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The Walking Dead Episode Five: No Time Left
The Walking Dead Episode Five: No Time Left

Apple iOS | PC | PlayStation 3 | Xbox 360
Genre: Adventure Players: 1
Developer: Telltale Games Official Site: http://www.telltalegames.com...
Publisher:
Release Date:
21st November 2012
The Walking Dead Episode Five: No Time Left Review
Review By @ 05:33pm 22/11/12
XBOX360
There’s something a bit special about crying over fiction.

Although making too big a deal of it is often a great way to trivialising an entire medium – especially in games writing, where for too long we’ve thrown the word ‘emotion’ about as though it were a great uncovered truth capable of changing how games are perceived by broader society – it’s worth acknowledging when a game really affects you. It’s something rare and powerful and human, and it usually comes from a connection that most games just simply aren’t that interested in forming.

When I say that Episode 5 of The Walking Dead represents the first gaming experience to ever make me shed a tear (and yes, I did play through To The Moon), there’s an underlying thread that could be tugged away at and unravelled if one were so inclined. Truthfully, The Walking Dead Season 1 has been such a wonderful success because it never really bothered itself with being a typical ‘game’ experience. It told a great story by making the telling of that story the primary component of the gameplay, by focusing the player on soaking in characters above all else, and reacting to them as they saw fit.



It’s not that The Walking Dead is an inherently better, classier, or more sophisticated game for actually having emotion resonance – this is, after all, still a game that involves killing a great many zombies. It’s the ways that The Walking Dead earned that tear over 13 hours of walking around, clicking on objects and making dialog choices, which makes it so special.

To describe the events of the episode at this point would be silly, suffice to say that, in my game, everything played out in a manner surprisingly consistent with how I’d played the game. Not every question is answered, but then, they shouldn’t have to be. One moment was a little silly – a certain chain of events felt shoehorned in to get Lee to a place the game wanted him to be in, circumventing the myriad of possible paths the character could have taken up to that point – but the fiction remained largely believable. It’s perhaps not quite as thought provoking or involving as much as Episode 4 was, simply because it needs to get you to an end point, but nobody’s likely to be disappointed with how events wrap up.

There are no real puzzles in this final chapter. It focuses explicitly on conversations (at least it did in my playthrough – it’s hard to imagine how the episode plays out if you made certain unpopular choices at the end of Episode 4, which are, without exception, compelling and satisfying, often reflecting on things you did or said in the previous four episodes. The events of the last half hour or so of the game, in particular, are spellbinding, even using QTEs in ways more inventive and purposeful than I’m used to.

The Walking Dead: Season 1 has been an unusual phenomenon. Adventure gaming never exactly went away, but in recent years the best games in the genre have mostly been the ones that cast a glance backwards to the classics and tried to replicate their best features. The Walking Dead distils the formula immensely by removing most of the puzzles – which would have sounded like a disastrous plan had Telltale announced their intentions in advance – replacing them with a compellingly tragic, unusually human glimpse into the heart of the on-going pop cultural zombie obsession. In most zombie fiction, The Walking Dead comics included, humanity is meant to be the ‘real’ monster – but The Walking Dead game has, over the slow build-up of its episodic structure, given us characters that still have the capacity and courage to fight back against their demons too.

In many ways The Walking Dead has been a game about love; between a man and his surrogate daughter, between families and lovers, between player and avatar, and across humanity broadly. It was love that made The Walking Dead special, and made me shed a tear as the credits rolled. It’s love that makes The Walking Dead not only Telltale’s best game by a mile, but also one of the best adventure games ever.
What we liked
  • A finale that actually feels like the culmination of how I played
  • I'm going to miss the characters
  • A hugely effective narrative
  • It’s absolutely heartbreaking
  • I can go back and replay the whole thing now
What we didn't like
  • One moment in my playthrough was a bit too contrived
  • Apocalyptic fiction (this game included) has a weird obsession with buildings inexplicably falling into immediate disrepair
More
We gave it:
9.3
OUT OF 10
Latest Comments
eski
Posted 05:47pm 22/11/12
Pretty much feel the same way. I think this might be a milestone in the history of gaming.
Icarus
Posted 05:55pm 22/11/12
Ah, I've been waiting for the review all day! I finished the episode earlier.

Really satisfied with the game as a whole. The only thing I didn't like, and still don't after finishing episode 5, is how I feel they're bragging about their whole "Affected by the choices you make!" Like in episode 1, you choose to save one of two people, then in episode two the person you save is out for a majority of the episode, then in episode three.. you know. And there's soo many things just like that, where you choice ultimately did nothing.

If I don't look at it like it's one of those games with a myriad of possibilities, and just look at it for its evolving story, that's when I see I really enjoy it.
Zapo
Posted 05:56pm 22/11/12
This is GOTY for me. This is the first time a game has actually moved me. The premise is so so simple, the gameplay is straightforward but it's just executed so well.

Sometimes when I play a game with dialogue choices/ethical decisions I play an 'evil' character or a totally selfish one to just f*** around. With this game though I didn't have that same desire, I made the choices I wanted to make. You honestly care about the decisions you make, and you're torn when making a difficult choice.

It's hard to not get a little emotional in this episode.

GOTY.
ravn0s
Posted 06:08pm 22/11/12
i will be surprised if no gaming establishment gives this GOTY. it's definitely earned the title.
Jickle
Posted 06:20pm 22/11/12
It's definitely my GOTY pick. It really built itself up into something greater than the sum of its parts over five episodes.
eski
Posted 06:44pm 22/11/12
The funny thing is that before this season started, I thought Telltale as a company were done. They took on all these new IPs, which up until now seemed completely crazy. I've played everything Telltale has made, but after the mediocre Back to the Future and outright bad Jurassic Park, Walking Dead wasnt on my radar at all. Sam and Max Season 3 was the last good game I thought they had made. The only reason I got WD was because of recommendations from Khel and Eorl. Turns out they were on the money.

