Telltale Games has released their fifth and final episode of “The Walking Dead” in their episodic game series, and let me tell you, this is the best episode of all five, and it sticks that landing for their series better than anyone could have ever hoped for.
This is a game that from now on, you’ll be hearing and talking about for years to come. It’s one of those games that once you finish it, you will think about it for weeks to come, and will recommend it with the highest degree to all of your friends. This game has possibly created a whole new genre of games, and I have a feeling many games will be following in its story and play style.
The first four episodes have all been leading up to this, Lee’s final episode in his compelling, story. This episode gives us tense, emotional, exciting, and terrifying moments that all come together as one, and it works so well that if anyone wants to be in the conversation for best games, it should be in their best interests to play this game.
Some spoilers might follow for episodes one through four, none for five, read at your own risk.
Episode five is picking up right from where episode four ended, and you’re now looking for Clementine with time slowly running out. Hordes of Walkers are bearing down on Savannah, and who knows what our masked villain could be doing to Clementine. This sets the stage for an epic episode, because every moment from here on out in the episode is going to be amazing.
Episode four really wasn’t pushing the button when it came to decision-making, and the narrative wasn’t being pushed… like at all. Episode five turns that completely around, and will have you making snap decisions left and right, and it kept me on my feet and attentive to the story the entire time, listening to everyone’s dialogue and when I did it really made me care about whoever was left from the original cast of characters, and made me try my best to get everyone out alive no matter what the cost.
In reality, only a few decisions will drastically affect your story, but that doesn’t matter. Telltale has orchestrated these decisions so well and it makes you think every last one of your moves will affect your story in an entirely different way each time. That’s what works so well. You’re running on borrowed time, you’re trying to get to Clementine as fast as you can, it makes it so the unexpected now lies around every corner you turn, and it gives us a sense of anything can happen.
By the time the you and the group slows down, Telltale gives us a chance to reflect on everything from the past episodes thus far and it draws us the picture we’ve thought out basically. While talking with the group, the choices you had made back in previous episodes really start coming back to us. I won’t give any examples to avoid spoilers, but this makes you want to play through the entire series again, make different choices, and see how it all plays out.
The gameplay is pretty much the same, puzzles really aren’t that difficult, still mainly a point and click adventure. It is unfortunate that the frame rate will drop at certain times, switching scenes can cause a slight freeze, the audio messed up a few times for me, and there were some slightly choppy moments, but these are only minor problems that do nothing to hinder an almost perfect game.
There is a great standoff by the group at one point, very, very emotional and heartbreaking deaths that made me reflect on my choices and whether or not I could have saved that person, some conversations that were so tense I just wanted to practically tear my arm off, and the ending was just icing on the cake, and just was more than anyone could have hoped for, and it assures me that Season 2 of The Walking Dead video game series will continue in Season 1’s footsteps, and be absolutely incredible.
Gameplay: Same old puzzles, point and click, nothing new. Technical hiccups can be a nuisance. 9.5
Graphics: With a unique art style, the game has never looked better. 10
Presentation: The game’s menu is still just a bit slow sometimes, but other than that the background for it is similar to the theme of the game and is used to good effect. 9.5
Sound: Voice acting is incredible, walker sounds are top-notch, and the music always chimes in just at the right moments. 10
Overall: The Walking Dead game series has been amazing, and episode 5 has stuck the landing. I would highly recommend this game like no other to every gamer, whether they’re casual or hardcore. It was awesome.
Version reviewed: Playstation 3.
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