The Walking Dead: The Final Season "Broken Toys" Review PS4

The Walking Dead: The Final Season “Broken Toys” Review [PS4] – An Emotional Comeback

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.

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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.

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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: 

  1. 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.
  2. Whenever Clementine needs help and feels insecure, Lee is the one to give her advice.
  3. The scene makes an incredibly touching transformation between child Clementine and adolescent Clementine.
  4. 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.

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The Walking Dead: The Final Season PS4 Review

The Walking Dead: The Final Season “Suffer The Children” Review [PS4] – Abandon Hope?

For the first time in a very long time, I don’t know how to start a review. Do I continue as usual? Do I start with explaining what happened? I guess pretty much everyone knows by now.

Telltale Games went bankrupt. I don’t think you could’ve missed it. Some grabbed the opportunity to yell out “I told you so!”, some responded with anger for them not being able to finish one project before jumping onto another, and some responded with sadness and apathy.

I didn’t really realise just how much these news upset me when I first read about it. But the fact is, I am truly upset about it. To me, Telltale Games wasn’t just a game company. It’s someone I have followed from the beginning, someone who inspired me to pursue my passion for games. And to see them basically vaporise like that was…. bizarre, to say the least. But it’s not a new phenomenon.

Fear not, my friends. Ask, and ye shall receive. The creator of The Walking Dead universe Robert Kirkman’s game company Skybound announced that they will be picking up the pieces left by the ruins of Telltale, to see The Final Season through to the end. Even though this is beyond great news, I’ll personally believe the series will have an end when I see it in front of me on my TV-screen.

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Like these two, I’ll be waiting.

If you look away from the business and economic aspect of the video game industry, Suffer The Children is all-in-all a very good episode. I will, like the review of the last episode, try and create a spoiler-free review as much as possible.

Episode 2 takes us back to the school and the group of teens we met in the previous episode. There can never be enough drama in one episode, so needless to say there are some things Clementine and AJ have to take responsibility for. As a consequence, they are thrown out of their safe haven.

Unfortunately, they don’t get very far before a group of raiders catch them. This is where we meet a familiar character whose face we haven’t seen since season one. However, this face wasn’t friendly then, and is sure isn’t friendly now, either. This person has become the leader of this horrific group, and they don’t hesitate to threaten Clementine as they give a clear message of what they want; the children at the school.

We learn that there is a small war going on; there is a feud between two groups of people, and the group that catches Clementine and AJ is kidnapping (or as they call it, “recruiting”) children to make them fight for them. Yep, that’s messed up.

However, hope is never lost; with the help of a kind stranger, we manage to make our great escape. If the series would go on, I’m sure we would form an even stronger friendship with this character at some point. The kindness of this stranger teaches us about strengthening the right bonds, and we learn that most people react a certain way for a certain reason, and by learning that reason we understand what makes them tick. 

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It’s nothing personal, it’s just business.

Technically speaking, I noticed that the loading screens could, at times, be incredibly long. In addition, the controls felt a little off sometimes. The combat system was very unforgiving, and the game’s own tutorials kept feeding me the wrong controls. Yet, an analysis of the controls in this episode feels like missing the bigger picture.

All things considered, the ending of this approximately 2 ½ hours long episode feels like the biggest cliffhanger ever. When I finished the episode the news of Skybound taking over hadn’t come out yet, and I felt betrayed. Now, there might be hope. Some light at the end of the tunnel. We are in the middle of a story, and the threads are starting to unfold.

I thought I was ending this review feeling sad and frustrated. Even though Telltale as a company may be over, the talented people behind the name are still out there. And some of them will most probably be joining Skybound and create a proper ending to the series, completing an important chapter in video game narrative history.

In the meantime, I’ll be waiting. Patiently.

The Walking Dead: The Final Season PS4 Review

The Walking Dead: The Final Season “Done Running” Review [PS4] – The Beginning Of The End

The Walking Dead is back. And this time, for the very final season. Telltale Games have expanded The Walking Dead’s universe through 4 seasons, in addition to 400 Days and the mini-series Michonne. We have arrived at the end of the road with our dear Clementine, where we will hopefully receive an answer to the question we’ve been waiting for; will she lead the same fate as Lee?

I won’t be giving scores on each episode but will give a final score for the season in total. Therefore, these reviews will be short (but sweet). With that said, I’ll try to keep it as spoiler-free as possible, but as the series goes on, I will eventually be forced to talk about relevant events.

It was with a heavy heart that I sat down with TWD again, with the first episode “Done Running”. I can always appreciate ending a series when it’s good, but at the same time, I’m not at all ready to say goodbye.

Ever since the first season was published, I have spent a lot of my time on these games. I don’t mean just playing the games – that alone truly opened the world of storytelling in games for me. But they also inspired me to write my bachelor’s thesis on TWD Season 1, studying the video game alongside the comics; combining my passion for games with my studies. Even though I will most likely never have a conversation with someone from Telltale Games, I have a lot to thank them for. And I cannot think of a better opportunity to do that than with these final reviews.

The Walking Dead: The Final Season PS4 Review
She’s all grown up!

As always, the choices we make will have consequences as the story progresses. However, it will now also have repercussions for AJ – the little boy we came to know in the previous season, whom Clementine has become a parent-figure for. Our choices will have an impact on what kind of person he will grow up to become, how he is shaped as a human being.

In this episode, Clementine and AJ meet a group of kids at an abandoned school, who have created their own society and are generally living in peace. They get to know some of the kids there, they get their own room, and they are served food. Though I gotta say, accepting the kindness of strangers in this game feels weird and unnatural.

In terms of gameplay, some things have changed from the previous season. Because we now have our own room, you can gather collectables to decorate Clementine and AJ’s room, giving us a nice sense of finally belonging somewhere.

In terms of combat, you can choose to incapacitate the zombies before killing them, making it easier to deal with larger packs. In addition, I really have to praise Telltale Games for their development from season 1 regarding the graphics. It doesn’t just look better, but the shifting between scenes no longer have those small pauses they used to have, now they just smoothly move from one scene to another in one coherent motion. I love it.

But, as we have seen throughout the series, all good things must eventually come to an end. Nothing ever stays peaceful in the world of The Walking Dead, and one thing I’ve learned from these games is to never believe in a first impression. Towards the end of the episode, things start to get dramatic and increasingly intense. It ended with my mouth hanging open, saying: did I do that?

The Walking Dead: The Final Season PS4 Review
Watch this space.

In a way, I feel that as Clementine has grown, so has Telltale Games as a company. As an avid fan, among many others, I feel like I have been following their journey to the top; they went from being one of the smaller ones to becoming one of the most significant game developers when it comes to storytelling in games.

“Done Running” is a great start to the final season, and even though there have already been some surprising turns, I’m guessing that we haven’t seen the half of it, yet. The title is a good description of their momentary sanctuary, and just looking at the other titles for the remaining episodes makes me nervous. All in all, the episode looked amazingly good, it tugged at my emotions right away, and this is only the beginning.

So far, The Final Season is looking very good. One episode down. Three more to go.