The first rule of many zombie stories is as follows: the zombies are not the real threat. The zombies are, at best, background noise. The real threat is other humans and what they become because of said zombies. Telltale's series has always dabbled with this. From St. John's farm in the original season to the New Frontier in the third, there's always a human threat to tie everything together. The Walking Dead: The Final Season has been building this threat up with Lily's raiders, and in the last episode we finally got to see how effective they really are. Now it's Clementine's turn to go on the offensive. Has the final season been brought back for nothing, or are we in for a real treat?
At the end of the last episode, despite Clementine's best efforts, Lily has captured three of her friends and Mitch is dead. The remaining kids have no choice other than to figure out where Lily is and mount an assault on her base to save their friends. Of course, they can't just show up and take over the base. So Clementine goes about putting together a plan of action, calling in favors from as many of the survivors as she can, and sneaking into Lily's base to destroy it and free her friends. There's certainly going to be some tough times ahead.
The characters are really the focal point of the story here. I've mentioned my love of AJ as a character, and that hasn't changed at all. He's still absolutely fascinating, and I can't wait to see how he grows. Clementine herself is still great, and a sequence that has her dreaming about being back on that train with Lee does a wonderful job highlighting just how she changed. The rest of the supporting cast has done a good job growing out of their shells, and I think this is partially due to them being the longest lasting group I've seen in a Walking Dead game. The only real exception to this is, once again, Omar. This is the third episode where he has a grand total of two lines. It's hard to care about saving him when he never actually does anything.
You'll still have to make some tough decisions, and Broken Toys has plenty of those. More than once I had to stop and consider what I was doing. Clementine is in a position where her decisions don't just affect herself, but AJ as well. If this kid is going to grow up into anything that resembles a human, then Clementine needs to be careful with what she says and does. AJ has the potential to grow into a merciless killer, which may be useful considering how the world has turned out. However, is it worth giving up what scraps of humanity remain just for a better chance of survival? I'm not sure how AJ will turn out in the final episode, but I at least feel like what I've been doing has shaped him.
As for the rest of the game, Broken Toys uses similar gameplay systems to the first few episodes. There are no new enemy types this time around, which feels a bit like a missed opportunity. On the other hand, some unique situations are introduced. One section sees a character ask you to simply distract walkers rather than kill them. This forces you to rely on stuns and movement while he carries out his task. Another is a stealth section. You move through a herd of walkers and take cover behind them to avoid gunshots, then duck between searchlights. It's awesome to see just how much The Walking Dead has changed from its first few seasons.
I finished up Broken Toys feeling pretty elated. It's a great episode that expands the characters in unique ways and makes me care about how they're growing. Furthermore, it shows even more interesting gameplay ideas that I'm happy to see expanded upon. Plus, it's absolutely lovely to see the series come back. I can't want to see the final episode tie everything together. It seems like Clementine's final tale is going to be one hell of a doozy.
TechRaptor reviewed The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 3: Broken Toys on PlayStation 4 using a copy provided by the developers. The game is also available on PC via Epic Games Store, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Broken Toys continues The Walking Dead: The Final Season's interesting story and great character development while serving as a triumphant return for a season thought lost.
- Great Cast of Characters
- Interesting Choices
- Fantastic Gameplay Moments
- No New Enemy Types
- Why is Omar Still Around?