TellTale Games' The Walking Dead: Season 2/ Episode 5 "No Going Back" – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

What begins as another ho-hum TellTale Game gets series as you reach the final moments.

Review (with Spoilers)

With both The Walking Dead: Season 2 and The Wolf Among Us I felt there was this consistent issue that the freedom given to us during The Walking Dead: Season 1 was gone and the linear storytelling, and decision making, took a lot of the fun out of the game. And while the finale certainly doesn’t make it seem your decisions in episodes 1-4 truly meant much, the final moments truly make it seem what may happen in season 3, though I really hope they just make an episode 6, will change Clem’s life forever. In fact, I’d argue that decision is so big, that it feels like a bigger fork in the road than when in episode 4 of season 1 when you had to hope you could get everyone to join you for the search for Clementine.

Characters & Story

Let me begin by noting I’m strictly talking about the decision I made in my play through.

We begin where we left off in the last episode with a faceoff between the Russians and our group, Rebecca dead, and Clementine, as usual, put in a position she really shouldn’t be in. Though after a few gun shots, and thankfully Jane appearing, the standoff is over and all that is left is Arvo. Someone who Kenny punches, and kicks, the hell out of to the point I’m sure a few times he wishes he died with his sister and possible family.

However, instead, he comes along with the group which loses one member after another. Some due to betrayal, others due to walkers, and at least two people die because of your actions.

Praise

While, looking back, I felt a sort of lack of weight in a lot of my actions throughout season 2, I must admit I felt that one of the last big decision in the game really made up for all that. For, with a gun in hand, you truly felt you chose who would live, or die, and it would change the story forever. Not just in the way we have seen thus far in which it changes the dialog, but overall wouldn’t matter, I mean it seems like this one decision puts you at a fork in the road of which the rest of the story would change forever based on whether you shot one person, or stayed out of the situation. And strangely I feel that one moment compensated for a lot of the menial decisions.

As for everything outside of that, I honestly am not sure anymore whether I have truly, mentally, become Clementine and have become exhausted trying to please everyone in my play through, or maybe, because I know this is the last episode for awhile, and knew people were bound to die, I just really tried my best but was more than willing to accept I couldn’t save anyone. Either way, as much as in the beginning I still held onto some sense I was Lee and was a guiding hand protecting Clementine, I feel the finale completed the transition from protector to being Clem and I must admit it currently has left me drained, lacking hope a bit, yet with a slight smile since while I couldn’t save everyone, at least the people I saved I think could help create some semblance of a brighter future.

Criticism

Honestly, the only criticism I have is the same old rehash of feeling a bit too trapped in the story and not being able to talk to who I want, really feel like I’m building relationships, or collect and use items which could make things easier on me. And the main reasons I continuously critique this is because I feel the game is simple enough that it could have accommodated more life and death, easy or hard road, type of decisions. For while I certainly don’t have any inclinations that I could save and have everyone if these little wishes were added, I still think it would have made it feel like I really had a stronger sense of control over peoples’, and my own, fate.

Overall: Worth Buying

Like with any TellTale Game, while playing episode by episode is fine if you don’t have the patience, it truly is better to play this game straight through. For with a month, or more, going by between episodes, you may forget the decisions you made, or may not fully see how they changed things, and it does lead you to slightly forget how you handled, or spoke to, one character. But with the season now over, I honestly think this is worth buying, as opposed to renting, since you know there is going to be a season 3, and between wanting to change your decisions, maybe also your season 1 decisions, and maybe wanting your friends to play, or you replay this and see how certain decisions could change things, I think this is worth its $25 price tag. For with this episode, and most, being an hour and a half, filled with drama, some sort of sense you are in control, and the type of endings which leave you wanting more, it is hard to say you should just rent this for the sake of finishing it and not share this, replay it, and save this for when season 3 comes out and you may want to reintroduce yourself to the story in its entirety.

 

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