The Walking Dead Season 2 - Episode 5: No Going Back Review

It's beginning to look a lot - like - Christmaaaas

  • Developer: Telltale Games
  • Publisher: Telltale Games
  • Release Date: 27 August 2014
  • Time played: 100 mins

The final episode for The Walking Dead Season 2 has been finally released meaning that Telltale have finally wrapped up both The Walking Dead Season 2 and The Wolf Among Us. I must admit I feel kind of sad in a way since there's always a bit of excitement whenever there's an announcement for a new episode by Telltale but it could be awhile till that happens again considering my lack of interest in the IPs they're currently developing for. If this review seems to look similar to the previous reviews that's because it is - but what would you expect considering only really the plot would change between episodes?

Plot (5/5)
This episode follows straight after episode four, Amid the Ruins where Clementine and her group are ambushed by a group of Russians and a firefight ensues. Just like any good survival horror/zombie flick, the numbers of the party diminish rapidly in this episode until there aren't many survivors left by the end. Tempers flare over several matters such as the mistreatment of a Russian prisoner and whether the group should keep heading north or return south.

I'm not going to provide any more spoilers but suffice to say this episode has a very dramatic conclusion where you'll have to make a difficult decision. The moral dilemmas are what I love best about The Walking Dead and it's something we need to see more of in computer games nowadays. The game also has a heart-wrenching, nostalgic moment in there that caught me by surprise (and managed to make me all misty-eyed).

If that wasn't enough, the game has multiple endings - actual mutiple endings (instead of very similar multiple endings as you got in the first The Walking Dead). Telltale have done a really good job in wrapping up this season but the I'm not sure how they are going to take into account the multiple endings of Season 2 once they finally release Season 3. Of course, there are always ways to go around it but I'm hoping it isn't Deus Ex: Invisible War style (where all endings happened at the same time) or where they consider one ending canonical and the rest aren't. A happy medium might be dialogue explaining what happened but that probably wouldn't even matter if you end up playing another character during Season 3 (i.e. someone besides Clementine).

Gameplay (3/5)
For those that have played The Walking Dead: Season One, you know the drill. Gameplay is pretty light, with simple puzzles and the game feels more like a visual novel. The game is mainly conversation driven and focuses more on your relationships with characters more than anything else. You'll occasionally have some Quick Time Events (QTEs) during action sequences but that's about it.

Clementine's apparently a natural when it comes to caring for babies

Sound (4/5)
Voice acting is great but that's to be expected from veteran voice actors – the only issue I had was that the audio was sometimes too loud or too soft.

Music (4/5)
The game has a suitably atmospheric music soundtrack; while there are no memorable themes it is effective in setting the sombre, depressing mood to the game.

Graphics (4/5)
The graphics are similar to The Walking Dead Season One (as you'd expect) and are the best I've seen in a Telltale game yet adopting a thick edges, comic-book style (a similar style is adopted in The Wolf Among Us). The only thing that annoyed me was the fact the framerate tended to jump all over the place at times.

Replay (3/5)
Just like Season One, the ending you receive depends on the choices you make in the game, so there is some attraction there to replay the episode (and indeed, the whole game once it is released). Also like Season One, achievements are still very easy to acquire (i.e. proceed to a certain point in the story) and there's not enough variety to encourage multiple playthroughs. This episode is short just like Episode 3 but somehow it didn't feel as short, so I'm not going to penalise it for its short duration.

Polish (4/5)
Unfortunately, as it's a Telltale game, it uses the most recent Telltale Tool so the interface is a very console-friendly one, not a simple point 'n' click adventure. The game also has the annoying Type 1 save system where progress is autosaved but you never know when the next save point is.

Score – 8/10

No Going Back is a very emotional, very dramatic ending to The Walking Dead's second season that will have you making some tough choices and also have you questioning who your friends really are. One of the great things about this series is that its characters are never two dimensional and this final episode to the second season is one of the best examples of this.

If you want to get the game, you can get it on Steam.

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[ LINK: Official The Walking Dead website ]