Almost responsible for heart failure.
Title: The Walking Dead, The Final Season – Episode Four: Take Us Back
Platform: PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Windows PC (Epic Games Store).
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Skybound Games
Price: Please note these are digital season pass prices:
PS4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch: £19/$20
PC: Can now only be purchased through the Epic Games Store, unless you already bought it on Steam or GOG, and then the last two episodes will download for you though that. Anyway, it’s £19/$20.
Release date: Out now
TL;DR: A somewhat stumbling finish, but a damn fine one nonetheless.
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I think we can all agree, it’s been a rough ride for The Walking Dead. They’ve managed to push on, though, and deliver the last two episodes of a season that, a few months ago, I wasn’t sure we were ever going to see finished. And now we’ve stumbled and fought our way to the big finale – what’s promised to be the last ever episode of Clementine’s tale. It’s been a long time coming, and Clem isn’t the small girl that trembled when she held the gun to shoot Lee. The finale is fitting, I’ll give it that. It wraps up the story well, and pulls the characters to the forefront to give them the development they deserve. The execution, in the meantime, leaves a little to be desired.
Let’s face it – it’s hard to follow on from three killer episodes, and even harder so to bring us a truly fulfilling finale. Whilst I don’t feel there’s much to comment on for the gameplay, since it’s the exact same formula as the other three, my only minor nitpick is a little stuttering, and a model snapping upright before falling after I shot them during the end game. Without delving too heavily into spoiler territory, there’s some brief moments where you play as AJ, and these feel wonderfully natural and fluid, along with the new AI when choosing some of his dialogue choices. Graphically, it’s as beautiful as ever – they’ve really embraced the comic book aspects of the franchise this series, and it shows.
So – I liked the way the story ran, that much was a given. However, after the rather explosive events of the episodes that preceded it, this one felt a little lacking, almost like they had enough steam to keep them going for three episodes, but not for four. Episode Four didn’t feel like it covered a whole lot of ground, with the big event happening right at the end. The other episodes, for example, felt like the pace was moving along rapidly, with a lot of things happening, giving it an intense, edge of your seat feel, and while there are a ton of nail biting scenes, it almost feels too short, like it was just tying up loose ends and could, in truth, be tacked on to the end of Episode Three as an extended epilogue.
Even though it doesn’t feel like a whole load of content, the content we do have is completely on point, and it showcases what an excellent job the writers have done with their characters, this time around. James in the cave, and special mention has to go to Minerva on the bridge, even though we didn’t get to see as much of her as I would have liked, and finally, Clementine and AJ at the end. All of the voice actors gave emotionally charged performances that felt real and heartrending, and it drives the episode home to its conclusion, as choppy as it felt.
We could have seen events rather than skipping over them in places, and I feel the ending in itself could have been more fleshed out – I would have liked to see how everyone lived and transformed Ericson, and perhaps even a hint of what was to come in that universe. But at the end of the day, these are minor, personal complaints. and this shouldn’t put you off picking up The Walking Dead, The Final Season. This send off for Clementine has been the strongest the series has been for years, and a genuine joy to play, despite its hardships, with some genuinely shocking moments in each episode where the writers have really hit their stride. I’ll be sad to see this universe go, but we’ve had one hell of a ride.
- We’ve reclaimed some of the horror the series was built on.
- Stellar voice acting all round.
- A great conclusion to a long running series.
- Elements of the ending could have been better fleshed out.
The Walking Dead – Episode Four: “Take Us Back,” is rated PEGI 18 due to ”violence against vulnerable and defenceless characters, strong violence and use of strong language. ” and ESRB M for Mature due to “Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language.” Not one for the kids.
Disclaimer: This review is based on a retail copy of the game purchased for the purpose of this review.