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The Walking Dead: The Final Season Ep 4 

Video Game Review

Written by Ryan Noble

Released by Skybound Games

Developed by Skybound Games (Episode 4)
2019, Rated Mature
Episode 4 released on 26 March 2019
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam, Nintendo Switch

Telltale The Walking Dead Final Season Large

Review:

If you read my recent review of Telltale’s The Walking Dead: The Final Season (episode 1-3), you’ll know how hyped I was to play the final episode, which released on 26th March 2019. Somehow, it’s taken me longer to get around to playing it than I expected…

Not only have I been in the mood to run-and-gun on something closer to Apex Legends, but TWD is a game that deserves time and thought. Plus, if I’m honest, these characters and this narrative have been in my life for the last seven years, and I think there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to see it end.

With a combination of a heavy heart and a need to know what happens next, I play through the final episode of The Walking Dead: The Final Season.

Out of the flames and into the fire…

Without stealing any of the story highlights from you, we leave the characters in a pretty intense situation in Episode 3. Think lots of zombies, lots of high-stake moment, some old ‘friends’, and an explosion.

Episode 4 opens on the aftermath of this explosion, but not before AJ takes a second to build the tension even further with his own internal monologue. Everything I was worried about in the final season is everything he’s now feeling so lost about…

Am I raising him right?

Does he know right from wrong?

Is the world robbing him of his innocence, or am I?

Yeah, well he’s not so sure either, so I head into the final episode of a seven-year story terrified about everything that came before, and everything that may come next.

Classic TWD.

Telltale The Walking Dead Final Season 01 Telltale The Walking Dead Final Season 02

An emotional rollercoaster I never want to get off...

As you’d expect, Big Things happen in this episode. Massive.

There are moments that cause that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, like when you’re in the car and you go over a hill too fast. I feel almost sick at the gravity of some of choices I’m making – choices I’ve already made – and how they’re affecting everything else that happens, both on-screen and off-screen in my mind for years to come.

Just like Telltale always wanted, I care about these characters – Clem and AJ in particular – and if TWD has taught me anything, things will go wrong for the people you love the most.

Skybound Games keeps up the tension the entire way through the episode, making you feel every turn, every loop, and every 180-degree turn to its most extreme. Even when things are calm and reflective, I’m somewhat nervous… It’s partially because I never want the story to end, and partially because if it doesn’t end soon my heart may give out under all the stress.

This final episode just feels so… final.

Episode 4 is the most action-packed and gory of all the episodes in The Final Season, and it’s bloated (in a good way) with finale-worthy moments. Some events are even uncomfortable to experience…

Without spoiling it for you, an example of this is that one character is so close to death, with chunks missing from all over their body – including a deep bite taken from their cheek – that the zombies completely ignore them. This person knows what’s coming and the last pieces of their sanity just unravel. It’s incredibly dark.

These moments, as dark as they are, are nicely balanced with character-driven conversations and moments. Sometimes they’re nostalgic and emotional, drawing on everything you’ve grown to know and love of these characters and how much they’ve been through. Other times, they’re making you think about what comes next, especially regarding AJ’s future.

Over the years, you’ve made him strong. You’ve made him capable. You’ve made him one of the biggest assets of the team, even at such a young age. But have you also made him a killer?

The lines are blurring between killing for survival and killing for… less, and it’s incredibly nerve-wracking to know that you only have until the credits roll to make an impact on such an impressionable mind. I managed to bring things around, but will you?

Telltale The Walking Dead Final Season 03 Telltale The Walking Dead Final Season 04

There’s no apocalypse without improvements needed…

There are a few sections which ramp from 0-10 without a second’s warning, which feels a bit jarring. You may have come to expect that from TWD and especially something you could expect in the final episode, but there’s an area with a character called James which feels somewhat… rushed.

His outburst makes what could have been some difficult choices quite easy, because I reacted out of anger rather than thought.

Then again, so many of life’s responses are given in the heat of the moment, leaving you to wonder how you should have really handled things when the dust has settled. Maybe that’s what they were aiming for, but I personally felt more like, “Well, f*ck you, sir.”

Occasionally, a few minor texture issues would also pop up when objects were close. While these in no way affect the power of the game, there were a couple of eventful moments where I was distracted by pixelated objects sitting behind the characters.

The final nail in a coffin made of human stories (and zombies)

The Walking Dead has been an amazing experience, from start to finish. Telltale, followed by Skybound, has told a tale that touched the lives of so many characters, locations, momentous events, and has spanned almost a decade in-game and real life.

It’s a game that has grown with its characters and its players, and not too many can say that. It’s a game that’s had me loving and hating equally, and it’s had my questioning my own choices and consequences more than any other game I’ve played since I first stepped into its ‘walker’-filled world in 2012.

If you’ve never played Telltale’s The Walking Dead, I’d recommend you fix that. Immediately. As I said in my review of the last three episodes, while the game’s mechanics and style have certainly improved over the years, the stories at their centre – ones of human’s struggle to survive with their humanity intact – are timeless.

TWD: The Final Season Episode 4 is a powerful, emotional finale to Telltale’s TWD, and it ended exactly as I wanted – no, needed – it to.

Thank you, Telltale, for giving us this story.

Telltale The Walking Dead Final Season 05 Telltale The Walking Dead Final Season 06

Grades:

Story: Fourstars Telltale The Walking Dead Final Season Small
Buy Amazon Uk
Graphics: Fourstars
Gameplay: Fourandahalfstars
Sound: Fourstars
Replayability: Fivestars
Overall: Fourstars

About The Author
Ryan Noble
Staff Reviewer
If Ryan isn't watching, reading or playing some form of horror, he's probably writing about it. He used to be an Editor at Indie Game Magazine so he has a soft spot for independent creators, especially when they're creating fear. Whether you're one such creator, or a fellow horror fan, let's speak about spooks on Twitter or email.
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