Review – Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 5: No Going Back

walking dead

Oh Clementine…

Season 2 of Telltales’ The Walking Dead game has ended in what was a great wrap that brought us some of the most brutal killings and tragic losses we’ve had to deal with yet. Although the finale never quite matched the epic story arc of Episode 3, “In Harms Way,” there is no shortage of tough decisions and heartbreaking moments in episode five, “No Going Back.” While a lot of the season two finale follows the same formulaic patterns as previous episodes by giving you the “illusion” of making multiple decisions only to get the exact same outcome with a slightly different flavor, what really shocked me at the end of the episode had nothing really to do with the story at all.

If you have kept up with my recaps and reviews of the Walking Dead Season 2 game, you would know that my biggest gripe in the series is the feeling that I am really not shaping the story line, but rather only making very minor choices as I plummet towards the same inevitable outcomes. It’s a frustrating feeling that has caused me to not really “play in the moment” and make decisions I may not have made otherwise, because why not? This all seemingly changes at the end of episode 5. For the first time in the game the storyline truly branched in pretty much six different ways at the end.

Your survival group is clearly crumbling leading into the finale, and much of the storyline is you as Clementine trying to keep the peace between fighting survivalists, or choosing which members are right and wrong and shifting towards one faction or the other. Do you side with the people in your group that you have more history with although they are losing their mind? Do you side with the newer group members that still have hope for humanity? Will you risk your own life to save another? These are the hard decisions you have to make in the latest episode culminating with actual decisions that for the first time have the opportunity to take the Walking Dead Video Game franchise to the next level for Season 3.

As I mentioned before there were about 6 entirely different outcomes you can end up with in Season 2, which leaves Telltale themselves with two different paths to go down. Path one is that they do as they have always done and no matter which of the paths you went down in Episode 5, they will disregard and start everyone out in the exact same spot at the beginning of season 3. This would be a slap in the face to the player in my opinion, who put a lot of time and effort into role playing this game and put genuine thought into the decisions they made. Path number two is what I believe we have been clamoring for since the beginning, and that is a true branching storyline. There were six total ending, but in all honesty, breaking down to watch them all they can be summarized as just three different endings. My hope is that Season 3 lets you start where you left off in Season 2, starting off in what’s essentially three totally unique storylines, that if played through by themselves could see certain characters and situations crossover to see the full impact of the last decision in the previous season.

Pipe dream? Probably. Do I realize that this is essentially making three different games rolled into one? Yes.. But for the franchise to evolve and hold interest I think it’s the next step. Let my fantasies take nothing away from The Walking Dead Season 2. This season all in all was thoroughly exciting and during the span of 5 episodes really caused me to make decisions that surprise and made me question myself ethically. For those who followed my reviews of the game, thank you, and if you yourself have any ideas or thoughts on how Telltale should proceed with the series in season three let us know in the comments below.

Rating: 4/5 Atoms

NR 4 Atoms - B

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Cory Vincent
Cory Vincent 434 posts

Forged in the crucible of awkwardness and self loathing, Cory somehow manages to get himself out of bed each day and make it a priority to spend life killing Beef and going H.A.M.