Skybound Games (studio)
26 March 2019 (released)
05 April 2019
It’s finally here, the conclusion to Clem’s long and brutal journey. It’s been a long and brutal journey just to see the conclusion come to light. With the troubles behind the scenes and the fear that this season might be cut short has had all fans worried. But now we can see the end in all its glory (well, in all its gory depravity and heart breaking moments). Get those tissues ready to wipe away the tears (and any blood – sorry, will stop that now).
*I’ll reframe from any major spoilers in this review, so don’t worry*
Clem has gone through so much over the last 7 years and she has developed such a strong bond with gamers across the globe. But her journey has featured many highs and lows, both in regards to the story and the games themselves. With each new season came a compelling narrative filled with difficult choices and interesting characters. What’s so great about each season is the fact we can choose what happens and the effects are felt throughout the season and in future ones. But there have been moments when the writers/developers restrict the outcome and your choices could mean nothing whether it’s noticed straight away or left to linger for some time (making it worse).
But thankfully the last episode and actually the last season as a whole manages to flesh out each choice with impending results, no matter how big or small. There are plenty of tough moments in the last episode and some will make you feel terrible, often thinking if you shouldn’t just restart the whole chapter. This felt like the most divisive in decision making, despite it being the final episode. There are certain moments which will happen no matter what and even the last moments of the end will be somewhat decided already. But the remainder is as gripping as it’s all down to you and Clem.
Episode 4 goes into some very dark and disturbing places but fans and those following the games will understand this is part of the lore and what The Walking Dead centres on. The deprave struggle of humanity at its worse. You will do terrible things no matter what, but it’s in the name of survival and the result of being pushed too far. The major choices with key characters are where the game shines through and offering you the chance to end certain threads as you see fit. Not all elements of the story end in a fulfilling manner, but for the most part, this episode concludes all the important ones.
Clem being the star of the series will leave her mark on all of us and we want to see her journey come to a satisfying end one way or the other.
The last episode is the shortest in length but packs just as much emotional turmoil and brutality as previous episodes have had. There’s little in ways of introducing new problems but instead, episode 4 sees to escalate previous choices and events to extreme levels. There’s little room to breathe and as all the story threads come together in this final episode, you can feel the crushing weight of all your previous actions.
Episode 4 has a greater focus on stress and action with plenty of QTE events, set pieces and tones down the lateral elements right up to the climax. The episode, despite being more action focus does flow very well and never oversteps its boundaries. There are moments you’ll have to bypass zombies, dodge attacks, kill enemies and all of these moments are constructed well and death never feels cheap.
It might be slightly disappointing to some that the focus is now on action, but it’s a fitting way structure this episode. There’s plenty of atmosphere, great pacing, stressful choices and of course, relentless fights with walkers and enemy humans. It’s what the end should be and perfectly replicates the end of the first season. Here we see the episode pacing out action, slower moments and those difficult choices into a great finale.
And I will admit I cried my eyes out by the end!
Is this the ending I had hoped for and so much more? Yes. It is and I couldn’t be happier. The Walking Dead has travelled along a bumpy road and finally it reaches a conclusion that’s gripping, tense, brutal yet so endearing and knows how to finish on a respectable and high note. Definitely a must have.
++ Great finale to Clem’s story
+ Good pacing, with action, drama and intense choices
- Some smaller decisions/story elements feel unaccomplished