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The 2012 breakout hit, The Walking Dead Season One, has now returned to consoles with The Walking Dead, Season Two, Episode One: All That Remains. In this highly anticipated return to the zombie apocalypse, the franchise sets the player as a preteen girl in the midst of society’s collapse.

 

Viewing a zombie apocalypse through the eyes of a young girl is a distinctly more vulnerable perspective. Clementine maneuvers in the periphery of the nearby adults rather than directing the group. The worldview of a child proves not only capable of shouldering an entire video game but maintains the emotionally gripping experience that the series is now known for.

 

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Clementine is no longer the protected NPC from The Walking Dead, Season One. She now makes her own decisions and recognizes that the only person on whom she can rely is herself. Noticeably, Clementine does not directly assault enemies, human or zombie, preferring run and dodge tactics followed by kicking and punching her assailant upon her capture. Accordingly, combat relies on swiping an analog stick in a specified direction while dodging pursuers and repeatedly pressing a face button upon capture or positioning the cursor over a designated area on the attacker and pressing a trigger.

 

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Further highlighting Clementine’s commitment to self-sufficiency are gameplay sequences that require two handed controls but with no time limit. Early in the game, Clementine lights a fire by pushing and holding a face button while moving the left stick toward the kindling. Overall, for fine motor disabilities the quick time events often do not require simultaneous button presses when a time limit is present. The exception is when, upon Clementine’s capture, she kicks and punches by positioning the cursor over the specified area on the enemy and pulling the controller’s trigger. The required area for positioning the cursor is markedly larger and the accompanying button press is the trigger rather than a face button.

Playing through the previous five episodes of The Walking Dead Season One adds to players the weighty sense of needing to protect Clementine, but the previous game is not required in order to play Season Two. Without a previous save file, the choices are randomized. In All That Remains, there are multiple references to the previous season, including a character or two, but minimal related gameplay.

The narrative remains gripping, with decisions that have no easy answer because morality is defined by survival in the zombie apocalypse. For a point-and-click adventure, Clementine’s narrative options are less about exploring areas and interacting with other characters for background information. Instead, she uses her time to manipulate the adults in charge followed by sneakily pursuing what she deems as the right decision when the adults turn away.

 

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In The Walking Dead, Season One the subtitles disappeared when conversational choices appeared onscreen, despite characters continuing to speak. The only option for disabled gamers was to choose a conversation option instantly in order to remove the onscreen cue in order to show the subtitles or to play with continued instances of missed dialogue. The problem is now fixed, and the subtitles are bumped higher when conversational options appear onscreen. The fix ensures that no dialogue is missed due to a disability.

The subtitles are a thick, bold font with a drop shadow. They are also color coded for each character. Even without a black background, the subtitles remain readable against a variety of environments. Audio cues are not included, which is a missed opportunity for a narrative heavy game. Audio cues would particularly benefit sequences of characters responding to sounds, such as an early key sequence where a character specifically responded to a door swinging shut.

For visual disabilities, interacting with environmental objects is improved upon by delineating a generous responsive area to the button press with clearer icons that rely less on the icon itself and more on its location on a circle corresponding to the face buttons on the controller. The onscreen combat prompts include the letter of the required button such as “A” or “RT,” or depict the analog stick’s movement with an arrow.

Overall, the menu options for audio and video allow for adjusting the music volume and brightness as well as whether to display subtitles. Under the gameplay options, the player can invert the controller’s Y axis and choose a User Interface display style, standard or minimal. Otherwise, the controller’s setup cannot be remapped.

 

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New characters provide new but familiar circumstances except now Clementine is not shielded by a playable character but must address the dangerous world herself. The player can create a smart mouth, a naïve child, or a combination of the two, but always she must convince other survivors of her worth or risk braving the apocalypse on her own.

 

Overall Rating: Thoroughly Accessible

Visual Rating: Thoroughly Accessible

Fine-Motor Rating: Partially Accessible

Auditory Rating: Thoroughly Accessible

Released For: Xbox 360, PS3, iOS, PC, PS Vita, Ouya

ESRB Rating: M

GameInformer Score: 8.5

 

 


 

 

 

The Bottom Line For Disabled Gamers: The Walking Dead, Season Two, Episode One

 

Disability Pros Cons
Visual

– Icons rely more on distinct shape than color.

-Combat icons such as arrows clear and distinct.

Text and icons for game cues that appear in top left corner particularly small. 
Fine Motor

– No controller customization.
– Quick time events more forgiving.

-Minimal controller customization options.

Auditory

– Subtitles continue when onscreen options appear. 
– Subtitles color coded by character.

– No audio cues subtitled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Overall Rating: Thoroughly Accessible

 Visual Rating: Thoroughly Accessible

 Fine-Motor Rating: Partially Accessible

 Auditory Rating: Thoroughly Accessible

 Released For: Xbox 360, PS3, iOS, PC, PS Vita, Ouya

 ESRB Rating: M

 GameInformer Score: 8.5

 

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