Weekly Gaming: The Walking Dead Season 2: Episode 5 (PC) SPOILERS!!!

Weekly Gaming: The Walking Dead Season 2: Episode 5 (PC) SPOILERS!!!
So here we are at the final episode. It’s taken a while (7 hours so far), but its been worth it to see Clementine’s story evolve throughout the course of the Season.

So here we are. After 4 episodes of The Walking Dead Season 2 we’re finally here, the penultimate conclusion of what will happen with the group and Clementine herself. Given the insanity of what happened at the end of the last episode (Rebecca being shot in the head due to turning into a zombie) and all out war happening between the Russians and our group, I was excited and interested of what would come of everyone, expecting the series to conclude with Clementine by herself again.

Anyway, back to the start of the episode, where the consequences of the firefight are starting to play out. Luke gets injured and a few Russians die, with Jane making a return as she heard the guns going off and felt obliged to help. I was thankful of this conclusion as I was expecting the firefight to be a cop-out for the writers to kill off a bunch of characters easily without having to write them away. Regardless, once it’s over we take the Russian gentleman we stole the medicine from as hostage and tell him to direct us to his place with lots of food, and so the group embark on walking for hours to reach his safe, secret location. This all felt a bit strange considering we could all see a city from where we were standing in the last episode, yet no one suggested we go there.

Choices are big and heavy in this final episode, with everyones sanity and lives on the line with every choice that you’re given. It doesn’t help that there’s a separation in the group forming, making every choice all the more important.

During the hike, it’s determined that it’s too far to walk in one day, so the group takes a break in a generator sub station, ensuring they’re fenced in and can sleep easy for the night away from walkers. It’s here we start to see different sides to the characters, with Kenny being an emotional angry wreck like always, but being extremely protective of the baby, Jane being a loner that admits to liking luke and eventually joining the circle, and the others having a laugh and drinking. It was a nice moment, one which allowed everyone to loosen up for one night, joking about sex and things they done when they were younger, with Luke commenting how its his birthday. It was nice, but couldn’t last for long as the writers needed to cause some tension in the group, with Kenny getting annoyed at others for helping the Russian feel welcome to the group.

In the morning the group sets out for the house, upon which they come across some walkers as they’re about to cross a frozen lake. It’s here you come across your first big death of the episode, with Luke falling into the lake after bonnie says for Clementine to help him. His deathly stare underwater was pretty gruesome, and made sense for this death to happen after the warm campfire and stories that were told the night before, so I should have seen it coming in hindsight. This death causes a lot of tension in the group, with Kenny’s temper becoming all the more aggressive towards the Russian, and in turn causing the rest of the group to fear him. It doesn’t look good for everyone, but at least there’s hope: a car.

Emotions are high in this pen-ultimate episode, with everyone questioning everyone else’s decisions. Here we have Jane bereaving the loss of Luke after he died in the lake.

Kenny eventually gets the car working, but not before we see even more tensions in the group, with the group seemingly becoming divided in two. Jane and Kenny with the baby (AJ for Alvin Junior) on one side, with Bonnie, Russian man and Mike on the other. During the night when everyone’s asleep you go outside to see what’s disturbing your sleep, only to find Bonnie, Arvo and Mike trying to escape with all of the supplies. I held them at gunpoint, but gave in and let them go, only to get shot by Arvo. From the looks of it, you were always going to be shot by Arvo, you were just given the illusion of choice. After waking up in the car with Kenny and Jane (plus AJ), you’re told that they didn’t take the car and that the bullet passed straight through Clementine, so she’ll be fine. It’s in here you still see tensions within the group, with Kenny and Jane bickering and shouting at each other over disagreements as to where to go with the car. Eventually, you come across a pile up of cars, and in the chaos of walkers coming over whilst Kenny explored, the group is split up with a crashed car and no where to run. At this point, you’ll take control of Clementine and will be tasked with walking through woods during a blizzard, meaning you can barely see 5 metres ahead, so avoiding zombies is best. This whole part was made to make sure the player felt hopeless, that they’re bound to die here with the snow and zombies both freezing and killing Clementine.

Eventually, you find Kenny at a service station, and after a bit of time Jane returns, without AJ. Throughout the whole episode Jane has always talked of getting rid of the baby, which may seem heartless, but it’s a logical choice considering the group has no food and doesn’t know where to go, so at the moment Kenny doesn’t see a baby, he flips, starting a massive fight between Kenny and Jane. You try to get involved but it’s hopeless, with the two adults fighting to the death it seems. You’re finally given one final choice in the game: To shoot Kenny (who’s about to kill Jane) or to look away. No matter the choice, it seems Kenny will always die, even though I personally chose to shoot him due to how much of a risk he was to everyone’s continued survival. He tells me with his dying breath that I made the right choice, and that I must survive. It was a sad farewell to an otherwise likeable character, but when the game constantly gets you thinking about survival, he wasn’t the best of people to have along for the ride. We find the baby in a car, to which Jane said she done it so we could see Kenny’s true side, to ensure we made the right decision. I forgave her and so we walked on back to the superstore we were in Episode 3, where supplies are found and a new group of people are met. So concludes the season.

Possible one of the hardest (or easiest if you’re cold hearted like me) decisions of the show so far, choosing between a reliable and intelligent character and one you’ve known for a while feels like more of a decision over logic or heart rather than who’s the better character, with Kenny being heart for how long you’ve know him, and Jane being the intelligent survival choice.

Edit: Upon reading up on the possible alternate endings, I’ve found that actually, the game differs hugely in what happens. Unlike the first season of The Walking Dead which would always end the same way with Lee dying and Clementine walking alone, the second season allows either Kenny or Jane to live, and then proceeds to either go back to the store (from Episode 3) with Jane or to proceed on to Wellington with Kenny. This seems insane considering how many different choices players are going to make, and can become a logistical nightmare for the team in the third season.

I enjoyed my time overall for the whole game eventually. What started quite weak quickly turned into a proper decision making game, one where I thought my decisions were irrelevant until they actually started having a lot of weight behind them. Looking around online, it seems that there are so many possibilities for the third season, meaning I can’t believe how open this season was, for the players and the characters in the story. I look forward to The Walking Dead Season 3 now, which surprises me given how much I wasn’t enjoying this season at the start. These final few episodes really turned it around for me. I’d hugely recommend this season to anyone that has played season one, and would recommend they get through the first few episodes before truly making a verdict on whether they liked the game or not, as I was surely turned around by the end.

Episode Score: 5/5

Overall Score: 4/5

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