The Ninjabot

The Walking Dead: No Time Left Review

Posted on November 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm by Stephen Janes

Warning: Spoilers ahead, read on at your own risk

Telltale has produced one of the year’s finest titles with The Walking Dead: The Game, which concluded its first season with episode five, No Time Left. Proving to be the most emotionally charged and difficult of the group, Telltale proved they could produce a quality title without the big budget or marketing as other games warrant.

Picking up exactly where episode four left off, Lee is conversing with Clementine’s kidnapper and dealing with his own walker bite that he sustained. Immediately as you start the game, you are forced to make a decision on your infected limb. You can choose to cut the arm off or keep it, both of which are affected by your previous decision to inform your group of the bite or to keep it hidden. Episode five featured more quick decisions than the previous games, which really gave you the feeling that you were out of time.

To make matters worse, your escape plan has been altered thanks to Vernon and his crew commandeering your boat. When I played, I had Ben watch the boat (which was useless) causing more bad blood between him and Kenny. This solidified the plan to save Clementine but also posed another riff in the group, as there were disagreements about where to settle to safety. You can choose which plan sounds the sanest, but keep in mind everybody will be eyeing you differently throughout the game based on your actions.

You and your companions have been through so much together, but who will survive after this?

What I did appreciate about this recent installment was the lack of “open space” that you had to explore. Think in previous chapters how you had time to relax and search the motel or the farm house for extended periods of time. Here in “No Time Left,” you really didn’t have a relaxing checkpoint which again, provided a sense of urgency. Based on the dialogue, it seems like you could have been exiled if you didn’t reveal your bite to the group, which could completely alter your experience with this chapter.

Regardless of your decisions in previous games, you are in for emotional turmoil with your remaining party members. I started this episode with Kenny, Ben, Omid and Christa on mostly good terms. Kenny and Ben were still going head to head until I was able to diffuse the situation and at least get Kenny to stop screaming obscenities at the poor kid. You also are forced with the difficult task of choosing somebody to watch over Clementine after Lee is gone. You can make the decision in front of everybody or in secret, which proved to be a more difficult decision than it really should have been.

The second half of this episode was one of the most dramatic experiences I have ever had with any video game. At one point, Lee has finally made his way to the Marsh House where Clementine is being kept and finds himself facing impossible odds against a street full of zombies. Having already being bit and slowly inching towards death (or reanimation), Lee decides to march through the zombie horde stopping at nothing. At this moment, I thought it was me fighting for my life on-screen as I feverishly entered every button input that appeared, doing my best war cry as I charged into battle.

I have never cared for fictional characters as much as I have cared for Clementine and Lee.

When it was all said and done, this game had me on the floor crying like a man-child. I have never seen a game grab my emotions and hold on so tight, nor have I ever cared so much for a fictional character. The theme of the entire game was to protect Clementine and every decision made, you felt like you were progressing one step closer to her. The last ten minutes of the game was just dialogue between Lee and Clementine which I hated, because it had me crying like a house wife watching her morning soap operas. After I wiped the tears away and the credits rolled, there was a teaser to keep you thinking until season two is released.

When I first heard about The Walking Dead game from Telltale, I was very cautious since their previous titles (Jurassic Park, Back to the Future) were not well received and suffered from many technical issues. The Walking Dead is another story, however, as the strong plot and character development makes the player invested in the game on a whole new level. While there still were a few technical bugs that caused the game to skip frames or falter the visual presentation, this game is absolutely one of my favorites in the past year. The nominations for ‘Game of the Year’ are rightfully deserved as The Walking Dead: The Game is a must-play title for whatever console you like to run with. Even better is the notion that you can replay the first season utilizing different choices for a completely new experience, which adds to the replay value of the game.

Pros: Well done story line, great writing and excellent emotional pull
Cons: Still minor technical bugs that flare up, awkward camera angles at time

Presentation: 9.5
Gameplay: 9
Replay Value: 9.5


    • I've gotta say The Walking Dead game has been one of my favorite releases this year. I was amazed at how much I cared for these characters. Yeah there were a few that got on my nerves (Larry, Lilly, and Kenny), but I just chalked that up to cabin fever. In the end, it was all about doing whatever it takes to save Clem.

      I was sad to see how things ended, but after the events of Episode 4 we knew it couldn't go any other way. Lee is the man, and I stand by every decision I made for him. At first I was a little nervous about the quick decision process this game forces down our throat. I ended up really appreciating what little time I had to go with my gut and do what I thought was right.

      TWD is an awesome game and I have spent the last few weeks telling everyone I know to pick it up. $25 is totally worth it, but you might want to wait for the Steam Winter Sale next month. I'm sure it will be $12.50 or less. I can't wait for Season 2!!!

    • stephenkjanes

      There were a few times where, after making a quick decision, I immediately regretted what I had done but stuck with it because I was interested in seeing how it played out. Absolutely a great game, worth every penny.

      Now we count down the days until season two.

    • Finally finished the game this past weekend; I cried like a baby too. I actually called a friend of mine to talk about the game since he'd finished it before me, and I couldn't even speak for several minutes because I still felt so emotional over it.

      As for the bite, I tried to keep it secret from the group, but they didn't exile me after finding out. They were mostly concerned.

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