After sharing the first part of my Tell Me Why review last month I was gearing up to share the next part. While I’ve been looking forward to sharing part two, I still feel very nervous posting it as it isn’t my normal style of writing. However, despite the countless drafts and edits made over the past few months as well as taking a step back, I was ready to share my experience of Tell Me Why with the world.
Without further ado, here is my review of DONTNOD’s Tell Me Why Chapter Two. If you haven’t read my review for Chapter One, you can check it out here.
Note: This review contains spoilers relating to the storyline of the game.
Chapter Two – Family Secrets
After the unexpected ending of Tell Me Why chapter one, I was not only left shocked but also curious to see what lays ahead for the Ronan twins. This caused me to have even more unanswered questions than I previously had but again, I knew they would be answered shortly. After a quick opening recap from Alyson and Tyler. I was ready to jump back in. I began to feel nervous to play, but I was ready for it.
Once the Crafty Goblins had finished telling their story, there was a short segment showing Alyson. She was standing in the pouring rain just outside the Ronan home. Soaked through but also clearly troubled by what had just happened.
Before I had a chance to find out more, I was quickly taken back to a young Tyler and Alyson. Mary-Ann was reading the twins a story from the Book of Goblins. There seemed to be a rare moment of happiness between all three of them during this scene which was lovely to see. Soon after, Alyson had gone to get some more ice cream, the mood suddenly shifted. You could feel the panic and worry that suddenly became very apparent. Tyler was outside shouting for help. The music became louder, more intense, more dramatic, and I felt nervous to find out what had happened.
Even though the chapter had only just started, I was determined to continue following their journey as well as their search for answers and closure.
At this point, I finally received some clarity on a couple of the questions that I had from the end of chapter one. It was almost as if the game had given me the missing puzzle piece when in fact, it had just created a brand-new puzzle for me.
Without dwelling on my new-found curiosity, I continued to follow Alyson and Tyler while they carried on sorting out their home. Switching between the present and reminiscing about their childhood via the twin’s bonds was interesting and helped with bringing the story together.
One moment during this early section of the game that stood out to me is how continually open Tyler is about being Transgender. He very openly and confidently talks about his plans for after they are finished in Delos Crossing. How he wants to get his top surgery and take the next step in his journey in becoming who he is.
Sam is also reintroduced to use in this chapter, and from the moment he reappeared, something didn’t sit right with me. I just couldn’t pinpoint what that was. While he comes across as a nice person who wanted to help Mary-Ann and the twins I felt like he was hiding something and not just anything either. However, I think the barn may have something to do with it.
With Sam now out of the picture, Alyson and Tyler experience another bond yet both of them remember it differently. The only thing for certain was that it involved Mary-Ann and Eddy. The conversation was quite serious but initially somewhat vague. Although you see the bond from the perspective of both twins it had me wondering about what truly happened. Was Eddy trying to help the Ronan’s or was he just doing his job? All that we know is that Eddy had to make that call at the end of the day.
Up until this moment I had been playing as Alyson but with the twins deciding to go and visit Eddy at the police station, you swap over to playing as Tyler. At this point in the chapter, I was feeling a little bit confused. The title of this chapter is Family Secrets and there was an element of secrets being kept hidden from Alyson and Tyler. The confusion was mainly coming from the wave of new questions I found myself asking while trying to piece together all the different puzzle pieces. All I knew was that the ride was far from over.
The next portion of the game focuses on trying to talk to Eddy while at the police station. I was hopeful that I may find more answers and also understand the meaning behind the title of the chapter however, only time would tell.
After attempting to ask Eddy some questions, I continued with Alyson and Tyler and the search to find the answers to their questions but more importantly trying to find their case file from the night Mary-Ann died. With the uncertainty of if anything would be found I felt a little apprehensive about what would happen next. Sneakily searching through Eddy’s office made me feel slightly nervous as I kept thinking he would appear suddenly at any moment. Luckily he never did. While Alyson and Tyler did come across one or two things while searching the office, it wasn’t what they were looking for.
