Filled with twists and turns, the penultimate episode delivers one explosive finale
It’s perhaps apt that The Walking Dead: The Final Season has risen from the dead. Last September, Telltale Games announced that they were facing closure and cancelling all current and future projects, including The Walking Dead. With episode one already out and episode two only days from release, fans were devastated to learn that they wouldn’t get to finish Clementine’s story. Thankfully, Skybound Games stepped in to help finance and finish the final two episodes.
Under the guidance of a new developer, the third episode, Broken Toys, has succeeded in continuing Clementine’s story by delivering a heart-wrenching episode fuelled by character development, devastating moral choices and emotional turmoil.
Broken Toys sees the remaining group of child survivors stewing in the chaos left from the previous episode after The Raiders launched an attack on the school. With some friends captured and others dead, tensions between those who remain begin to mount, and blame is quickly assigned.
As always, morals and humanity come into question as Clementine struggles in a group dynamic and, specifically, with the fear that she won’t be able to protect everyone. It’s touching to see that, as much as Skybound Games are focused on creating an action-filled episode, there’s food for thought when it comes to Clementine’s situation and how you as a player will guide her decisions.
Focus during the initial hour is on that of character development as Clementine suffers with the pressure of teaching young AJ right from wrong in a twisted and corrupted world. There’s also a collection of moving moments between the survivors at the school as the remaining kids throw a party before what they suspect will be a brutal battle. Whilst action is minimal during the first hour, it’s these heart-to-heart sequences which add real depth to the episode.
However, pacing in Broken Toys sometimes feels a bit off; the episode shifts from planning an infiltration of an enemy camp to nonchalantly planning the aforementioned party in the next scene. Whilst the drawn-out length of the episode allows for more fleshed out character interactions, at times it still feels like Skybound were trying to cram as much content in as possible.
The finale of Broken Toys may be one of the best closing scenes from the entire franchise. Tension is slowly built as Clementine’s infiltration plan slowly unravels, and ideas that seemed good at the school (like building another huge fertiliser bomb) don’t come off quite as expected. At the end of it all, awaits a final choice which will strain your morale compass to breaking point.
Filled with twists and turns, the penultimate episode delivers one explosive finale and, with only one instalment left to tie up Clementine’s story, it still feels like anything could happen.
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