Review by Bkstunt_31
At the end, a tear rolls down...
Fair Warning! This review is for The Walking Dead Episode 5: No Time Left. This is the VERY LAST EPISODE of the entire game and should of course be the last episode that you play as well.
Things can't get much worse for Lee Everett. In Savannah at the end of Episode 4 Lee has no idea where Clementine is, which is the worst possible thing that could happen (right!?). After initially thinking that perhaps Vernon took her near the end of Episode 4 (he did steal your boat, after all) Lee finds out, thanks to Clementine's radio, that she was indeed kidnapped... but the man on the other end wasn't Vernon at all!
As you can imagine since this is the last Episode of the game, your search for Clementine results in a dramatic conclusion. You will of course be helped (or maybe not, depending on your choices in previous episodes) by the remaining survivors as you search for Clementine and along the way you'll go through some very emotional situations. Every secret and motive comes out in the open during the episode as you lose even more party members and even encounter some kill/don't kill opportunities as well.
In my view, the entirety of the series is centered around Lee and Clementine and Episode 5 remembers that. It really showcases the love between the two of you in a powerful way as you play through the game. The episode does more than that though, it also forces you to reflect on everything you've done to get here: all of your choices and decisions are brought up. At the very end you are left with an ending that is fitting, especially given all that you have sacrificed for Clementine. And like my review title states I, for one, was chocked up by the ending. Now THAT is how you know a story such as this one has done its job!
The game play is of course essentially more of the same. There are of course some fight scenes (when isn't there?) and even a little live action gun-play but not very much of either. There's the occasional puzzle but the ones in Episode 5 aren't very clever and are laughably easy. Most of the game is dialog and interaction between party members (which admittedly IS very fitting since it is the last episode and all).
The graphics in the game are exactly what you'd expect if you've made it this far. Some areas of the previous episode, such as the fall-out shelter and the mansion, are re-used in this title, but there's also some new places to check out as well. Don't expect a lot of things to interact with though, as the newer areas are pretty much all small confined rooms with little to look at. The single new character introduced in the episode is definitely well designed. Lee himself undergoes a LOT of graphical changes as the episode progresses, which took a bit of work to pull off but the end result was well done.
The audio in the game is great, but then again it's been great throughout the entire series hasn't it? The orchestrated music does a lot to emphasize the story and helps to boost how emotional the story can get. Meanwhile the voice actors continue to do a great job with their characters until the very end. Another great effort by the audio team; I enjoyed listening to every second of the game.
While the episode (and game) definitely end in a very particular way (that no, you cannot change), Episode 5 still has quite a few things you can do differently as you play through it, especially when you combine it together with your final decisions in Episode 4. The ending of the game does, however, make it very possible for another game to be made. Can we hope for a Season 2 perhaps? One can only hope!
When the story is powerful enough to move a jaded gamer to tears, you KNOW you've told a good story. The Walking Dead does just that and is supported by it's great audio along the way. And if you're feeling nostalgic, there's plenty of choice throughout the end of Episode 4 and Episode 5 to re-play the episodes and see what sort of changes you can bring about.
If you've played the series up until Episode 5, you are in for a treat. The series that started out with a bang ends the same way. Have fun and keep playing!
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: The Walking Dead: Episode 5 - No Time Left (US, 11/20/12)
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