Venturing into the archive room, I began to feel nervous. This time I knew Eddy would find them and even though Alyson was on guard outside the room, it was only a matter of time before Tyler would be found. While trying to find a case file might be straightforward, the more I searched for it the more secrets that came to light. This was the moment when the title, Family Secrets started to make more sense. After gathering as much information as I could and using the twins bond to communicate with one another, Tyler’s time was up.
With Eddy noticeably disappointed to find the twins sneaking around the police station, he was somewhat remorseful and understanding as to why they did it. Yet, with more questions, it was time for the three of them to sit down and talk.
Whilst scouring through the various files for answers, Tessa’s name cropped up. Back in chapter one, the twins learned a little bit about Mary-Ann and Tessa’s relationship. It came across as a bit of a love-hate type of relationship. I was curious about the truth of their initial friendship then, but now I was questioning how authentic it was.
Even though the conversation with Eddy for me went better than expected, I knew my next steps would be talking to Tessa. I didn’t feel nervous any more. I was more optimistic that Tessa would provide some clarity on some of what Tyler found in the various case files.
Veni Vidi Vecchi was the next port of call. However, when Alyson and Tyler arrived they only found Tom and Michael. Tom revealed that Tessa was visiting the local cemetery and even though the twins asked Tom some of their questions, he wasn’t able to truly answer them enough. They knew that they would have to eventually visit the cemetery themselves for the first time in several years; they just hadn’t planned on it being so soon. Alyson and Tyler agreed to help Michael close down the shop and then the three of them would head off to the cemetery together.
While closing down the shop, Tyler got talking to Michael. There instantly seemed to be some kind of connection between the two of them, and it was nice to see Tyler somewhat relaxed and having fun for a moment. After finishing counting stock and sitting down to talk, They connected on many different things, talked about the LGBT community, and maybe one day getting to know each other, maybe a bit more. You could see just how happy both of them were when they were just hanging out and having fun.
However, it was time to leave for the cemetery. There was a feeling of uneasiness as well as anxiety when Alyson and Tyler first arrived. It was completely normal considering the amount of time it had been since they were last there. Even I felt anxious for them. The first task was to find Tessa however after their initial search, she was nowhere to be found. Alyson and Tyler shared a handful of bonds from when they were last at the cemetery, the sadness and pain they were going through felt even more realistic than it had before. At this point, the anxiety began to set in again the closer they got to Mary-Ann’s grave.
They found Tessa over by their late Mother’s grave. She was planning and laying some flowers as she had been doing so for many years. Alyson and Tyler confronted Tessa and amongst all the confusion, anger, pain and sadness came a moment of forgiveness. Mary-Ann’s death had made a bigger impact than what the twins first thought, and it became clear that many people were just wanting to help her and the children as best as they could. Despite the conversation going better than expected, Tessa did slip up when it came to Sam and instantly regretted when she mentioned him to only brush it off as if nothing happened.
This raised even more questions for Alyson and Tyler (and myself) which would be hanging over them on their journey back to the house. Things seemed to be going to plan until they reached the house to see the barn was alight. After putting out the fire it was clear that someone was there to get something they forgot. After discovering what the mysterious person was trying to find, it was clear that there were even more secrets surrounding them. Maybe this was someone trying to cover up what Tessa had revealed or that they were close to discovering who their father was? The twins tried to revisit a few more bonds while making their way towards the dock but this time they couldn’t get the connection they needed and the bonds wouldn’t form. The frustration, pain, and feelings of confusion and sadness seemed stronger than ever before and this helped bring chapter two to a close.
While I felt that Chapter two started slower, this chapter helped bulk the story out and fill in some gaps. It answered many questions that I had from chapter one but also created plenty of unexpected moments and even more questions. It was nice to have the opportunity to play as both Alyson and Tyler equally and the choices I made during these first two chapters I’m sure will give me an ending that I’m happy with in chapter three. I know that the journey is far from over, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the final chapter has in store for me.
Want to read more about Tell Me Why? You can check out my review for Chapter Three here.