REVIEW: The Walking Dead Season Two Episode Five: No Going Back

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As long as I’ve played Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead I’ve been on one wild ride.  Back in Season One, I was introduced to Lee Everett, a history professor from the University of Georgia on his way to prison for killing a senator who slept with his wife.  After the cop car he was traveling in strikes a walker and careens into a ditch, he was suddenly thrown into the Zombie Armageddon (NOTE: I’ve found that the word “apocalypse” is frequently misused, as the word has Greek roots meaning “revelation”), where he found then-eight-year-old Clementine, a frightened little girl whose parents went missing in the city.  I’ve gone on one well-told episode after another, with friendships forged and broken over the course of the season.  Tensions ran high, people died, and I was anxious to know how my story unfolded with Lee.  Alongside my Lee Everett, I had him take care of Clementine as best he could (or at least, how I could in that given situation) so that she would eventually grow into a stronger person by experiencing one hard reality after another.  This set the stage for Season Two.

Season Two switches the protagonist to young Clementine shortly after the conclusion of Season One (yes, the two silhouetted figures in the distance on the horizon were Omid and Christa).  After a reckless teen scavenger accidentally kills Omid in the bathroom, the story fast-forwards to over a year, where Clementine, now eleven, stumbles upon another group after getting bitten by a hungry dog.  Everything that has ever happened over the entire series converges on one single point in No Going Back, when Clem learns a lot more about survival and human interaction as she sees another group fall apart around her.  Since I tend to play games for the story, I usually get immersed in the tale as the story continues.  The writing was once again done exceptionally well by the Telltale team and the use of their story engine, the Telltale Tool, delivers another emotional blow as characters you’ve come to know (and either love or hate) die off.  After everything ended, my only question going into Season Three now is this: what will become of Clementine?

Telltale has delivered on yet another powerful finish to an excellent season of wonderful storytelling, and although some parts felt a tad forced and made the player’s decision felt cheap one way or another, overall The Walking Dead is an emotional rollercoaster that brings fans coming back for more.  Just like their other adventure series, The Wolf Among Us (set in Bill Willingham‘s fantasy graphic novel series Fables), Telltale Games may leave you wanting to have another season.  Keep ’em coming, guys!

VERDICT: 8/10 (Sink Your Fangs)

+ Emotionally powerful writing || + Engaging story leaves you wanting more

– Decisions felt cheap at some points || – Some deaths were somewhat predictable


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