a trying chore due to the clunky aiming mechanics, and the small environments to strafe around in melee combat adds an unnecessary difficulty to a story that is best told by moving forward, with as little hold-ups as possible. Yet unlike previous episodes, it seemed that more deaths occur here for various reasons, and it does begin to hold the story up and make it seem longer then it really is. Now that's not to say there is no place for combat in these episodic tales, but Telltale's gaming engine has never been a viable choice for battle sequences - only the Batman series seemed to get it right, though the battles were only quick-time events and it didn't contain real-time battle movements.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 2: Suffer the Children on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Episode 2: Suffer the Children gets off to fiery and heart-pounding start in the aftermath of the previous episode, as the various characters begin to draw their battle lines regarding their own morality of the situation. Meanwhile, the actual villains of the piece, the undead horde, also get a bit of a morality discussion that hints that maybe they are just misunderstood beasts after all. Unfortunately, the pacing slows to a bit of a slog, with a boring middle act that does little to further the story - before the ending is literally lit, though the combat sequences bring this episode down because of how cumbersome they are to play; as well as the inclusion of so many of these sequences.

Developer

Telltale

Publisher

Telltale

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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