The Walking Dead Episode 5 Review

December 27, 2012

/ by Tin Salamunic

Developer(s): Telltale Games
Publisher(s): Telltale Games
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Mac, iOS
Review Platform: Xbox 360
Release Date: November 20, 2012

You learn a lot about the human condition when you play through Telltale's The Walking Dead: The Game. Even up until its penultimate moment, you are driven through the single most entertaining and heart-wrenching episode of the series yet in "No Time Left". Lee and Clementine's journey through Kirkman's zombie apocalypse stands out as one of the gaming's best examples of innovative storytelling in 2012. Not only did Telltale Games revitalize the point-and-click adventure genre, they weaved a story that will raise the dead, fans, and critics until the release of Season 2.
  • Expertly crafted and well-written story
  • Comic book art style
  • Part of "The Walking Dead" canon
  • Survivors we care about
  • Truly badass moments
  • Ties together all of your decisions throughout all episodes
  • Satisfying ending 
  • Some clipping and floaty movements 
What a long, strange trip it's been. The Walking Dead is my generation's Dawn of the Dead. The zombie franchise that can do no wrong. From the original comic series to a television show that rivals the top-notch action, drama, and ensemble cast of Lost, Kirkman's geeks were missing out on one media outlet where it could truly shine. A video game. Telltale Games stepped up to the plate.

Right on the heels of their Jurassic Park downloadable title, it was anyone's guess whether Telltale would live up to The Walking Dead's reputation. They not only succeeded, but passed all of my expectations as a fan of all things zombies. Game developers can learn a lot from this model of episodic content. At five dollars a pop, each piece of content is affordable and well worth the initial asking price. You will be re-playing these episodes to explore making different decisions and see what the consequences of those decisions could yield for you and your group of survivors.

The final episode of the season takes a decidedly more cinematic approach to unfolding the story. This is the way games in a saga should end. Enough loose ends are tied up, but it still leaves you wanting more. Telltale Games deserves every Game of the Year award they will undoubtedly win for this brilliant quintology. The storytelling alone sets the bar high, not only for Season 2, but for all future games in the genre.

There are no shortage of revolutionary moments in "No Time Left" that are sure to tug at some heart strings and maybe some of those other vital internal organs those pesky zombies have been drooling over for the past four episodes. The game ends, but it is done in a way that you won't expect and isn't cliché. All of your decisions come back to haunt or help you in some way, shape, or form, which makes the entirety of this episode deep and meaningful in correlation to the gameplay and choices you had made previously.

The Walking Dead game is an example of how a franchise can be given respectful treatment to the source material, while standing alone as a great achievement in modern gaming. Not only did Telltale breathe new life into a dying genre, they innovated the model in which gaming content can be released and the quality of each of those different and affordable experiences. The future looks bright. Even in the wake of the zombie apocalypse.

Final Score “Innovative Piece of Video Game Art” 9.0
The graphics are pretty unique for a downloadable title. They match the feel of Kirkman's original comic books.
The tried and true gameplay mechanics from the first four episodes works just as well this time around.
The one that you've been waiting for. The final episode of The Walking Dead delivers so many ways to end the adventure. Demands multiple playthroughs.
Solid voice acting, great ambient sounds, and best of all – zombie moans! It's all here and it sounds great. Music to my brains!

Review by Michael Engle

Raised on punk rock and video games, Michael Engle remembers a time when Mario was on his second birthday cake and when game reviews weren't biased and contrived. Engle hopes to bring his love of nostalgia and gaming honesty to you. He co-hosts his own video game news podcast, All Your News are Belong to Us. He loves games, writing, music, and not sleeping. All Articles by Michael.

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