The Walking Dead: The Final Season (Episode 1)

I knew it was coming, but it surprised me to find out that the last season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead was upon us. I guess I never really paid attention to the release date. I hurriedly picked up my copy of episode one of this four episode final season, and played through it ASAP. We’re seeing Clementine’s journey come to an end, and there was a beautifully rendered introduction that allowed us to relive key parts of that journey. It’s been four separate games and a number of years since this adventure began, and though I am sad to see it beginning to come to a close, it will be interesting to see where this little girl turned fierce woman ends up. Picking up where The New Frontier left off, Clementine had been reunited with AJ once again and were back on the road. Our story follows them scavenge for food when of course they come across trouble. They end up in a school run by kids and find a rather tight knit group — though something doesn’t seem quite right.

The graphical engine is a bit more refined than I remember in the last season, but for the most part the game plays the same as others. I felt like there were more action oriented combat sections, but there were plenty of slow dialogue-filled scenes as well. I won’t completely spoil things but the results of my season will. You should probably avoid the next screens and my reasoning to follow if you haven’t played this game yet.

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The major choices in this episode were varied. I chose to kill the couple in the train station to get the key off of one of them (they were both walkers at this point, when they were still people they poisoned themselves). Otherwise I could have chosen to send AJ into the room behind the locked door, but I didn’t want to send him on his own. I was with the majority of players on this. I didn’t go with the crowd on the next choice, which was whether to hunt with Aasim or Louis. Louis seemed to try to hard to throw himself at Clem so I went the other way. During our first night at the school AJ insisted that he sleep under the bed. I told him he didn’t have to but he begged so I let him. Looks like most people convinced him to try the bed (side note, he sleeps in bed on the second night). Later, we go back to the same train station where shit went awry the first time around, and Clem is confronted by a raider who wants the same food we had come for. I chose to push his ass out the window for walkers to feed on. Fuck that guy. Lastly, during the final confrontation with Marlon, I chose to petition Violet to help me out, and she came to my aid. AJ took matters into his own hands, though.

This season was different from all of those that came before in that there were some missable trophies and I didn’t realize that until I completed the chapter. There are a few collectable items, and certain dialogue choices that lead to trophies that I missed. As disappointing as it would be to have all the Platinum trophies for this series and miss out on this one, I’m not sure I want to go back and play through to find them all. I suppose if I do I will do so before the next episode releases so that I can be more mindful of this the rest of the way through. Either way I enjoyed the episode and The Walking Dead is still my favorite of Telltale’s series. Let me know if how your episode ended up, if you’ve played.

The Enemy Within – Episode 5

Another season of Telltale’s Batman series has come to a close. This series has been full of twists and turns and it was surprising to see how it ended. In all honesty, it was left as a cliffhanger ending (at least with my choices made) and it’s pretty clear that it was left open for a third season. There haven’t been many of the Telltale series that have made it that far though, so we shall see but the way it was written I imagine we’ll see more of Batman in the future. Here’s how things shook up with my relationships by the end of episode 5:

I like the amount of detail that was put into these choices and how they affected your relationship with people. Seeing the “your relationship with so and so has changed” really makes you think twice about the decisions you made throughout the season. If I was so inclined I could play through it again making different selections and I’m sure these relationships would have ended up differently, but surprisingly I made similar choices to most people, percentage wise. The big part of the story here was how your relationship with John Doe turned him towards being a vigilante, but of course being the mentally-unstable Joker means that he can’t be bothered with Batman’s “code.” As such, he still turns out to be a villain, particularly because he’s going after the Agency rather than real criminals. There are bits where it points to the Agency being no better than the bad guys though, so I had trouble walking the line between being John’s friend and doing what’s right. It was neat to see Joker-rangs and his silly grappling hook and other devices. What shocked me most was seeing Alfred leave at the end… and not really having any closure on the Joker front. Regardless, it was a great series and I look forward to more.

There were more tracked choices in this episode again which was warranted. A bunch of things happened that affected relationships and the story in this episode. The only one I’m really not happy with is the first, only because there was a timed response needed and I think I was distracted at that moment so I “hesitated” during the attack. I would have chosen to help the clown over the agent, only because he seemed like a scumbag anyway. Tiffany became a nightwing-esque character and that was interesting. As I said, I stood up for John when I could, and that pissed off Waller though we made our peace before the end of the line. I suppose I could have chosen to give up being Batman and maybe Alfred would have stayed, but how do you give up being Batman?! I defeated Joker and he ended up back in Arkham, but we all know he won’t stay there.

All in all it was a great series and I look forward to more!

