Oftentimes in videogames, you’re faced with a decision that attempts to test your real-life character. In these situations, you’re faced with a clear line of right and wrong, and consequences that will follow. Telltale’s action-adventure title, The Walking Dead, though, has presented a distorted line of right and wrong through a ravaged, familiar setting to players, with consequences that have affected characters that feel like your own family and friends. The heart throbbing episodic series has seemingly “limped” its way to the finale – a finale marked by deadly consequences, action, tears, and closure. “No Time Left” doesn’t take long to pull you in, but it certainly will take you time to put down emotionally.
We won’t spoil much, but Episode 5 kicks off with one of the series’ toughest decisions yet – a decision that could mean life or death for Lee. Once it’s made, though, No Time Left unravels itself around one focus: Clementine. Lee and his group, that certainly will vary depending on your choices throughout the series, quickly take off for Clementine, who’s believed to be taken hostage at the hotel her parents were visiting prior to the zombie outbreak. This action, as they travel through the heart of Savannah, intensifies around every corner, and is highlighted by some of the series’ most tear-jerking cut scenes yet.
After a short-while, with Lee on the verge of “turning,” you make your way to the Marsh House, and eventually come in contact with the one who took Clementine. Instead taking an action approach, Telltale sticks to its roots, and unravels “the bigger picture” with this stranger through an epic narrative. Without spoiling, this “stranger” isn’t so much of one, as you learn of your crossing paths, and his plot to murder Lee and take care of Clem. This isn’t such a hollow plan, though. Indeed, the stranger takes Lee all the way back and pushes his character to the edge where you see on Lee’s face, well, questions – questions Lee has been able to disengage throughout each and every decision he’s made for the group. What follows can only be described first-hand, but in one-way or another, you’re back in the arms of Clementine.
This bright spot amidst the overall epidemic quickly ends, though, as you’re faced with getting Clementine safely away from the city. The next several minutes unravel as some of the best narrative in recent memory, as Lee’s body begins to shutdown and he’s faced with telling Clementine his unfortunate fate. Every noted facial expression from the two describes their relationship. How the two went from strangers to best friends, and even father and daughter. The episode then closes with a matured Clementine – matured from every ordeal she’d been through with Lee – walk away from Lee. With tears in her eyes and a gun in her hand, “No Time Left” closes, remarkably.
To be honest, this review doesn’t do Episode 5 justice, as no review could. The entire experience is set and shaped by your love for each and every character, especially Clementine, and their futures, or lack thereof. Telltale didn’t just create another zombie experience; they created and evolved a relationship that saw highs and lows. A relationship built and affected by dozens of other characters. And lastly, a relationship that’s so strong, it doesn’t end, even after passing. Though Episode 5 is significantly shorter than previous episodes, it closes out The Walking Dead wonderfully, and makes it a frontrunner for Game of The Year. No Time Left is simply magnificent and you’d be doing yourself an awful injustice to pass up on this stellar experience.
[Reviewed on Xbox 360]