The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 2: Suffer the Children (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Rudy Lavaux 14.02.2019

Review for The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 2: Suffer the Children on Nintendo Switch

Clementine and AJ are back for more adventures, facing more hordes of the undead, in the midst of a lot of turmoil for developers Telltale Games, too, who have been shut down indefinitely. For a time, in fact, it looked like the series that enamoured so many with its story and cast, was set to break everyone's hearts, with no concluding episode ever being released. Thankfully, worries over the series potentially never seeing an ending were put to rest when series creator, Robert Kirkman, confirmed a deal had been struck with Skybound Entertainment, to finish the series with the original development team. So, it is with great excitement that we dive into The Walking Dead: Final Season Episode 2 - Suffer the Children, on the Nintendo Switch!

Like the previous one, Episode 2 continues the focus on more direct control of Clementine, steering away from the point n' clicky aspect of things, in favour of what plays more like a third person 3D adventure game than anything else. This works in its favour, adding more impact to action scenes. Moreover, being able to freely roam the environments while turning the camera around manually, to check out things from more angles, really helps the player take in the scenery, far more than was previously possible when using fixed camera angles.

Just like in the previous episode, Suffer the Children offers a few collectible items to track down, which provide an incentive to explore and try out a lot of different things within the environment. One complaint is that this episode still involves a lot of the same locations around the school, seen in Episode 1. Thankfully, though, plot elements seem to indicate that Episode 3 won't quite be in the same vein. As usual it is hard to talk about plot related elements without spoiling the enjoyment to be had from this type of experience.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 2: Suffer the Children on Nintendo Switch

However, it would not be a big spoiler to say that this episode focuses a good portion of its attention on the aftermath of the big cliffhanger on which Episode 1 ended and the events that led to it. Clementine will spend some time steering AJ through these consequences, providing more of the type of "education" that was seen in the first episode. Then the latter part of Episode 2 moves the plot forward some more. It also sheds more light on the other group of hostile people, first encountered in Episode 1, whose fate was somewhat of a mystery. As a teaser, it is safe to say that one past character does make a comeback, but no more shall be revealed here so as to not spoil the effect of surprise. Save the Children doesn't quite end on a cliffhanger like the previous episode, but it certainly leaves the player yearning for more.

This is where it gets harder to deal with. Episode 2 feels very similar to Episode 1, though on Switch some changes have been made on the technical side of things. Before update 1.0.1, which added Episode 2 to the Switch package, the game when docked ran at what seemed to be an uncapped frame-rate, hovering around the 30FPS mark and rendered at 1080p. After the update, however, probably in an attempt to hit a higher performance level, the game seems to render at 720p docked instead, giving it a noticeably blurrier appearance.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 2: Suffer the Children on Nintendo Switch

The original release only really dipped below 30FPS in wide open areas, so the lower frame-rate compared to other platforms wasn't really a huge issue. Now, though, the frame-rate seems to hit 60FPS more frequently, but it still dips below it 80% of the time, taking a hit visually. Handheld mode does not appear to have received any change, so the game perhaps looks a bit sharper on the smaller handheld screen, with comparable performance to the previous version of the episode.

Consequently, the title looks better in handheld mode than it does on the big screen. The visual quality in TV mode was, arguably, better before, so it's disappointing that this is forced on players. It's a shame this performance tweak wasn't added instead as an optional element, as seen in the likes of Fire Emblem Warriors. However, even with those changes, Episode 2 still offers a gripping experience to fans of the now long running series of games, and it does nothing to take away from the value of the season pass.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 2: Suffer the Children on Nintendo Switch

The only thing that could have been a deal-breaker, for this season pass, for those who have yet to dive in, was the potential cancellation of the remainder of the season, and also the previously announced seasons 2 and 3. Indeed, shortly after the release of our episode 1 review, all three other seasons were announced for the Switch. However, while season 1 is available on the eShop now, sadly seasons 2 and 3 have fallen through, with the closure of Telltale Games. Skybound Entertainment, the company which is now responsible for finishing off the development of the final season, did announce that they still planned for seasons 2 and 3 to come out on the Switch.

Unfortunately, no release window has been confirmed as of yet and no further information on its potential release has been shared since. At any rate, at least the Switch receives the remainder of the final season. It is a great platform to enjoy it on. Better yet, those who started playing it on other platforms, thanks to the integration of the Telltale account system, can carry over all decisions from previous seasons straight onto the Switch, despite it not receiving all of the previous seasons.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 2: Suffer the Children on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

As it is, this The Walking Dead Final Season Episode 2 - Save the Children is just as good as the first episode. It introduces more plot twists, which fans of the previous seasons are bound to appreciate. The previous instalment, understandably, spent more time setting the scene and theme for the rest of season. This time, things move forward a bit more, as expected. In and of itself, Episode 2 is good, though the performance adjustments on Switch are questionable. Unfortunately, the changes seem to be here to stay. The series is getting an ending though, and it is coming soon. Let's hope it's worth the long wait!

Developer

Telltale

Publisher

Telltale

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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