Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

The Walking Dead: No Time Left
 BLOG ABOUT THIS

Review: The Walking Dead: No Time Left

1:00 PM on 11.23.2012 // Fraser Brown
  @FraserIBrown

You'd better run

[This review contains some minor spoilers from earlier episodes.]

It's over, then. The Walking Dead was a harrowing, turbulent, tragic journey that took seven months to play out, and ended with a couple hours of extreme violence, horrific guilt, and maybe the glimmer of hope. I challenge your eyes to remain dry. 

The fifth and final episode in the series is a triumph, start to finish. It doesn't wrap things up in a lovely package with a tasteful bow, and it won't leave you with a feeling of contentment, but it couldn't be more perfect for a series where loss is waiting around every corner.  

The Walking Dead: No Time Left (Mac, PC [Reviewed], PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade)
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Release: November 21, 2012
MSRP: $4.99 (No Time Left) / $24.99 (All episodes)

No Time Left is cruel.

It's easy to forget, amid all the shambling corpses, betrayals, and drama, that Lee Everett is a convicted murderer -- one who never pretends he was innocent. It was an important plot point early on, with players having to decide who they could trust with Lee's secret, but other, more immediate concerns would eventually take center stage. 

Had the dead not risen, Lee would have been serving a life sentence for the murder of a man. Instead, he finds himself freed from his bonds, and trying to survive in a nightmarish, post-apocalyptic world. There aren't many things as unpleasant as prison, but that's certainly one of them. 

More than in any of the other episodes, No Time Left is Lee's penance and punishment. 

Clementine, who has undoubtedly become the center of Lee's world, is gone, kidnapped, and the entirety of the episode is focused on getting her back, safely. Even above survival, Clem's safety has been the greatest concern throughout the entire experience, and with that in mind, Lee transforms into a force to be reckoned with. A father, since that is what he has essentially become to Clem, who will do anything and go through any hell to get his child back. And that's exactly what he does.

The balance between action and dialogue hits the sweet spot, and my issues with the pacing problems from the previous episode feel like a distant memory. Despite the constant sense of immediacy permeating throughout the episode, and the constantly looming threat of a zombie attack, every character is given the time to grow and, in the case of those that have become liabilities, redeem themselves.

While players can still choose to play Lee as a taciturn pragmatist, I played the most honestly I have since I started this adventure, and found myself looking at old characters with fresh eyes. It's a testament to the abilities of the writers that they were able to bring some unlikeable characters back from the brink, and make me care about them and take risks to save their lives. There's a final understanding between the characters that, while being bittersweet, humanizes them more than ever before. 

The choices of the sort the series has become known for fly hard and fast, requiring snap decision after snap decision -- it's chaotic and desperate. Most of them don't have a massive impact on the way the story plays out, but we already know what's going to happen to Lee. Instead, it makes it at least feel like you are in charge, even if everything is really out of your control. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you're screwed, but that doesn't mean the choices don't matter. The payoff is in the reactions and responses of the characters; the painful glances, the worry they feel, and the sacrifices they make.

Puzzles, as always, are simple things, though they are at their most organic here. It's a short episode, and one where you are rushing to save a little girl, so brain teasers wouldn't exactly be appropriate. Generally they involve getting out of one place and into another, which may seem a little dull, but tie in perfectly with Lee's single objective: finding Clem.

Where the violence of the previous episode made the zombies seem like nothing but cannon fodder, No Time Left uses its action sequences in far more meaningful ways. Desperate struggles, standoffs, and near misses bring back the threat of the undead, making them more than window dressing; while the consequences of limited ammo become all the more apparent. The brutality reaches new heights in one particular sequence that truly deserves the accolade of "epic," with its swelling music and countless corpses put to the ground with efficient finality.

As the screen faded to black, and the credits rolled, I sat in silence. It took me a few drinks and a couple of cigarettes before I even wanted to think about writing a review of what has become a personal journey. While there have been several great adventure titles this year, none have taken the genre in such a different direction. Part interactive fiction, part adventure game, it turned relationships and characters into puzzles, and just like with real people, they don't really have solutions. It's been an immensely challenging ride, yet without any of the features normally associated with difficulty, and it encourages players to look at games in different, broader ways.

I have no doubt that people will want to talk about their own experiences for quite a long time, and I'm bursting to do it right now -- damn you, restraint! The game demands players become invested in it and its memorable cast, and that makes it very difficult to look at each episode separately. The overall package is a phenomenal one, but I must admit that it is the end that will stick with me the most, with all the other episodes leading up to this massive crescendo.

