The Walking Dead Episode 5: No Time Left caps the series with a stark emotional tone that may have the more sensitive in tears. If you’re a fan of the comic or TV series then you already know one thing: there is not a shiny, happy ending waiting for you in this game.
I won’t give away details; there are plenty of video spoilers already out there to ruin your day if you haven’t played the game. Suffice to say that relationships change, personal issues are resolved, and people die—some or all of them people you will have undoubtedly come to care about.
But amid all of it, a bare sliver of hope survives—just enough so to keep you wanting more. This is essentially what defines the very nature of The Walking Dead.
Lend me a hand
Episode 5 doesn’t waste any time forcing you to make a terrible choice, with all the uncertainty of how it may affect the rest of the game making the decision all the more difficult. I won’t give it away, but suffice to say it involves an injured hand. Ash would waste no time making the decision.
And it doesn’t really get much better from there. Many choices must be made quickly under duress, but if there’s silver lining in the desperation running deeply throughout the episode, it’s Lee’s determination to find and free Clementine.
This drives both Lee and his group of survivors with a unified determination that has largely eluded them until now. In Episode 5, the group finally manages to put aside or resolve personal issues and unite to a common goal they can all support: saving Clementine. This is no small victory; It’s a triumph that reminds us humanity and the human spirit can still endure even under severe hardship and loss.
Episode 5: No Time Left is itself a little short on time—it’s a bit lighter on gameplay and shorter than the previous four episodes. I think I finished it in about 90 minutes or less, compared to the approximate 2 hours each for episodes 1-4. Regardless, Episode 5 doesn’t feel any less satisfying in terms of the story, and it’s still one of the best episodes in the series, perhaps second only to Episode 3: The Long Road Ahead.
If you haven’t played the series yet, put it at the top of your list. Even if you’re not a fan of ‘adventure’ games, The Walking Dead is a wholly different experience from the hunt-and-click games you may associate with the genre. It’s easily on par with the quality of the stories, tension, and emotional drama of the TV series and the comic.
But unlike the comic or TV show, The Walking Dead forces you to actually make difficult life-and-death choices—choices that force you to confront some of your worst fears that never have a clear “right” answer. You’ll establish relationships with characters that you truly care about—and especially Clementine, the nine-year old girl you’re trying to protect.
Overall: 5/5 Stars
If I had an ‘official’ award to give Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead I would. Instead, I’ll settle for saying that Telltale’s The Walking Dead series is one of the best games of any genre of 2012.