The Walking Dead: Season Two Episode Four – Amid the Ruins Review
Note: This review contains spoilers.
Last time we saw Clementine and her crew of survivors in The Walking Dead Season Two: Episode Three – In Harm’s Way, they were escaping imprisonment at the maniacal Carver’s fort, wading through a massive zombie horde while covered in walker blood. After Carver met an absolutely grisly end at the hands of Kenny and a trusty crowbar, the group sets out on their own again to seek shelter and regroup in Episode Four: Amid the Ruins. Rebecca is very pregnant and you just know that this kid is going to come at the worst possible moment. Will she and the rest of the group be able to survive the harsh winter cold?
The main question raised in Amid the Ruins is whether Clementine’s group is helping or hurting her chances of survival at this point. With Rebecca about to bring one more mouth to feed into the group, Sarah being utterly incapable of looking out for herself, and Kenny completely cracking under the stress of the situation, would Clem be better off on her own? It’s Jane that plants this seed into her head – the lone survivor of the group who Clementine becomes attached to in a sisterly manner throughout the course of this episode.
The player will have to make some horrific decisions in Among the Ruins, and the body count ramps up considerably as we head into the season finale. Without Carver as a central villain, it seems that Telltale is making the characters their own worst enemies. There’s hardly a moment to react to the numerous deaths that take place in this episode, and in my playthrough Clem was directly involved in three of them, but barely seemed affected by the weight of her actions or the deaths of her comrades. I’m not sure if this is bad writing on Telltale’s part, or Clementine simply becoming a much colder, hardened character. Perhaps she’s simply realized that you can’t save everyone, no matter how much you might want to.
While The Walking Dead: Season Two Episode Four – Amid the Ruins is another very solid episode for the series, it isn’t the most memorable and it ends with a massive cliffhanger. Some of the decisions made during Amid the Ruins feel inconsequential – certain events happen one way no matter what you do – and the writing for some of the characters seems uneven, especially Kenny and Clem. That said, I loved the sisterly dynamic between Jane and Clem in this episode, and I hope we get to see more of her soon. Additionally, this episode packs a ton of action from the frenetic outset to the gripping final moments. In general, it seems that Telltale is paving the way for a much more hardened, battle-weary Clementine in the upcoming Season Three.
- + Action-packed
- + Solid characterization for most characters
- – Some choices feel inconsequential