It was an upsetting goodbye, perhaps even one with tears, but I wouldn't have it any other way.



THE VERDICT

9.5

The Walking Dead: No Time Left - Reviewed by Fraser Brown
Entrancing - It's like magic, guys. Time disappears when this game and I are together, and I never want it to end. I'm not sure if this is a love that will last forever, but if it is, you'll get no complaints from me.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Fraser Brown, Former Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure FraserIBrown Tips
Fraser Brown is that bearded, bespectacled Scotsman that covers PC gaming who is not Alasdair Duncan. Got a splinter stuck in his hand nineteen years ago and just left it in there. True story. ... more   |   staff directory





 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
The Walking Dead: No Time Left


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Review: Pony Island - Maneiac Crop!

The meaning of The Witness (Part 1 of 3)

Do you even Bebop?

Cblogs of 02/04/16 + Bayonetta and some other one I suppose

Waifu Wars: Your Cruel Device, Your Blood Like Ice..

Best Kickstarter implosion EVER as dev money is spent on booze and strippers

Video Gaming Bits -- Dungeons& Dragons: Tower of Doom

Is Planet Earth more than Blue, such as An?

Cblogs of 2-3-16 + Umbra Smash Climax-isms!

Three Of My Favourite Videogame Locations (Part 2)

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

PappaBear avatarPappaBear
Impromptu Quiplash Stream Pre-FNF Come join https://gaming.youtube.com/watch?v=793yaFcpJyI
KingSigy avatarKingSigy
After a long struggle, I seem to have landed in a dream job. It's very exciting and nerve wracking, but I'm happy with where I ended up.
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
Got myself a job for the summer! Now celebrating with some freshly bought Gravity Rush.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
REMEMBER: Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is on PS+ for PS3! For PS3/PS4 owners like me who have barely used their PS3's since the PS4, remember that Sony still supports it!
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
*Giggles with glee* img I am loving XCOM 2, even what little of the story I've seen is great! Lost one solider in the first mission. After if course completely failing it XD
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
So uh... I didn't know Nordic was handing out free upgrades of Darksiders 2 Dethinitive Edition for us owners of the original game + all DLC on PC. I wonder if it's even worth installing compared to the original release.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Change the text to Destructoid. Make the alien Mr. Destructoid. And make the skulls either just Jonathan Holmes, or all staff. [img]http://www.destructoid.com/ul/339243-/xcom2box-noscale.jpg[/img] We can make it into an unofficial shirt if it rocks?
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Can any California based Dtoiders confirm/deny how accurate American Truck Simulator is, scenery wise? Apart from the total lack of pedestrians, that is.As a Brit I remember playing Euro Truck Simulator 2 and not recognising a damn thing about Manchester.
ScionVyse avatarScionVyse
Wario getting a look at dat ass the only way he knows how.
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Okay, what the hell is Youth Health Mag and why is it always sited as a news source?
ScionVyse avatarScionVyse
I changed my avatar. You want to sue me? My lawyers are ready to trademark suing me so you have to pay me first.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
The multiple flavors of the soundtrack found in the options of Crypt of the Necrodancer is one of the coolest things I've ever seen a rhythm game do. Been happily replaying the earlier levels just to see a different artist's take on Danny B's original.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, the steam lunar new year sale got me. By making me get BROFORCE!!!! I feel more patriotic already.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
DICKS! Now that I have your attention why don't you join our [url=https://discord.gg/0koh7AdmqhjF1egd]super unofficial Discord chat room[/url]? No installs required and it is always up. So far no spam, no drama, all fun and chit chat / dank memes.
ShadeOfLight avatarShadeOfLight
I...I think I may have caused the new Steam sale. I didn't buy enough during Christmas time. Now Steam is coming for me. I can feel its breath behind me already. I don't have much time left. Whoever reads this, whatever you do, DON'T LOOK INTO ITS -
SayWord avatarSayWord
This cat from a cat-cafe clearly gives no fucks about being burned alive.
Shinta avatarShinta
Just discovered this today. 2012 album, solo artist writes it all herself. I'm blown away ... this is like my album of the year so far, easily. Listen to this song until the end, it just keeps getting better. Wow.
RenaudB90 avatarRenaudB90
Steam, no, please! Not another sale! I need the money for Fire Emblem!
CatastrophiCreations avatarCatastrophiCreations
We just launched our Super Mario cat wall!
CatastrophiCreations avatarCatastrophiCreations
The PacMan Complex is a massive cat haven which doubles as nerdy wall art. It comes with removable wall vinyls.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -