Telltale’s The Walking Dead: The Final Season “Done Running” review for PC, Xbox One, PS4

Platform: PC
Also On: Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: Yes

Going into this final season of The Walking Dead from Telltale, I was already pretty excited to see how they?d manage to wrap up the story of Clementine. She is a character I?ve certainly grown attached to over the years, thanks in large part to the excellent group of writers that have fleshed out her character over the past seasons. I?m also hedging my bets against the conclusion being a happy one, after all, this is The Walking Dead we?re talking about. With that, this first episode of the final season certainly paints a pretty bleak picture of hunger, desolation, and general hopelessness that will certainly make you feel a little uneasy throughout.

As someone who has been an avid reader of Robert Kirkman?s comic for a number of years, I like that this season of Telltale?s The Walking Dead managed to come up with something new regarding the setting. Clementine will match up with a group of survivors within her own age range, in a settlement devoid of adults. It?s not automatically a Lord of the Flies situation either, but instead you?ve got this rag tag group of teenage and children survivors that pair up pretty well with Clementine and her young ward A.J.

A.J. also proves to be an interesting addition right out of the gate. Previously he was little more than a baby when first introduced, but we now get to see him a bit older as Clementine attempts to be a parent to A.J. in the same fashion Lee was to her. She?s not always great at it, and A.J.?s fairly limited and horrific exposure to the world he?s grown up in has left him a little unpredictable. While seemingly capable with a weapon, he is still very much a child, prone to fits of anger that even he doesn?t fully understand. I found the connection between him and Clementine to be both charming and a tad bit unnerving, especially as you see the choices you make begin to affect his personality.

While most of this episode takes place in one central location, you?ll still get some limited exploration and combat elements that we?ve seen before in other seasons. The combat here is a little more involved, one sequence will have you facing off against multiple zombies using traps and the ability to disable a zombie before killing it as a way of surviving. This sequence in particular can actually be a little tough if you?re just mindlessly marching forward. I had to back up, circle around the group, and occasionally put a little distance between my targets to prevent myself from getting overwhelmed. It certainly felt more involved than any of the previous combat sequences in The Walking Dead thus far.

I?d say that this episode is a pretty great start to the finale of the series for Telltale. It?s been a long, and occasionally bumpy road, but this seems to be shaping up extremely well early on. The cliffhanger for this episode has me anxious to see what happens next, and the new cast of characters are more appealing than most of the hardened jerks that populated The New Frontier. It?ll be interesting to see where things go from here, but again, I?m not holding my breath for a happy ending.

Telltale Games provided us with a The Walking Dead: The Final Season code for review purposes.

Grade: A