28th Aug2014

Review: The Walking Dead – Season 2 Episode 5 (Xbox 360)

by Paul Metcalf

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Season two of The Walking Dead is over and finally the story comes to a close providing us with an understanding of exactly what we were heading towards.  With a season full of hard choices and the feeling that every move made was a mistake the real message in No Going Back is that this is about Clementine growing up and being the person we had some hand in moulding.

It’s hard to really talk about what happens in The Walking Dead – Season 2 Episode 5: No Going Back because that would spoil it for people who are still to play their way through.  It’s fair to say though that this episode is about the group and its dynamics with many problems created in the previous episodes finally coming to a head.  All the hinting about how it is safer to be alone and that nobody should be trusted really comes back to bite in this episode, Clementine is learning, and these lessons are the harsh reality of life.

In the first season Clementine learnt a lot from Lee, this built the foundation for her moral code.  Lee’s ghost has been a constant unseen presence in the game and the code that we built up for Clementine through our control of Lee in order to make her stronger and to survive have paid off.  Now that Lee is gone and we are in control of Clementine the perspective is different, the choices we are given are based on what Clementine thinks are her options, though sometimes especially in this episode I felt it would have been better to have different options.  This is Clementine’s journey though and in truth we are along for the ride with her, she decides what options are given to us.

For me after Lee died it seemed that Clementine would not have another adult who could really help her like he did.  Some have tried, but she is no longer a child and the fact that they treat her as one really distances her from them at times.  It’s no surprise then that Jane, the one to treat her equally really is the person who helps her the most in this season.  She may arrive later than the other characters but her teachings about teams and how to survive are what Clementine takes notice of.  As Season two ends we can’t be sure just how things will go for Clementine but she has learnt a lot, especially about trust.

Telltale Games have made The Walking Dead all about the characters, the zombies may always be there and other dangers affect the group but the most important thing is that we care about the characters, we even hate some of them too.  The amount of thought we end up putting into the decisions that are thrown at us are surprising really, especially in No Going Back.  This is an ending that will stay in your mind and make you question if you did the right thing, though I may play through it again to see the different endings that are available just to see which is the most positive for Clementine.

The Walking Dead – Season 2 Episode 5: No Going Back is a good ending to the season as it brings a story that appeared to be struggling to find an ending and brought all the threads together.  One important thing it also does is leave the ending open for another season, whether this is a good or bad thing.  Hopefully Telltale Games will know when it’s time to let The Walking Dead rest in peace for a while and focus on other tales that they can tell; which we all eagerly wait for of course.

 ***** 5/5

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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