The Walking Dead: Season 2 Finale – No Going Back Review

Well, it’s over. And it didn’t take long at all to come out. Left with a bang. I hope you’re happy. We’re once again at the finishing line for a season of The Walking Dead.  And this time, for once in my personal history playing Telltale’s games, I really don’t want to go back and see what would happen if I did something completely different.

That says a lot of my personal experience with season 2 and the enjoyment I had with it. I never got the desire to reload a checkpoint and try something else because in all honesty, whatever Clementine ended up doing as a result of a decision on my part, the gritty world of The Walking Dead would manage to turn it upside down.

The loss of hope is the overall feeling that carried along my experience in season 2. At the tail end of the previous set of episodes, we were left with a scared but a little more mature Clementine, who suffered uncountable horrors and managed to live through them, losing friends and a big chunk of her childish tendencies throughout the run.  Season 2’s focus on her, putting us in her direct control brought in an unexpected amount of thought when going through with decisions. And while this season’s cast lacks a little of the development seen in season 1 up to this point, the finale takes some time to give them some breathing room for them to wiggle in some personality.

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And for those seeking closure in the finale, the good news is that there’s much to look forward to in that regard. Obviously, as season closer, it does that for the story arc, but it also closes out much of what was holding back Clementine’s growth both in personality, but also as a videogame character you want to watch for and keep alive.

The finale drives home the feeling of hopelessness that the franchise is known for, also introducing concepts new even to the much grittier scenarios recently introduced in the comics. As a storytelling device, The Walking Dead works wonderfully, even if at times, as an adventure game, it fails to deliver mechanics expected within the genre. There are practically no puzzles nor dialog trees – the pace drives you point to point. That delivery works within the confines of Telltale’s current style of design, but it would be nice to see a bit more flexibility in the already announced third season.

As a whole, season 2 ties up well in the finale. While not as remarkable as a season as Lee’s, Clementine’s run is just as tense and dramatic. There’s so much tension in fact, that there’s room to be worried about what even darker places season three will go. That’s both a praise to Telltale’s success in working within and outside the fiction’s “box”, and also shows how big of a challenge they have ahead of them going forward. Expectations are already high for their seasons, it’d be a bummer if they dropped the ball after such a strong closer.

4stars

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