Keep watching after the credits. For the love of all the gods, keep watching until after the credits. It’s very brief, but it will let you know one thing that will make everything worthwhile. You’ll need that feeling after playing through episode five, the final episode in the first season of Telltale’s Walking Dead. With more than a hint of finality this episode goes out of its way to remind you there is, in fact, No Time Left. Spoilers have been kept to a minimum, but beware if you haven’t played any of the previous entries yet.
Clementine is gone, Lee and the others set out to get her back. Clementine is the goal here. Where previous episodes took on more of a survival aspect, this is all about saving the character who has broken out to be the best of them all. Lee and Clem’s relationship is the one thing that has evolved in each and every episode and assuming you’ve let yourself get invested, you’ll be right there with Lee, willing to do whatever it takes to get her back. This all begins with a rather permanent and brutal decision within the first ten minutes that will immediately set the tone (and gameplay) for the duration. Your time will be spent searching for your ward and to save her from the mysterious kidnapper who has been taunting you through the walkie talkie.
While the gameplay remains the same as each previous episode - ie. simple adventure controls with some Quick Time Events thrown in for the more intense sections - there’s less emphasis on shooting, which has been getting increased use in the last couple of episodes. This serves well here, as everything you do relates to saving Clem. Everything bad that happens isn’t about getting out alive, just so you’re alive, it’s about getting out alive so you can push forward to save Clem. Unfortunately, given all the choices the game has allowed thus far, a very main character was taken from me without my having a choice in the matter. Where before we’ve had the option of generally choosing to save one and letting another die, here, I was robbed of someone I’d grown fond of in this particular episode without any way to save them.
The art style used remains as fitting as ever, and in this particular part manages to look beautiful on occasion, despite the end of the world it portrays. The angles used in some sequences, as well as the lighting can really make all the difference when someone is throwing out some simple dialogue, or moving from one end of a building sign to another.
When you finally reach your destination, Lee has a standout moment wading through a street completely filled with undead, armed only with a butchers knife. It’s something straight out of an action movie and may not seem fitting to such a story, but the moment really shows the determination Lee brings, and what he is willing to lose to save Clementine, should it come down to it. It’s yet more characterisation for a man who already has more depth than protagonists who have had entire series’ of games to develop.
Once all is said and done, you of course come to the end. This is what the series has been building up to the entire time and it doesn’t disappoint. There are exactly two ways Telltale could have went with the ending, and I’m glad to say they picked the right one. The other choice would have rendered the rest of the game moot, and the incoming second season pointless. If you’ve played all the past episodes I challenge you to not make whatever face you make when you get sad. It should happen, it will happen.
The voice acting moves things along nicely, everyone does a good job as always, but particularly mentions go to Dave Fennoy and Melissa Hutchinson as Lee and Clementine respectively. These two have brought their A-game every episode and this is their best yet, with some extremely emotional dialogue between the two. A story is pressed forward by its actors, and everybody present here ensures things progress nicely. The underuse of music also adds to things. You shouldn’t expect nice background music during an apocalypse and this makes sure you realise just how grave the situation is for the people you’ve been with since day one.
At around two hours, the episode is very short, but for all episodes the time reaches around 13-14 hours, which is perfect for the content and the story. Nothing outstays its welcome (except maybe Ben) and only episode four had any real issues. An outstanding effort from Telltale. An outstanding effort that deserves to be played, by both fans of The Walking Dead and fans of gaming. The story, the voice acting, the lack of any substantial gameplay (odd as it may sound), it all forms a brilliant package, and it deserves your time.
The Walking Dead Episode 5: No Time Left (Reviewed on Windows)
This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.
Keep watching after the credits. For the love of all the gods, keep watching until after the credits. It’s very brief, but it will let you know one thing that will make everything worthwhile. You’ll need that feeling after playing through episode five, the final episode in the first season of Telltale’s Walking Dead.