The Walking Dead XBLA's second season began yesterday, with the release of All That Remains. Initial responses from the community and press are largely positive - our review will be with you soonish - but the choice of a new and rather more vulnerable lead aside, there's the faint worry that Telltale has entered the realm of diminishing returns.
The format, after all, is very familiar - poke at areas for clues, make dialogue choices, participate in short, sharp reflex tests - and the universe has been thoroughly explored by videogames, the TV series and the original comicbooks. Is Telltale tempted just to serve up more of the same? The answer appears to be no, thankfully.
"The goal is to try to make it better than Season One - and to evolve it so that it's not a clone," chief technology officer and co-founder Kevin Bruner told OXM as part of a massive studio profile, tucked away between the covers of our latest issue.
"I think it took a lot of guts to [do what we did with Lee] because players were invested in him, and there's a lot of open area for what Season Two can be, where we can take everything we learned from the first season - and everything we've learned from Fables so far - and hopefully it'll be better than both Season One and Fables, and be the most evolved thing that we do. But we'll be ambitious with it - I don't think that 'Don't screw it up; just feed them more' is our style."
Lead writer Sean Vanaman concurred. "Yeah, that sort of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you say 'Don't screw it up', it's like, prepare for mediocrity. That's why [what we did with Lee] was so good: given where we left him, it's so much easier to fall back on 'Don't screw it up'; it's like, we got this main character everyone likes. But, given his fate... 'Don't screw it up' - what does that even mean now?"
Not clear on Lee's fate? You might want to play the first season, then - all five episodes are currently available for less than £5 all together. Look out for the new issue of OXM on shelves tomorrow. Subscribers are receiving theirs already.