Sadly, the end has come for many in The Walking Dead journey. With the fate of the greater good on a new horizon, I’m left with many emotions and reflections in the wake of episode 5. Where to begin…*BIG SPOILERS*
Telltale Games has reached gaming harmony with their signature QTE gameplay and The Walking Dead license. The industry has been graced with 5 gut wrenching episodes, threaded with seamless precision for a ghastly outcome, fans have been itching play out. Well, the final act, in the most gripping, emotional thrill ride of 2012, has reached its curtain call. Indeed there was “No Time Left,” but the good news, and I say this no regrets, it was all for Clementine.
The Walking Dead Episode 5: No Time Left, paints a grim picture for our hero Lee Everett, as the forces of fate have taken over and placed everyone on a potential one way ticket to save Clementine from an unknown antagonist.
NTL is without a doubt the shortest episode in the series, however, it houses, in my mind, the most arduous decisions; and in several cases, you have but a few seconds to choose these courses of action.
Had I not seen Herschel survive his ankle bite in the AMC series, I would have elected to keep Lee’s arm, but keeping the lack of time in mind, I chose the high road. To my surprise, Lee became even more courageous and is one of the toughest SOBs I’ve played since Gordon Freeman (HL2) and Leon S. Kennedy (RE4 version).
Despite roof top jumping over flooded streets of Z-freaks and fending off hordes with one arm, nothing was tougher than facing E5’s sinister survivor, who turned out to be, like many, a man who had reached his tipping point towards humanity; and in a delightful twist, rekindle choices long forgotten.
Everything you do in TWD matters, even if it was back in E2. NTL shows us how looting (what looked like) an abandoned station wagon at the time, can come back to haunt you in the worst way. I know many players stole for the greater good of the group, however, I played the boy scout and thankfully, it was somewhat helpful during my bargaining conversation with Clementine’s captor. Though my efforts proved futile, once again, you’re faced with accelerating Clem’s maturity, putting her in a position that ultimately prepares her for the new world ahead. A world owned by the dead. Clem’s new harsh upbringing would remain brisk to the bitter end.
Writing a game with such pure emotion has been a driving force throughout the entire season of TWD, and E5 pulls no punches; as Clementine prepares a new hero’s journey without her number one protector. Making this decision wasn’t as hard, as it was sad. As a player, and I’m sure many can agree, you couldn’t help but grow attached to these characters, Lee especially. The apocalypse is relentless and unrepentant towards everyone and anyone. And more often than not, Lee was right in the middle of it; tasked with choosing sides, building or breaking trust, telling the truth or not. The pressure is ever mounting and it works beautifully in chapter 5.
As The Walking Dead Season 1 comes to close, we’re left with a game that delivers an astounding experience worth anyone’s time. Lee’s story may be finished, but Telltale Games foreshadows a new hope and a new frontier. If true, there’s sure to be a fresh set of travails that test ones emotional fortitude, but that’s what made S1 worth playing to begin with. Only time will tell what lies ahead in the next installment of – what I’m predicting is – Clementine’s Walking Dead tale. With that said, if you’re wondering what a Game of the Year candidate looks like, then look no further.
Final Score: A+