The Walking Dead The Final Season Episode 1 Review – Done Sequeling
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Release: 14th August 2018
What started years ago, made Telltale a huge amount of money and definitely contributed to their current course of putting out more and more series, is now coming to an end. I´m speaking of course, about their almost legendary The Walking Dead video game. With three seasons, it´s not only their longest running one but also most successful as it seems. However, they finally decided to end Clementine´s journey with 4 last episodes titles The Final Season.
Several years after the third season, Clementine finally found AJ, the boy who kinda became her own child over the years she spent with him. Driving through the dying world, they´re simply hoping to live another day and get by. However, when their search for food begins to escalate one day, they find themselves saved by a group of kids, living in their old school in their own society. Now both Clementine and especially AJ have to adapt and learn to cooperate with those people once again.
The Walking Dead The Final Season Episode 1 presents us with an older version of our beloved “heroine”, however, this time, despite the commercials, everything isn´t centred on her but on the connection between her and AJ. The girl who once started under the protection of Lee now has someone to protect and teach as well. During all those years, Telltale told the story of one girl and now it ends with this girl becoming the person she still admires as her idol.
As previously said, they quickly find themselves in a society of kids of various ages, with its completely own dynamic, rules and characters. Incidentally, it´s also the first time AJ actually gets into contact with children in his age. For someone as isolated from typical children activities as him, he´s naturally nervous and scared of making contact or even attempting to make friends. While killing zombies and surviving is still a big part of the episode, the true heart is dedicated to the growing character of AJ, who slowly learns what it means to be and act like a kid, find friends and become a part of a social environment. Easily the most enjoyable parts were the ones where he needed Clementine (our) assistance in talking to the children or interact with them.
Though the other half is still the classic The Walking Dead Telltale stuff, we kill zombies and follow a somewhat underwhelming “story”. While the combat doesn´t solely consist of QTEs anymore, the new approach of being able to either stun or kill a zombie with a simple button press, adds only a paper thin layer of depth to the gameplay when you´re facing bigger hordes. Nonetheless, it´s certainly refreshing and more intense than simply executing simple button prompts. Whereas the guiding plot didn´t quite make a move just yet here, which could be problematic if Telltale aims to base all four episodes around Clementine and AJ growing into their rather foreseeable roles in this society, due to the fact, it already showed a few signs of boredom towards the end.
Graphically, The Walking Dead The Final Season Episode 1 doesn´t reinvent the wheel either, rocking the same Telltale models and art style we know from season 1 in many ways. Obviously, the overall quality was improved over the years but the general style is still present, even though the backgrounds, in particular, seem a bit more “cinematic” than in previous instalments. Generally speaking, the whole episode looks more like another streamlined version of the whole presentation, this time especially for the backgrounds.
In summary, The Walking Dead The Final Season Episode 1 biggest strength is once again the human relationships formed in the devastated world. By focusing on Clementine and AJ, it lays the foundation to tell the final step of the girl who grew alongside us. Yet, in the end, it all depends on what Telltale has in store for us now and how they plan to mix the quite foreseeable outcome up.
[A Review Code was provided by Telltale Games]