The Walking Dead: A House Divided Review: Things just got real

To be perfectly honest, the previous episode, All That Remains, didn’t really do all that much for me beyond the opening minutes. It was a fine episode but it was mostly set up as an introduction to the characters that would surround Clementine.

Things are wholly different for The Walking Dead: A House Divided. Wow. Just wow.

Telltale gonna Telltale so things don’t stay calm for long

The Story So Far… Not Really

Much like my review for The Wolf Among Us: Smoke and Mirrors, I won’t dare spoil anything here, but also like that second episode, things I thought I knew where firmly turned on its head and stakes were raised.

Clementine is with her new group of survivors and I am carving out a much more interesting version of Clementine than what we were offered last season. Again, much of this comes from the choices Telltale allows me to make. My Clementine is honest, tough, nice, and a pretty darn good judge of character. I look forward to shaping her into a young version of Lee, who was pretty much the same.

I’ve already got favourites in the new group of survivors, but they are few. I guess the zombie apocalypse brings out the worst in people because half of these folks could die in a fire and I wouldn’t bat an eyelash. Thankfully there are other likeable characters here so there are people worth fighting for.

In A House Divided the character count jumps up greatly, and a familiar face shows up which was a surprising, happy moment.

This being The Walking Dead and Telltale’s gonna Telltale, that happy moment is short lived and the true threat for the season rears it’s head in truly alarming and brutal fashion. No spoilers here, but you will know it instantly, beginning with a suspicion, and cemented later by action.

Needless to say, things get real for the not-so-merry group of survivors and I’m genuinely anxious to experience what comes next.

This is Nick – I really don’t like Nick

Step Up Your Game

In terms of gameplay, nothing at all is very new. Sure the action sections are tighter, shooting is actually more “fun” but it remains relatively unchanged from the previous season and episode. Clementine walks around, talks to people and makes choices that people will remember – though one was really humorous considering the grim circumstances.

What is improved was the performance. In my review for The Wolf Among Us: Smoke and Mirrors, I talked about how poorly it performed, locking up between cut aways and action beats, bringing down the game overall. In The Walking Dead: A House Divided, there was only one instance of this and while still jarring, it was a small moment compared to how well the rest of it ran throughout the episode.  Hopefully whatever Telltale did to fix performance issues continues through the rest of both games.

All in all, The Walking Dead: A House Divided is a marked improvement over the previous episode in every way that matters – story, character development, performance – and honestly, I’m chomping at the bit to jump back into this world when episode 3 hits. Whenever that may be.

Sean played The Walking Dead: A House Divided on the Xbox 360. A code for the game was provided by Telltale for review purposes.

9/10+ Better than episode 2 of season one
+ My Clementine is shaping up to me a mini-Lee
+ The new threat is better than last season
+ Story getting better
+ Performs really well
-Gameplay remains unchanged
-Don’t have the whole story

Available on: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Version Reviewed: Xbox 360

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