The highly anticipated conclusion to Telltale Games’ fan-favourite The Walking Dead graphic adventure series has arrived at retail. To say that The Walking Dead: The Final Season has had quite an interesting development cycle is an understatement.
The first two episodes were developed by Telltales Games. And, after massive layoffs at the company—the remaining two episodes future became uncertain. Luckily, Skybound Entertainment stepped in, and the final two episodes were developed using as many of the developers from Telltale as possible.
This fourth and final season continues the story from season three. It is centred around Clementine’s struggle to raise a young Alvin Jr. in a post apocalyptic world. And, once again, your choices matter and will impact the story in significant ways, including who survives and who doesn’t.
As a big fan of the entire series, I’ve been early awaiting the fourth and final season. Let’s find out together if The Walking Dead: The Final Season is the proper closure to Clementine’s story that fans deserve.
The Walking Dead: The Final Season Details
Platform: Xbox One and PlayStation 4
Reviewed on: Xbox One X
Developer: Telltale Games / Skybound Games
Publisher: Skybound Games
Genre: Graphic adventure
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)
A struggle to survive and keep those close to you safe
The Walking Dead: The Final Season‘s story serves as both a continuation of what’s come before in the previous three seasons, as well as an all-new beginning. Correspondingly, the events of the game take place about three years after The Walking Dead: A New Frontier. The first two seasons of The Walking Dead focused on how strangers can come together as friends and enemies. And, the third looked at the impact the apocalypse has had on people before the zombie outbreak, with a special focus on families.
In the same fashion, the fourth and final season focuses on Clementine’s struggle to survive and the sacrifices she has to make to protect AJ. While you can technically play this game without having previously played the first three seasons, I wouldn’t recommend it. As a result, if you haven’t played any of the previous seasons, you are missing out on a huge backstory and any emotional weight that comes from those adventures.
Similarly, as the first three seasons follow the events in the comic, so does The Walking Dead: The Final Season. The game takes place in West Virginia. Clementine is now an older teenager and has reunited with AJ. And, depending on your choices, you’ll see how bonds and relationships suffer and adapt.
Classic Telltale gameplay with a new addition
Just as in previous games in the series, you are able to import your save. Or, you can use a web-based Story Builder tool to make a game save to shape Clementine’s personality. The Walking Dead: The Final Season follows the same successful point-and-click formula as Telltale Games’ previous games.
Moreover, this video game features more open-ended action sequences and split-second decisions. And, they influence the game’s entire story and the lives of the people around you.
Surprisingly, there is a new addition to gameplay this season. For a portion of each episode you have full control over the in-game camera. As a result, it gives you the feel as if you are playing a third-person adventure game —albeit limited.
A beautiful post-apocalyptic world
The Walking Dead: The Final Season definitely has a more cinematic feel than the previous three seasons. Furthermore, the game’s environments feel less flat and the camera angles are more dynamic. QTE prompts are easy to see on screen and distinguish from the environment.
All these improvements are a result of updated graphical engine that The Walking Dead: The Final Season uses. The graphics engine maintains the trademark stylized cartoon, sort of cell-shaded look. And, gives the game higher detailed characters, environments, and a more varied colour palette than previous games.
However, I did encounter a few issues with choppy framerate and some stuttering here and there. Although, for the most part, these were far and few in between and never really affected my overall enjoyment of the game.
The Walking Dead: The Final Season is a fitting end to one of gaming’s most beloved characters
I came into The Walking Dead: The Final Season with high expectations and I was not let me down. As the fourth game to be released at retail in the “Season Pass Disc” format, it is a fitting end to Clementine’s story. The fourth and final season has succeeded in continuing the rich, and engaging story that Walking Dead fans have fallen in love with.
Correspondingly, fans of the previous games in the series will surely be delighted by the game’s beautiful graphics. They deliver a seamless living comic book style experience that you won’t soon forget. Furthermore, if you love any of the previous Telltale Games The Walking Dead games, then you will definitely want to pick up The Walking Dead: The Final Season—you won’t be disappointed.
+ Graphic engine looks fantastic
+ Fantastic dynamic between Clementine and AJ
+ Fitting end to a beloved series
– Some minor performance issues
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF THE WALKING DEAD: THE FINAL SEASON
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5