Format: PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Mac
Release Date: November 20th, 2012
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
ESRB Rating: M
The final episode of the tragic series closes the door on our survivors' story, with a lackluster previous episode, the fifth episode proves to be the best out of the sorrowful episodes.
Story, Presentation, and Core Gameplay:
There will be a few spoilers from previous episodes, but none from episode 5, so don't be worried if you haven't played the last chapter yet. The story of Lee and Clementine has only gotten better, its been filled with tense and emotional scenes that makes you feel like you're actually there in a post-apocalpytic world. Episode 5 starts right off where 4 left off, Clementine has been taken, Lee was surprisingly bitten by a walker, and there's an approaching horde of zombies on the horizon. Things are worse than ever, and if you thought the story was tragic in previous chapters, chapter 5 will be a real tearjerker. Episode 4 was probably the least eventful, other than the ending, and that was because the episode was a setup for 5. The narrative never slows down, you used to make maybe one or two big decisions in an episode, but the final chapter has you making tough choices after every scene it seems. The last of your choices don't alter the ending drastically, but you'll be satisfied with the ending Telltale has set out to craft. This is the complete opposite the route Mass Effect 3 took, which had your choices and actions help create an ending that was tailored to your story, one of the main reasons a lot of people hated it. Since you know that Lee has been bitten, this creates great sense urgency that your characters all exude. The writing has never been better, further bringing these characters to the realm of reality. At times, it feels like you're watching the wonderful TV show, the sense of realism alone has never been seen before in a video game. You learn to value each character as if they were your actual friends, even when you came across new faces, and even when you lost most of them to the undead, you become even more connected to the ones who actually survive along with you.
You're greeted with some new areas to explore, but if you're expecting a grand change in scenery, you're gonna be disappointed. This series has never sounded so good, until episode 5, the music is absolutely incredible, it fades in and out as you move seamlessly through the different scenes. The voice work is just as stupendous as before, each one of the survivors are voiced perfectly. I hope the soundtrack becomes available as a seperate download in the future, I would love to have it in my collection of great video game soundtracks. In terms of gameplay, what you expect to get, is exactly what you're getting. The final chapter has the most action of the five episodes, with the largest zombie encounter to date, the action scenes have never been better. You're given a few harmless puzzles that won't take you long to complete, they're just used to break up the action, and slow the game down a bit. When the game slows down, thats when the narrative is at it's best. The one on one conversations you have with the survivors are just superb, I really felt bad for the characters. As they reflect on their long and arduous journey, you really reminisce along with them. I love that a video game could make anyone feel attached to their characters, and The Walking Dead proves just that.
Episode 5 of the Walking Dead game proves to be the best of the series. It has the most emotional scenes and features some of the best music I've heard all year. This is the pinnacle of storytelling, and what other games should strive to accomplish.
S&S Rating: 9.75/10