Name: The Walking Dead: The Final Season – Episode 1-3
Developer: Telltale Games/Skybound Games
Publisher: Skybound Games
Released: 14.08.2018 – 15.01.2019
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Reviewed on: PC
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided by a publisher for review purpose
Clementine’s story is entering its final stages. Six years after we first got to know this amazing girl, Skybound has taken over development from Telltale Games (who went bankrupt) and luckily, Clem is still herself through and through!
Let’s get done with the obvious first – as the fourth installment, The Walking Dead: The Final Season makes it close to mandatory to have played the former games to get the most out of the story. Sure, the game is playable without any knowledge about the series from before, but it would take away 95% of the joy I had.
If you’ve played the previous games (or watched let’s plays or whatever) you most definitely want to play The Walking Dead: The Final Season. Now that Clementine has become a grown-up, she’s more determined to live through this with the other survivors. She’s no longer an insecure tween and certainly takes her responsibilities seriously. And man, the story with Clementine is one to experience!
The Walking Dead: The Final Season follows the same graphical style as the series have since its launch. Sort of cartoony, but also with a feel of dirt and famine. Of course, The Walking Dead: The Final Season looks a lot better than the original The Walking Dead, yet it still has that same feel to it.
The facial animations have certainly gotten a lift since last time around, and the semi-realistic/cartoony look certainly fits Clementine and the others. The close environmental textures have also taken a step up. Still far from Red Dead Redemption 2, of course, but it has its own style, and rocks that!
Just as you’d expect, The Walking Dead: The Final Season follows the same principals as its predecessor games. Survive, no matter the costs. Make some choices. And most of all, make sure to close your eyes when things go to Hell.
The gameplay does focus a lot on progressing with the story, and you could say that the game could just as easily be a novel. However, the feeling of killing zombies, and protecting all you care about is beyond most things in life. And although the game doesn’t allow you to kill off characters like Until Dawn, every near-death experience is filled with adrenaline and an eagerness to keep on living.
The Walking Dead: The Final Season follows the standard Telltale control system. Partially point and click, and partially moving around in the environment. It does feel a bit outdated, unfortunately. However, that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It works, and as Alf Ramsey once said: “Never change a winning team”. The same goes for the control system. It’s not perfect, but it works. If you’ve played Telltale games before you’ll know exactly how to control Clem.
As with previous games in the series, the illusion of choice is still the red thread with the replay value of The Walking Dead: The Final Season. Unfortunately, after several games following that very same recipe, the illusion is easy to see through, and what you do doesn’t have that many repercussions after all.
Telltale and their games have been “out-Telltaled” by for example Life is Strange, The Council and Oxenfree. Where these game actually changes something more than the dialogue, The Walking Dead: The Final Season is still mostly about dialogue and not so much about actual consequences.
Replay Value 6
The Walking Dead: The Final Season takes more of the same you’re used to from the earlier games and makes sure it works. Skybound has kept the Telltale feel, and Clementine is growing up a badass woman. Sure, the controls feel quite old, and the replay value is only contained to dialogue. The story, however, is close to perfect. The game looks great, and Clem is still one of my favorite characters of all time.
- Great story
- Looks good
- Illusion of choice