A lot of people seem torn about the last season of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead game series, but I for one enjoyed it. As with most gamers, I waited anxiously for the next installment of the series which is also sadly the last for our beloved heroine Clementine beginning with The Walking Dead: The Final Season – Episode One: Done Running. Featuring an improved look and some gameplay mechanics both good and flawed, it looks like the end of Clem’s chapter is off to a solid start.
If you’re like me and started this one without a game save file from the previous installments, you’ll be treated to a fun little montage at the start where you’ll make key choices from all of the previous chapters. Those who do have a save file will be good to go as you can import it before you begin.
The story kicks off some time after the events from season three, and has Clementine and AJ riding around in a car and looking for supplies to survive. After an incident causes them to lose the car and get hurt, they’re taken in by some kids and teens that have made their old school into a decent sanctuary. Without giving anything away and as with all of the other entries in this franchise, it’ll fall on you to guide Clem and help out around the school, alleviate tensions and drama, and of course kill zombies while also watching her back and AJ’s from all sorts of dangers living and dead.
I have to admit that when I first starting playing, I could feel my love for Telltale start to come back after some so-so releases they were throwing out left and right. Playing this on my Xbox One X, I could immediately see the graphical improvements they’ve done with their new game engine, though characters still tend to move jerky and janky every now and then. They’ve also changed some of the fundamental gameplay features such as the way you kill zombies where you now have to take out their knees and legs first before you kill them, least you get ganged on and die. Speaking of dying, there’s also some flawed changes to the game as well, such as the “choices” you can make.
While Telltale games are famously known for their choice system, some of the choices you pick here will actually get your killed, making them not really a choice at all. It’s as though Telltale wants you to play freely, but only sometimes while you have to play it their way when they choose. I can’t tell you how annoyed I was when I picked a choice only to see Clem get shot, eaten by zombies, and the like, as though Telltale is forcing you to die at least once to keep you from a “perfect” playthrough.
Those annoyances aside, The Walking Dead: The Final Season – Episode One: Done Running is a great start to this last chapter of Clementine’s fight to survive in a zombie filled world. With a trademark cliffhanger ending to this episode, I’ll be waiting on pins and needles for the next one to drop early next month like everyone else who plays this, as the struggle continues.