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Review: The Walking Dead - The Final Season: Suffer The Children

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The Telltale Heart

[Despite last week's unfortunate events for Telltale Games, it's only right that we honour the talented men and women of the studio by reviewing what may prove to be their final release. This is now very likely the last episode in a series that may not see completion, which should be strongly considered when taking purchases into account.]

We are merely one episode down in the final season of Telltale's adventure series The Walking Dead and already, deep in the forest, the shit has hit the fan. Having not been a part of their new community for more than 48 hours, already Clementine and Al have been thrust into high drama among their associates, holed up in an abandoned schoolhouse.

With the threat of Walkers - and equally dangerous humans - lurking at the gates, bloodshed has already taken place within the school's walls, with survival and betrayal being the only lessons taught today. Is Clem responsible for bringing this drama to the seemingly comfortable community of youngsters? Regardless, will her shaky alliance of new friends see things the same way?



The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 2: Suffer The Children
(PC [reviewed], PS4, Xbox One)

Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Released: September 25, 2018
MSRP: $19.99/£18.99 (Disclaimer: Season very unlikely to see completion)

[Minor Spoilers Below]

In the aftermath of the horrendous bloodshed that took place at the climax of Done Running, Clem and A.J. now find themselves looked upon with fear and distrust from their new friends. Whilst Clementine tries to explain to a confused A.J the ramifications of his actions, Louis, Violet, Ruby and the rest of the kids are left to ruminate some tough decisions in the wake of the tragedy.

Suffer The Children is a dialogue and moral-heavy episode of The Final Season. Clementine is forced to take a stand on A.J's actions, whilst continuing to keep him safe from the mounting anger of the pack. Pushed outside the compound, things go from bad to worse, as a shocking face from the past returns, bringing a violent new card into play.

Away from all the skull-stabbing, some romance options also blossom into the narrative, allowing Clem the opportunity to perhaps find her own small happiness. There is some inclusivity involved here, which should definitely be applauded. But, given that we have known these prospective partners scant hours, it's hard to establish a connection of true love, although the scene I saw worked very well to attempt it, in that clumsy but heartwarming "teenage crush" fashion.

Episode 2 also brings two strong new characters into the cast, a mysterious new friend and a dangerous antagonist, with the narrative immediately stamping the importance of both roles into the story. With the ticking clock counting down to an attack by a pack of raiders, Clem and crew are forced to batten down the hatches, leading to a brutal siege at the schoolhouse, filled with eye-popping, joint-snapping mayhem. This ultimately culminates in a typical cliffhanging conclusion.

As the credits roll, however, all that's left is cruel sadness, with the apparent notion that it is now a cliffhanger that will never see resolution. The Walking Dead: The Final Season hasn't displayed anything particularly new or groundbreaking from a technical standpoint, but has, in just two episodes, assembled a warm cast of characters, anchored by a lead who is, absolutely, one of the best female characters in the pantheon of video games protagonists. That after multiple seasons she is unlikely to reach her own destiny - whatever that may have been - is a tragedy.



I'm sure there are some very unhappy TWD fans reading articles such as this in the hope it can provide them with some sort of validation or solace. I personally don't have anything to offer to make things better. I wish I did. But, for whatever its worth, if this does prove the end of the road for Clementine and her story, you can at least take comfort in what a wonderful journey it's been, the many emotions you may have felt watching a frightened child become a confident, strong, badass young woman, whilst giving you lots of thrills, chills and some pulse-pounding moral dilemmas en route.

The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series, in spite of its sad end, leaves an indelible mark in the history of video games. The artists, writers, programmers, actors and other talented folk who bust a gut to deliver this epic adventure now deserve to move on to better, brighter and happier scenarios. As for Clementine, who knows what awaits her in the future? (although I've never bought for a second that Telltale planned to kill her off). Regardless, one place that she's guaranteed to be found, forever, is in the annals of video game history and in the hearts of thousands of her fans worldwide. We'll miss you.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]


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The Walking Dead: The Final Season: Suffer The Children reviewed by Chris Moyse

7

GOOD

Solid and definitely has an audience. There could be some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.
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Chris Moyse
Chris MoyseWeekend Editor   gamer profile

Chris (Orochileona) has been playing video games since video games began... still terrible at them. Former Saturday Night Slam Master, rambles nostalgically like Abe Simpson. I ain't here to figh... more + disclosures


 


 


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