Telltale’s final season of its The Walking Dead series received its first episode last week, and while it is very slow for most of its three main acts, the final one really gets the narrative back on track and provided one of the most shocking moments in the franchise to-date. It is a bit of a slog to get through though, but I still find it to be worth the experience thanks to the major cliffhanger shocker at the end.
You can check out my full review below via the embedded video or script.
Hey now fans of Telltale’s The Walking Dead series, Matt Heywood here to review the first episode of the Final Season, which is titled, “Done Running.”
There will be spoilers from past episodes in this review, but the major narrative beats from this episode will not be discussed.
Telltale’s The Walking Dead series, is on its final run, and the first episode “Done Running” sets up the season by placing Clem and AJ into a seemingly solid situation, but as anything The Walking Dead goes, their sense of peace doesn’t last for too long.
I have to say that it’s a bit sad to know that this episode is the beginning of the end for Clemintine’s story, who has been a staple in every Telltale The Walking Dead game outside of the one starring Michonne. We’ve watched this character transform into a zombie apocalypse badass from a scared little girl, and she has definitely provided the best narrative moments throughout the franchise.
That mantra doesn’t change either in “Done Running”, because for the first time Clem and now AJ, are the true protagonists of the game, and not just lead supporting characters. Unfortunately, for two-thirds of this episode though, the plot is fairly dull and slow, and not even Clem can make these setup moments entertaining. The first two acts are brutal in terms of not being engaging in the least. I found myself tuning out of most conversations while yearning for a solid narrative that would capture my heart and mind.
I understand that this first episode was mostly meant to setup the entire season, so a whole new cast of characters had to be introduced, and new perils had to be setup for the characters to suffer from, but the delivery is just meh at best. This in turn cheapens the new characters, who are important to this season, so I would have liked to have gotten to goods much earlier than the game’s final act.
Speaking of which, the final segment of this first episode could be one of the series’ best, which is saying a lot considering that a majority of the episode was a borefest. This last act finally nailed down all of the ingredients that have made these Walking Dead story driven games so enjoyable. Serious conflict was introduced to the new group of survivors and Clem, who are all kids by the way, so that’s pretty interesting, and it led to an extremely shocking cliffhanger that will surely have major implications for the new group, and especially Clem and AJ. Let’s just say that little homie has been taking his lessons in survival seriously, so he does something at the end of this episode that left my jaw dropped, as well as the characters in the game who just witnessed his jarring act.
It’s moments like this that reminded me of why I’ve enjoyed Telltale’s take on The Walking Dead, but I just wish it didn’t take nearly the entire episode to get there. I still recommend playing this episode and the final season if you’ve stuck around for all of the other Clem games though. First episodes are always a bit janky because threads need to be setup, while new characters need to be introduced, so while it was very slow and not that engaging until the end, I expect the intensity and stakes to really rachet up moving forward.
For the slow start though, this episode earns a 7 out of 10 review score from Team EB. I just didn’t enjoy the first two acts at all, but the final act made me a believer again, so I do expect the season to improve greatly over the last four episodes. Besides, if you’ve been with Clem since the Lee-days, then you owe it to her as a character to see her story until the end, so you might as well slog through this slow episode to get the extremely sad or happy payoff that is inevitably coming in the final episode.
Thanks for watching, Matt Heywood here for EntertainmentBuddha.com, where we make you a better geek, one post at a time.
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