The Enemy Within – Episode 4

There isn’t much else to say about this series that I haven’t said. It plays like its predecessors, it continues the story from the first season, and you can affect individual characters more deeply than in other Telltale games (or at least it’s better tracked here). By the end of this episode I had positive results with all of the characters except for Waller, and she was only mad because I sided with John Doe, and honestly at this point I can’t remember exactly what the climax was because I played this episode at least a week ago.

What’s most interesting here is that I set John down the path of being a “vigilante” like Batman. He vowed that we would both clean up the streets of Gotham. I don’t remember anything like this in Joker’s origin story, but I would assume that he will be picking up that moniker sooner rather than later. How Joker will end up being a vigilante I’m not sure, he’s always been a villain to me so I’m not sure how this will pan out. What I suspect is that he will be crushed when Batman tells him that he works alone and will be hell bent on taking out his frustrations on Batman as the Joker — or at least that would help this story to line up with the overall canon we all know. As I noted last episode, this episode had even less major choices in it, and here are the two that they tracked:

Despite Mr. Freeze being a villain I showed a little mercy as Waller’s crew was basically going to kill him. I doubt that will change things between us, but I figured Batman wouldn’t be that cruel hearted to ignore his pleas. After the big climax event of the episode, I let John go off to find Harley himself as she managed to run off. That’s all there was for big choices this time around and that isn’t really indicative of what’s happened throughout the whole episode but it is what it is.

The 5th and final episode of this season isn’t out just yet, but I imagine it will be soon enough. I’ll return then to finish off this blog series. Stay tuned.

The Enemy Within – Episode 3

In Episode three, the story continues with Bruce still embroiled in his dealings with The Pact. But, another familiar face enters the fold and complicates things to say the least. Despite my amorous circumstances with Catwoman in the first season, I didn’t treat her so well this time around and left her feeling betrayed as a consequence. In the first season there was a major story arch where Bruce’s reputation was tarnished and it took careful thought with your reactions in the game to redeem that once pristine status. With this new season there is the inclusion of relationships with individuals that shifts between each episode, so its easier to track and make your moves to benefit you later. For instance, in the last episode I left Harley Quinn hostile towards me but because I was mindful of this I managed to work my way back up to being less skeptical, and that progress is tracked much more quickly this time around. Things have turned around with everyone for the most part, and that seemed important while aligning with my goals.

There have been progressively less major choices as a result of this shift in their tracking mechanics. I have already noted that this is less than the previous episode and the following episode records less — meaning that the interpersonal relationships are a more important focal point in this game. Having experienced it both ways I think I actually like this system better overall but either will work and depending on the subject material that may play a role.

These choices are still pretty indicative of the way the interpersonal relationships turn out. Clearly telling Tiffany that I’m Batman and bringing another Fox into the fold left her feeling honored, and 2 strikes against Catwoman (not warning her and letting John throw her under the bus) affected her Betrayed feelings. I didn’t fall in line with most players on these choices, but I’m okay with how the story has turned out so far and I’m unlikely to ever replay the series so my set of circumstances are fine. It’s been an entertaining ride so far!

The Enemy Within – Episode 2

The second episode of The Enemy Within kept up with the pace of the first. Bruce is trying to infiltrate “The Pact,” which is a super villain group consisting of John Doe (Joker), Harley Quinn, Mr. Freeze and Bane. As Bruce, you’re playing both sides trying to act like the bad boy rich kid that’s finally following in his father’s footsteps while still working with Gordon (GCPD) and Waller (FBI). Waller has tasked you with trying to stop this group, while you have kind of left Gordon in the dark. Your relationships with the main characters seem to adjust to what you do in the game, and clearly I’ve adjusted them compared to the first episode:

Playing both sides is difficult, because you have to make the villains trust you, while still trying to stop them. This means communicating with Alfred and Waller via your tech while keeping that on the extreme down low when around the villains.

There were several key choices to make in this episode, and for the most part I went along with the majority of players. I had to sneak into Wayne tower to get the Phalanx key for Harley, but of course John and her had to accompany me. Thankfully Tiffany (Lucius’s Daughter) was able to give me the key and keep her mouth shut, but this means that the villains would get closer to their goal. The episode culminated with the police trying to stop the group, and there was a major choice to try and stop either Bane or Harley from killing cops, and I chose to go after Bane thinking it would help my relationship with Harley, but instead she gets left behind and is pissed. I’m sure I can smooth things over with her in the next episode.

Overall this series has kept me hooked. At this point there’s only a couple more to go before I have to wait for the last episode to release but I think it was a worthy purchase. If you have plus and didn’t play the first season I’d recommend doing so then do yourself a favor and play this one as well. I didn’t think Batman would be a fun series but it’s been great!