Remember the closing episode of Lost? Where several seasons’ really worth of narrative basis was abandoned in favour of a chain of nostalgic flashbacks and weepy reunions? Looking again, you can see the sense in it: having written themselves into a corner, the display’s creators decided to tug at visitors’ heartstrings in the hope that they’d invested sufficient within the characters to at the least sense emotionally glad. The Walking Dead: The Final Season doesn’t have the identical knotty lore to address, but attempts to drag off a similar trick. Unlike Lost, it’s a neglected opportunity to attach extra absolutely with its beyond. But it’s similarly probable to initiate tears—and a few howls of frustration except.
Whether that is near the send-off that became originally planned for Clementine is difficult to divine—however truly her story wasn’t set to wrap up quite like this. It infrequently desires repeating that the crew that finished this season isn’t the same as the only that started out it (they’re credited because the ‘still not bitten’ team, which seems like a crass misjudgement inside the situations). Penultimate chapter Broken Toys doesn’t appear to endure too many obvious scars from Telltale’s unexpected, awful closure, suggesting the bulk of the paintings had already been executed. Instead, it’s the last, vital chapter of Clem’s story that feels curtailed and compromised.
Until then, the very last season makes a case for being the strongest for the reason that first. Our increasingly more global-weary protagonist has grown from a timid baby to a hard-nosed survivor, prepared to do anything it takes to preserve her buddies and loved ones alive. Here, her story comes full circle: she’s now the person 1/2 of a surrogate figure/child courting, offering vital existence training to the orphaned AJ as Lee did to her in Season One. You have a touch greater input in the regulations you establish for the kid, but otherwise we’re on similar narrative ground—with one small however extensive difference. Born right into a violent world, AJ has in no way acknowledged what existence was like earlier than the zombies arrived. As a end result, he’s tons greater unstable, with a twisted sense of right and incorrect.At times, that makes for great drama. You’re regularly reminded that he’s just a youngster, though his outbursts make him a completely distinctive proposition from young Clementine. It’s a unstable pass: hardened by way of condition, he can be hard to heat to, however looking to address his warped concept of morality results in some thought-frightening moments as Clem is forced to consider the hypocrisy of her own behaviour. And you’ll quickly study that leading by using instance handiest goes to date. Your choices can be misinterpreted in approaches you don’t count on—most obviously in a disturbing scene right at the give up of episode one, a jaw-loosening cliffhanger that proves, in spite of everything this time, The Walking Dead is still able to stunning us. To paraphrase Hideo Kojima: you’ll feel ashamed of your phrases and deeds.
It also handily solves the second one season’s largest trouble, where Clem by hook or by crook have become the de facto chief of a bunch of adults. Now, having fallen in with a set of faculty-age survivors at an institute for troubled children, it makes more experience that she’s the selection-maker: she has, in spite of everything, spent longer within the world past the bounds those creative kids have hooked up. And the tale pumps the brakes just often sufficient for us to get to realize them—though as ever with The Walking Dead, it’s fine now not to get too attached. A close by organization of survivors hoping to forcibly ‘recruit’ your new friends are this season’s important risk, while the confrontations that comply with consist of a marvel come upon with a face from Clem’s beyond.
As ordinary, the writers get to decide which relationships are critical, even though this time you’re given the choice of beginning a tentative romance with the introverted Violet or laid-back Louis, imparting some welcome moments of tenderness amid the tension. Regardless of your desire, Clem’s love interest is basically sidelined in the later degrees—even extra so in case you make a positive, seemingly unrelated, choice in an in advance scene. But that’s nothing as compared to an 11th-hour surprise that feels like a complete cheat. It hinges upon a series that calls for at the least massive leaps of faith at the player’s element, undermining the credibility of the climax.
Yet I’d be mendacity if I pretended, as with Lost, that I stayed dry-eyed until the credits—though a whole lot of that is all the way down to the efforts of folks who never were given the possibility to place the finishing touches to Clementine’s story. She may were too excellent a character to be left in limbo, however this concluding bankruptcy leaves you questioning what could have been had Telltale still been around to shut the e-book.