Wow. Who would’ve thought in September that we would be back here now?
The shot heard around the world was that Telltale Games had shut down. For good. In the process, we lost a fantastic game company, and games like The Wolf Among Us disappeared with the tide. Perhaps it was a good thing that, at the time, they had already started The Walking Dead: The Final Season. If not, chances are I wouldn’t be here now, writing this review.
Thanks to the creator of The Walking Dead universe himself, Robert Kirkman’s game studio decided to pick up where they left off, bringing people from Telltale in to help give the series the end it deserves. Since it’s been a while, let’s briefly summarise the previous episode, shall we? Reader warning: this review might contain some spoilers. However, I can say that the episode is good, and that you should play it.
We met a character we haven’t seen since season 1; Lilly. If you don’t remember her, she’s the mean one whom you may or may not have left on the side of the road. She was a bad person then, and she is a bad person now. The difference is that she now has a group of raiders supporting her, treating her as their leader. Things got heated when Clementine, AJ, and their group of rebellious teenagers had to defend the school from Lilly’s invasion. Sacrifices were made, and hope seemed lost.
We managed to capture Abel, Lilly’s right-hand man. As always, Clem has to do the dirty work and interrogate Abel to find out where the raiders have taken the other kids. We will find out where they are, no matter the cost. Even in a post-apocalyptic world where one would think humans have to work together to survive, they still choose to find reasons to hunt and murder each other.
There is a small war going on, and Lilly’s group of raiders are kidnapping people to fight for them. This ultimately means that their hidden lair is where we need to go to save our friends. Queue “Eye of the Tiger”. In the meantime, figuring out how to infiltrate their base might take some time; and they are going to need help. Who better to turn to than James, our only other friend outside the school? He has a different philosophy towards Walkers than most people, seeing them as innocent people rather than mere monsters; believing their soul still exists inside what deceivingly looks like an empty, broken vessel.
The night before everything is supposed to go down, Clementine has a dream. A dream which threw all the feels upon The Walking Dead fans who have been following this series since the very beginning. Flashback to the train-scene from Season One – and in comes our sweet, sweet Lee. Clementine’s substitute parent. This scene was one of the most touching since the first season for several reasons:
- The fact that whenever Clementine needs a safe space, it is with Lee, on the train where he taught her everything she needed to know to keep her safe.
- Whenever Clementine needs help and feels insecure, Lee is the one to give her advice.
- The scene makes an incredibly touching transformation between child Clementine and adolescent Clementine.
- This scene is everything.
When I managed to recuperate from this very emotional scene, I took a step back to look at the gameplay. Like I mentioned in the previous review, the combat system is still very unforgiving. One mistake, and you’re dead. But I guess that makes sense when you’re living in a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic world.
Since it was the first episode given out by Skybound Games, players were warned that the episode might contain some bugs. They were already aware of the problem and suggested to players what they could do to fix it. When playing it myself, I didn’t encounter any major bugs, just some audio disruptions, and some bad transitions between scenes. Nothing that ruined the experience, which I’m pleased with.
This was, all in all, a solid comeback for the series, and a worthy continuation of what Telltale started. I was impressed with how the episode was basically an emotional rollercoaster, and I’m excited to see what the final episode of The Final Season will bring. If everything goes according to plan, the last episode will be released on March 26, titled “Take Us Back”. I don’t think I ever will be ready to say goodbye. But all good adventures must eventually come to an end.
Still. Not. Bitten.