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  • Todd Puhl

Game Review: TellTale’s The Walking Dead

Updated: May 27, 2019

The Final Controversial Hurrah

The Concept:

As of this writing the Steam had it at 90%, and GameSpot was at 9/10.

The Recap:

The Walking Dead: The Final Season is an episodic adventure game developed by Telltale Games and later Skybound Games, based on Robert Kirkman's comic book series of the same name. The fourth and final episode in The Walking Dead video game series has the story continue after Clem has finally found A.J and is trying to survive the zombie filled world.

The final season comes with a ton of controversy and has nothing to do with the story. It has everything to do with the Publisher, TellTale.

On September 21, 2018, Telltale announced they were undergoing a "majority studio closure", laying off nearly all staff and leaving only 25 to complete the studio's remaining obligations. The state of The Final Season was unknown, while other planned studio projects were canceled.

This caused an uproar with the gaming community, as some(like myself) purchased the season pass and was basically told tough luck on getting a refund. Also, another major concern is that the company knew that they would not be able to finish the product but still pushed to do what they can do and keep the money paid in advance.

The second episode was still released on September 25, 2018. Until they are able to figure out how the last two episodes will be played out, Telltale asked retailers and digital storefronts to pull sales of the game and the season pass.

During the 2018 New York Comic Con, Robert Kirkman announced that his production company, Skybound Entertainment, would be helping to bring the last two episodes to release. According to Skybound, they have acquired the rights of the game from Telltale, and will be working with former Telltale Games employees who worked on the series to finish off the episodes.

They moved forward and released the 3rd episode on January 15th 2019, followed by the final episode to be released on March 25th, 2019.

The story in the final episode compared to the previous episodes had its strong points but fell very flat. It suffered the same demise as the popular hit show, Prison Break during the writers strike. They simply did not know how to end it.

This season primarily revolved around being a good parent to A.J and showing him the difference between right/wrong while struggling to survive with the daily hazards of zombies and raiders. It did touch on strong subjects such as discovering sexuality as a teenager, growing up in a dead/unforgiving world and how impressionable kids can be regardless of the circumstance.

The decisions you make will influence on the person A.J becomes whether if he remains a timid/scared child or a ruthless killer. Even if that wasn’t your intent. Like every season before, you run into a familiar face to continue the story along but it was the actual brutality you can do I found the most interesting.

The good:

  • It is always great to play as Clem. Over the years Clem has been intertwined through every story except for the Michonne mini series. They kept her relevant over the years.

  • The gameplay received an overhaul and gave you more of a open world feel

  • This would be the first game where most of your decisions influence the demise of characters rather than 6 points throughout a chapter.

  • It was good to see we could have Clem make regular teenager decisions. Such as dating preferences, flirting, teen awkwardness and etc. Gave it a good sense of realism.

The bad:

  • A lot of the plot lines were cookie cutter stories from the pre existing show/comic series. They introduced a wannabe whisperer which his storyline arc felt like it was just thrown in as The Whisperers are currently hot on the show right now

  • The story felt like it was just thrown together. Every season prior had a rhyme and reason why the story followed that path whereas this one clearly felt it was just thrown together

  • The ending left a bad taste in my mouth. It fell completely flat. Mind you, I could run though the final episode again and chose a different path. However, I am so demotivated from the episode I couldn't be bothered. I uninstalled the game right after the credits ran.

Why we should play or not play it:

Honestly. I will always feel that Clem deserved better. This poor child has seen so much adversity and horror over 4 seasons, it will always made apparent she would never get a break. Which is depressing. After losing countless amount of friends, to wrap up like this, feels like they were just closing the chapter of her life for the sake of it. Hell, they could have gone as far as to tie it in to the main show. How come the first season had Herschel and Glenn but nothing thereafter?

If TellTale knew they were not going to be able to pull this off, they should not have even bothered. I find it so disheartening as this is a huge game publisher and short of the Back To The Future game, I owned all of them. Even the Wolf Among Us.

RIP TellTale

Rating: 3/5 Stars

#thewalkingdead #telltale #clementine #finalseason

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