F*****g loved the water cooler talk between episodes, had a mate playing through it who made vastly different choices to me, it was always fun discussing the different ways situations played out.

Hanging out for Season Two, but I'm pretty sure they won't be able to top themselves on this one.
csirac
Posted 07:29pm 22/11/12
Just bought the season pass for 12.50 on steam. i wanna play naoooooooooooooo
Nukleuz
Posted 07:29pm 22/11/12
50% off on Steam right now as part of the Autumn sale.
rrrocket
Posted 10:19pm 22/11/12
Epic game, very moving...

just watching end credits now....
rrrocket
Posted 10:20pm 22/11/12
oh and make sure you watch till end of credits
Eorl
Posted 10:42pm 22/11/12
I'll just copy paste what I wrote on my Facebook after finishing the game, but I must say Telltale has made an excellent Season 1, and I truly hope for a Season 2.

If a video game such as Telltale Games The Walking Dead is able to make you feel so attached to the characters, so intimate with the setting and so damn sad, it is no longer a child's toy. It is no longer something considered immature. It has gone beyond that by striking emotion into you, by making you want to see what your choices have made and making you literally cry out when something bad happens to the characters.

At one point I actually felt pure hatred for a character. He was old, he was annoying and he hated my guts. And I hated his because the character was so well written to push our buttons.

Telltale's The Walking Dead is a game of pure perfection which strikes so much emotion into you that you forget its a video game. It's gripping, it's heartfelt and it's so damn sad.

I definitely, 100% recommend this game, and with Steam currently having it on sale for 50% off its a bargain.
registradus
Posted 10:32am 23/11/12
Was the contrived part where you have a sit down with that guy? Because if so, I agree.
HERMITech
Posted 01:05pm 23/11/12
ravn0s
Posted 01:11pm 23/11/12
Was the contrived part where you have a sit down with that guy? Because if so, I agree.


i think only if you didn't steal the food in episode 2. i stole the food so it didn't feel contrived.
Eorl
Posted 01:54pm 23/11/12
i think only if you didn't steal the food in episode 2. i stole the food so it didn't feel contrived.
Spoiler:
Yeah that bit would of seemed a bit odd had you not stolen anything. Simply blaming you for the groups actions is a bit of a weasel way out of giving a new direction, but it didn't feel too detrimental to the storyline.
Mantorok
Posted 01:55pm 23/11/12
Looking at the stats at the end, I was surprised so many people chose "shoot" over "leave".
Jickle
Posted 03:48pm 23/11/12
No, I stole the goods, that bit was great! I was actually talking about an earlier scene where....I'll try to avoid spoilers here...one character *ahem* put themselves in harm's way for the sake of another, even though the situation was beyond repair. It was a nice character moment, but it logistically it was a tad much.
eski
Posted 04:23pm 23/11/12
Agreed Jickle

Spoiler:
He totally couldve capped him through the gate and been done with it. Maybe he wanted to die at that point, although its counter to everything else he was saying in the episode about not giving up.
groganus
Posted 05:34pm 23/11/12
just fyi regarding stolen food Spoiler:
there is no way not to steal food, you can object to it and be against it but they will still do it
the conversation is much the same either way.
ravn0s
Posted 06:51pm 23/11/12
i have no idea what scene jickle is talking about.
eski
Posted 07:42pm 23/11/12
rav, Im guessing you made a different choice in the bell tower episode 4
csirac
Posted 06:37pm 24/11/12
good a place as any to ask. i'm playing episode 2 and wondering how you can tell it has auto saved? i originally thought it was the spinning cog but that doesn't seem to mean anything. im sick of running through dialogue ive been through every time i sit back down
ravn0s
Posted 08:37pm 24/11/12
whenever that spinning symbol appears in the top right is when it's saving
natslovR
Posted 09:25pm 24/11/12
because of the positivity in this and the steam sale thread I just started playing episode 1.

Why did i have to read some boring thread about episode 5 and some steam sale thread to learn that this game is f*****g amazing?
Dazhel
Posted 09:33pm 24/11/12
haha where you been natslovr? I'm sure we were gushing about this game in the threads about Episode 1 to 4 as well.
ravn0s
Posted 09:45pm 24/11/12
because of the positivity in this and the steam sale thread I just started playing episode 1.

Why did i have to read some boring thread about episode 5 and some steam sale thread to learn that this game is f*****g amazing?


and ep1 is probably the worst out of the bunch too.

natslovR
Posted 09:50pm 24/11/12
But i didn't like the TV show so didn't read the walking dead game threads, I just assumed it would be s*** like season 2 of WD. I can remember going 'how f*****g lame' when i saw that there was a game.
csirac
Posted 01:59pm 25/11/12
whenever that spinning symbol appears in the top right is when it's saving


i thought that too but ive quit after the cog and i got sent back like 10 mins of dialogue. >
MARLINBLADE
Posted 07:45am 16/1/13
Well i finally got around to playing this and finished it this morning... What a rollercoaster man. Some parts of this game really moved me, really made me think, and rethink my actions. I was always wondering if i did the right thing, always second guessing myself.

Episode 3 was the one that really grabbed me hard. A mate of mine didn't get the same sort of emotional pull as i did for that one. Difference being, as a parent, you can't help but put yourself in their shoes... It was rough, but it' draws on that connection a parent has with their own child. Kinda hard to describe to people that don't have a kid tbh, but damn that episode really moved me and made me think...

Epic game, i played the way i would have been in that situation and although the ending left me feeling a bit hollow, this will always go down as one of the best i've played and an easy thumbs up to GOTY
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