Back in 2012 we were introduced to Clementine, a young girl trying to survive the zombie apocalypse, based on the TV show of the same name. We followed her through Seasons 1 & 2, The New Frontier, and now The Walking Dead: The Final Season! Does this final season measure up to all the previous seasons and give us a satisfactory ending to an epic series?
Even though we never played as Clementine in the first season, she was always the star character that everyone became attached to. You played as Lee, who acted as a mentor of sorts, and helped her survive the new harsh world.
In season 2 we finally gained control of Clementine, and we able to see how far she had come from her time with Lee. She felt like a more capable character, but still keeping that child-like innocence.
The spin-off series, The New Frontier, had us play as Javier who was also trying to survive but had his family to take care of too. In this season, Clementine made an appearance as more of a side character, but played a big part of that season. We could see that she was no longer the scared child of the first two seasons, but had grown into a fierce and aggressive young woman.
A Grown-Up Clementine
So then that brings us to the final season, where we take control of Clementine for the last time and end her story. Things have gone full circle, where Clementine is now the mentor and carer of young AJ, just like Lee was once the mentor and carer of Clementine.
AJ was born in season 2, and since his mother died, Clementine has been the one to take care of him. AJ is roughly the same age of Clementine from the first season (though I’d say he’s still a bit younger) and is also learning how to survive the zombie apocalypse.
A lot of decisions you make in this final season usually involve AJ himself, whether directly or indirectly, and shape the character he may eventually become. A lot of decisions in the earlier seasons are more about survival and even choosing who lives and who dies. I still think the decisions in season 1 had the most weight to them.
In the following seasons, they seemed to lose that weight that made them feel like genuinely tough decisions. The same can be said in the final season. Of course, most decisions you make can still impact most of the characters, but a lot of outcomes are simply told to you in writing at the end of each episode.
I would rather have seen these outcomes shown more prominently in the game though. Seeing how each character feels about your choices through text isn’t as meaningful as if we could see them during the game. But surprisingly some choices you make actually lead you to entirely different scenes that you won’t see unless you make that specific choice.
For example if you choose to go perform a task with a certain character, you’ll see scenes that you wouldn’t see otherwise if you chose the other character to go with. So if you want to see everything, you’ll have to replay the game, so at least there’s more replay value this time around.
The Cast of The Final Season
Speaking of characters, I really enjoyed the cast in this final season. One thing you’ll notice, is that the vast majority of them are teens. In previous seasons, Clementine was one of only a small few kids in the game, and it was mostly adults running the show.
Here, Clementine and AJ have joined up with a group of teens hiding away at their former school and have created a fortress and place to call home. It creates a whole new dynamic having a group of only teenagers with no adults in the mix. In fact the only adults you’ll meet are the villains you need to watch out for.
I had my favourites when it came to the cast- the charming Louise and the introvert Violet are ones that really stood out. When Clementine used to be in groups with adults, you could never really feel much connection with them, because they weren’t her age and never properly became friends with her (except for Lee).
But with this new cast of characters, there is a connection there, and you’ll feel a little bit closer to them. That’s not to say there isn’t any drama, this is The Walking Dead after all! A lot of the drama comes from the characters themselves as opposed to the dangerous ‘walkers’ out in the wilderness, especially in the first two episodes.
The Story of The Final Season
In terms of the game’s story, like previous seasons, it’s all about Clementine trying to survive with the current group she’s in. The first episode was all about meeting the new characters and establishing relationships with them.
The second episode is about learning about your biggest threats and defending yourselves against them. The remainder of the season involves rescuing certain characters, so it’s surprising how little the story involves the zombies themselves, considering they are the reason why the world is in the state it’s in.
I won’t go any further about the story for spoilers reasons, but the final season doesn’t have that ‘epic journey’ feel about it like the first season did. The characters then were always on the run, trying to find a new home.
But that’s where this season differs, where you actually finally found a place to call home, so that’s where you’ll be spending the whole season. But that’s actually a good thing in relation to the entire Walking Dead series. It’s always been about finding a place to finally live, and it’s great to see Clementine being able to settle down for (hopefully) the rest of her life.
We’ve always seen her trying to survive the outside world, and never really settling, so it’s nice to see that change of pace. This point is further hammered home with Clementine and AJ having their own room that can be decorated throughout the season.
The last thing I’ll mention about the story is the ending. Don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil it here, but all I’ll say is that it’s very surprising!
I still haven’t spoken about any of the gameplay yet, but that’s because it’s not a big focus in these type of games. But compared to the previous seasons, this one does have more gameplay than before. There’s a bit of aiming your weapon at zombies and things like that, it’s still all about the story and characters, but it was nice to see of gameplay.
The Walking Dead: The Final Season Review Summary
I’ll admit I will miss Clementine and her journey in surviving the zombie apocalypse. There’s been many characters along the way and many big twists that have shocked us. I was always hoping to see Clementine’s story branch out into her adulthood, but since this is the final season, and developers Telltale closing down, we’ll never see any more of her again.
Regardless, I’m fine with the way Clementine’s story ended. There’s only so much zombie apocalypse story you can tell before it starts getting old. It has been a fun and memorable ride and I am sad that it’s all over. If you haven’t played this series yet, I do recommend it, but only if you’re able to put storyline first and gameplay a distant second.