Walking Dead: No Time Left Review

  • Platform: PS3, PC, Xbox 360, iOS
  • Developer: Telltale Games
  • Publisher: Telltale Games
  • Release Date: November 20, 2012
  • Price: $29.99
  • Official: Telltale

“A special conclusion to this story”

Masterful, that is Telltales work on The Walking Dead. From the very beginning of Episode 1 I knew this small studio was going to deliver something pretty cool, but I didn’t know it would be something amazing. I didn’t know they were going to deliver one of the greatest stories ever put in front of a gamer, and I didn’t realize I was beginning my time with what has undoubtedly become 2012’s Game of the Year.

If you’re not familiar with this series you can read my spoiler free review of Episodes 1-4 right here, and this review, as always, will be kept without spoilers as well.

Episode 5 “No Time Left” will be remembered as one of the single greatest sections in a game ever. Every friend you have made, every lie you have spoken, every person you have lost; it all matters now more than ever. In the finale to Telltales The Walking Dead, the title is very appropriate, as both Lee and the player are pulled to the games unflinching climax with breakneck speed.

The episode starts off right from the closing moments of “Around Every Corner” and from then on it is moment after moment of small quick choices, as the remaining members of Lee’s team attempt to make it to their destination without too much harm. The beginning moments of the episode feature another “oh my god” sequence that the series has delivered so well throughout the season, and the ramifications of this event can shape how the rest of the story unfolds.

When the characters do take a breather for a moment, or rather when Telltale deems it necessary to not give you a heart attack, they are very poignant.  This episode does a solid job of reminding you of how far you have come. All of the sacrifices your group has had to make, all of the people that have come and gone, and how the relationships have shifted between Lee and the survivors. They are all touched upon in some well written scenes.

This episode ties up all of the story threads brought up throughout the season and even includes a very tense and unnerving confrontation towards the end that shows each decision in this new world can have horrible ramifications. The lengths that Lee and the group will go to in order to help each other is perfectly displayed in this finale, and the episode is perfectly paced to let it all sink in.

Throughout this entire season both the writing and acting have been top notch, and No Time Left is perhaps the best yet. Each character gets to shine in this episode, be that breaking down or being a hero. But it is Dave Fennoy’s Lee and Melissa Hutchison’s Clementine that continue to deliver incredible performances. Melissa in particular deserves kudos, as Clementine has some of her biggest scenes yet in the series. The emotion and delivery Lee and Clem show solidifies them as some of the most well realized and relatable characters in gaming.

This series has been something truly special, one that I will never forget. The Walking Dead is a game that will always be brought up in conversation when someone mentions story in videogames, it has now set the bar for writing and player choice, one that I hope other companies try to reach.

Players have admitted to being brought to tears throughout this series, particularly the powerful conclusion, I however was not. The last twenty minutes of this season I had a huge goofy grin across my face, not because I am heartless, quite the opposite, but I couldn’t help being filled with glee and smiling madly as I constantly thought to myself “Telltale has done it, they have nailed it!” I eventually let out a laugh, turning to my brother who watches me play every episode and saying “They have really done an amazing job!” before turning back to the screen with excitement.

Even through the saddest moments I couldn’t help but be ecstatic that finally, FINALLY, a developer has made a game that surpasses most films Hollywood turns out these days. Telltale has made a title that proves there can be amazing stories in gaming that aren’t tied to the smaller indie’s, and possibly changed gaming for the better. I can’t stop thinking about the game, and I wonder about all of the different ways my story could have gone if I had simply chosen left instead of right, but I stop myself just short of starting over a second time. This was my story, this was my Lee Everett, and doing it again would feel strange and wrong, my story played out beautifully and had an incredible ending that I wouldn’t change for anything. Oh, and make sure to stay after the credits.

Telltales Walking Dead is better than the comics, better than the show, and better than most games this year. Play it. -Chuck

The Rundown

  • + A perfect conclusion to the season
  • + Writing and acting are great
  • + Ending is handled extremely well
  • + Less technical problems than previous episodes

Final Score

10 / 10

“Masterful”

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