The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 1: Done Running (PC) Review

By Josh Di Falco 10.01.2019

Review for The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 1: Done Running on PC

Telltale Games has long established itself as the digital master of the visual novel form of storytelling in the industry. The release of The Walking Dead: Season One back in 2012 was the development studio's breakout title and since then, Telltale has released an additional three seasons with Season Two, Michonne and A New Frontier. Now, the fifth season, titled The Final Season, will aim to close out the story arc around Clementine across four episodes. Episode 1: Done Running takes place a few years after the previous one, with a much older Clementine and AJ running around the countryside in their attempt to survive the apocalyptic world.

While fans of Telltale's The Walking Dead series will have no trouble diving right into Episode 1, the opening scenes do play a handy recap video package, as well as offering choices for first-timers to make, centred on the pivotal story elements of the previous titles. Not only does it tell a great shortened story about how this story came to be, but it also helps to generate a connection with Clementine and her much younger companion, AJ. Done Running does a terrific job of helping to paint a picture around Clementine and her past, which does not necessarily require an assumed knowledge of prior events to establish an emotional connection; but it certainly helps.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 1: Done Running on PC

Now that a couple of years has passed since the previous season and Episode 1 of the fifth season, Clementine has had to age beyond her youth, as she now must look after the younger AJ, who his life depends on. Being a child, and still coming to terms with what is happening, AJ provides a na√Įve insight into the apocalyptic world upon which Clementine has had to quickly grow up in. Not only are her choices paramount to her own survival, but she now has another who relies on her to make the right decisions, adding a similar dimension to her story arc with Lee from Season One.

While Clementine and AJ foraging for cans of food from a train station, an explosive trap alerts the zombie-walkers to their direct location. In their rush to escape by car, the horde of zombies becomes too much to overcome, and they cause Clementine to crash their only mode of speedy transport, as she falls unconscious. Fortunately for the two of them, their story does not end here. Upon waking up, Clementine and AJ find themselves in the nearby boarding school, which hosts this season's cast of characters.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 1: Done Running on PC

Marlon is the hard-assed leader of the children, who resembles Kiefer Sutherland's character David from The Lost Boys, and he appears to be the most interesting and conflicted of the new characters. His best friend Louis is the complete opposite, as he is carefree and jovial, and always tries to make the best of a horrible situation. The quiet Violet and always-anxious Brody round out the main cast of Episode One, but neither appear to be as engaging as they perhaps could've been, and they fail to set any of their scenes alight in the way that Louis or Marlon do.

Aasim, Tennessee, Willy, Mitch, and Omar, along with the dog Ruby, round out the supporting cast within the school, as the children have created a seemingly impenetrable fort of the school that was left behind by the headmaster and teachers who cowardly fled when the zombie outbreak began. They each play a different role to the group and watching how Clementine and AJ attempt to befriend the children and find their place within the pact makes for an interesting episode. With such a large cast of characters however, most of them never really seem to get enough of the spotlight on them to make a profound impact early on. Of course, with three more episodes to go there is time for each of them to get their moment in the sun.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 1: Done Running on PC

Part of the deal of Clementine and AJ being allowed to stay at the boarding school is that they need to help in acquiring food to help the group survive. Struggling to find enough food in the marked "safe zones," Clementine leads a band of children outside the zone and back to the train station that is now overrun by zombies, in a bid to get the food that she had failed to take with her the first time around. Of course, nothing can ever go smoothly, and it is at this point that the story takes a turn for the worst; both for Clementine and her chance of survival, while also holding dire consequences for the future of the children encamped at the boarding school, which has so far been a haven for them.

The story itself does have its moments of intense pressure with some enthralling decisions that are sure to make some sweat, but for the most part, the decision-making seems to centre around less-important dialogue sequences that are sure to play a bigger role in future episodes. Apart from the opening chapters of the episode and the final act, the middle section really drags down the pacing of the story as it seems to stretch out sequences that are further hampered by boring and monotonous characters. Violet is the biggest instigator of this, as she is introduced as this mysterious and quiet girl, yet soon becomes too brooding and dark in an annoying kind of way.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 1: Done Running on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

The key takeaway from Episode 1: Done Running is that the murderous zombies themselves are just merely a decoy that is meant to explain the state of the world. However, they are far from being the main threats in the story, as the human survivors themselves prove to be the ultimate threat to each other's survival. While Clementine and AJ attempt to make friends with the children of the nearby boarding school, most of the episode is dedicated to getting to know each character and finding their place in the school, which begins to drag. However, in a bid to make up for lost time, the closing moments of the episode is a cliff-hanger that leaves the entire cast of characters shocked - and makes waiting for Episode 2 a painful but exciting venture.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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