Review by paleselan
"A Game Worth Dying For"
After Telltale's fourth episode of The Walking Dead: The Game, the fifth episode had quite a lot of ground to make up. The fourth episode's story practically moved at a standstill, and only the last few moments actually set up the finale to the season. Fortunately, No Time Left takes the final moments of the fourth episode and sprints with them. The two hours a player will spend on this episode are the best in the series, and the most action packed as well.
As players will remember, Lee was bit in the final moments of the fourth episode. In addition to this crisis, Clementine was kidnapped as well. This adds a sense of urgency to this episode that hasn't been present in any of the others. Lee seems to be facing an inevitable fate. All those that are bitten are plagued to die. Lee literally has just hours left to live, and the game makes the most of them. All the relationships and choices made throughout the other episodes were building up to this episode. All the loose ends presented within the past episodes are tied up within the normal time span of the episode.
This works wonders on the gameplay. Some other episodes had a moderate amount of busy-work. This is no longer present in No Time Left. Since Lee has just hours left, there is no time to waste on busywork. The whole episode is spent shooting, chopping, or making tough decisions. The tension is high and the urgency within the episode makes sure that the player in never bored and is always entertained.
This episode's story is also the hardest to get through out of all the episodes. This isn't bad, this just means that an emotional person should be sure to bring along a few tissues. There are sad moments littered throughout the whole experience, and this just makes the game that much better. All the choices you have made, even ones in previous episodes that you thought were obsolete, have become relevant again. Almost every heartbreaking moment in the fifth episode can be traced back to a bad decision you made in the past. Benevolence is not rewarded. On the contrary, the game takes a realistic approach and punishes players who didn't make the hard decisions and only made the right decisions.
The Walking Dead isn't about zombies. The Walking Dead isn't about apocalyptic America. The Walking Dead is about humans, plain and simple. The Walking Dead reveals the truth about crisis. The fifth episode does the best doing this, displaying that often times, stealing will keep you alive. Killing someone in cold blood, may save your life later on. The Walking Dead demonstrates to players how humans are built and how they are supposed to react when in life or death situations. The story is much deeper that just about a few survivors stuck in the middle of an apocalypse. The story is about love, family, hardships, survival, and sacrifice.
In The Walking Dead: The Game -- Episode 5: No Time Left, the title doesn't do the episode justice. This is no game, it's an interactive experience; a masterpiece. The Walking Dead isn't about having fun or shooting zombies; it's about taking a trip on an incredibly emotional and consequential journey, where every decision a player makes matters. Episode 5: No Time Left, and all the other episodes for that matter, needs to be played by not only gamers, but every person who enriches their life with entertainment. This is an experience that nobody will forget and will be talked about for years to come.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/23/12
Game Release: The Walking Dead: Episode 5 - No Time Left (US, 11/21/12)
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