Clementine is finally reunited with AJ, the boy she has sworn to take care of. However, raising a child in a zombie apocalypse comes with many challenges. Where will she find enough food to keep them both healthy and strong? And will she teach him solely to survive, or also to live?
Ah, yes. Another one of my all-time weaknesses. My video game daughter, Clementine…
Those who are familiar with the Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead games will understand what a journey it has been, watching Clem evolve from an innocent 8/9 year old into a strong, independent survivor in her mid-teens. A journey that almost ended prematurely when Telltale Games went bankrupt at the moment the Final Season was only halfway done. Luckily, we still got the closure we deserved.
It’s funny. I like The Final Season the most out of the whole series. Though this game is not entirely without flaws, its story and themes are more cohesive than previous installments. The setting – a boarding school inhabited by children and teenagers – is a perfect fit for Clementine as a main character. For the first time Clementine is amongst equals, and thus in a situation that it makes sense that others look to her to make difficult choices that guide the story. Additionally, I really liked the cast of characters (including the antagonist), as all of them play into Clem’s inner battles one way or another. This is especially true for her relationship with AJ, the two potential love interests, and the main antagonist.
On the other hand, much of what makes The Final Season great, is that it can build on the fundaments of its predecessors. The parallels and backstory strengthen the narrative. Though this game is quite solid on its own, I think it loses a large part of its (emotional) depth when one should play it as a stand-alone.
There is much to love in this game. The voice-acting, art and design, among other things. Still, I’m most fond of the difficult choices this game throws at you. Raising AJ, carefully balancing morals with surviving instincts, was one of the most challenging though pleasing elements for me. Furthermore, I’ll always fondly remember the thrilling suspense of the third episode, even though my heart will never quite recover from the stress.
In conclusion, a beautiful ending to the story of one of the most iconic characters in gaming history. Love you, Clem <3