The Walking Dead season 1 brought the point and click adventure games into the spotlight. The concept of the game offering multiple choices for the story wasn’t really a new idea but the execution was different. The writing was something special and the game ended up winning many industry awards. Since the release of the first season in 2012, it has continued to receive new seasons but this had to end at some point. Every story has an ending so the same happens here as The Walking Dead’s final season brings the story of Clementine to its conclusion.
The first season of The Walking Dead featured Lee who is into the custody of the police just as the zombie apocalypse begins. The first human that he meets after escaping a terrible car crash was Clementine, and it is at this point that she becomes a part of Lee’s journey which ends on a tragic note. The bond between Lee and Clementine is still regarded as one of the best in gaming, and their relationship further set a benchmark for writing in video games.
Clementine takes the center focus through the rest of the seasons for The Walking Dead and while they never reach the highs of the first season, they were greatly enjoyable short experiences that only added more to the character development for Clementine and letting the users grow with her through every episode and season. By the end of the third season, Clementine seems determined and ready to take life into her own hands.
The story takes place seven years after the events in the first season. It begins with an emotional flashback that also cycles through some of the choices that you as a player had to make in the story. It serves as a good reminder of how far the story has come along since Lee discovered Clementine. The central theme of this season was to go back to the roots of The Walking Dead. Just like Lee took care of Clementine, it is up to her now to take care of AJ. He was just a child when Clementine found her and has since taken care of him while mentoring him against the threats of this post-apocalyptic world.
The Walking Dead plays an important emphasis on the relationship between Clementine and AJ. In many ways, it feels like a parallel to the relationship of Lee with Clementine so at least the developers managed to get it right for the final season. If you have played all three seasons, there will be some familiar faces that will make their return here but to avoid spoilers, I will try to stay away from sharing any details about the story or plot.
As we came to know, the former developers of The Walking Dead, TellTale Games weren’t able to get the complete season out so while the first two episodes were their work, the rest ended up under Skybound Games who hired some of the ex-TellTale Games staff to complete this season. As a result, there are some issues with the last two episodes and the story is a little flawed overall, but it is still a solid final season that ends gracefully and tries to close as many loose ends as possible.
Just like any of the episodic adventure games, the gameplay relies on a mixture of quick-time events, exploration, and dialogue choices. For what it is worth, most of the action happens a lot faster now and there is no delay between animations so you will be able to make use of most of the quick-time events with ease. You don’t have to suffer through delayed animations and the dynamic events make it more interesting than simply pressing a button.
In every episode–which will take a little more than 2 hours–players have to make decisions that can end up affecting how the story plays out. It is not merely an illusion but the developers have executed this mechanic well enough that you can notice the impact of your choices affecting the other characters. The writing makes it clear that you are not making an easy decision and when stuck in a tight spot, it is always a bit of a dilemma to figure out the best thing to do in every situation.
I have always enjoyed making my story in such video games and with the last season, it feels like they carry a great deal of impact now. Just before you start the first episode, the game will ask you to load save data from the first three seasons. Of course, if you are like me and have played them on different platforms, you can still manage to pick the important choices from them with a flashback system which will end up making changes to how the season plays out. It seems like the perfect solution to offer here and I am glad to have it for this final season.
Disclaimer: This review was possible thanks to a code given for the PS4 by Skybound Games
The Walking Dead: The Final Season Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: A secluded school might finally be Clementine’s chance for a home, but protecting it will mean sacrifice.
Final Score - 8/10
It is gut wrenching to reach the end of The Walking Dead knowing the fate of the series, but it ends on such a high note that it feels like a privilege to take part in this journey of Clementine from the beginning to its end.