The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 4: Take Us Back (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Rudy Lavaux 02.05.2019

Review for The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 4: Take Us Back on Nintendo Switch

Telltale's The Walking Dead series of games, as it has been known and loved for seven years, is now brought to a heartfelt close with the release of this final episode, of the final season. It has been quite a journey to get there, with its moments when it was unsure if the ending would even come into existence. Against all odds and hurdles though, we now have the fourth and final episode in our hands, Take us Back. Without beating around the bush, the question on every player's mind, going in, is this one: "is Clementine going to die?" This question will not be answered here, so as to not spoil any plot element, but Cubed3 shall do its utmost to deliver its ascertainment as to whether or not this is a fitting ending to such a beloved franchise.

The third episode, Broken Toys, ended on a difficult cliffhanger, leaving what comes next absolutely impossible to predict. Without unveiling anything for those who may read those lines without having experienced any of the season yet, the course of this episode is limited to the aftermath of the events of Episode 3. The fourth one, Take Us Back, brings all the hard decision making to its expected climax, as Alvin Junior is finally allowed to come into his own, Clementine's decisions along the way having shaped him into what seems like his now definitive persona.

Without letting on too much, AJ is, from that moment on, just as much of a central focus in this episode as Clementine is, and the player will be put in control of his thoughts and actions directly for the very first time. The audience has proven vocal about their opinion of AJ over Clementine, but from the moment he becomes controllable, and his thoughts, not passively, but actively influenced, he turns out to be a far more likeable kid than ever, since if he messes up, it's then from the player's input and not the plot's.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 4: Take Us Back on Nintendo Switch

Plot-wise, there is something to be said about a whole series being just as good as its ending. The final scene of season one certainly did make this reviewer shed some tears. In fact it still does, every time. Then some possible outcomes of season 2 did have the same effect, though that season had its low times. Season 3, A New Frontier, didn't have quite the same impact overall, and the only somewhat emotional moment was Clementine leaving at the end, or any moment when her character got developed in fact.

This final season didn't give Clementine a lot of new character development, since by the time those events take place, she's pretty much done growing up physically and mentally, but she's definitely seen evolving through a sort of parenthood, which in and of itself places this season above the previous one. But as for the ending, whether because it is the final one or because of its intrinsic qualities, tears can and will certainly be shed as those events are experienced. The last thirty minutes or so of this episode are the pinnacle of the season in terms of emotions. Maybe not quite as high a point as the finale to the first season 1, but it comes close.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 4: Take Us Back on Nintendo Switch

Why it is so emotional cannot be divulged without taking away all the interest of the title, which makes talking about it without giving anything away a tricky affair, so it has to be experienced to be understood. The final season may not have dethroned the first, but it certainly ranks higher than the third, and definitely should entice the interest of all fans of Clementine, since the plan while developing this season has always been to let it be the very end of Clementine's story arc. This final episode is definitely the best of the season, even if it leaves a certain sting and yearning for more, and it is only held back by its length.

This is the shortest of the season, whereas any fan would have loved it to be the longest since there is not going to be anything after this one. Season 1 had the longest episodes and they all just grew shorter with each subsequent season, clocking in at barely over an hour by season 3. Season 4 only having four episodes, those were brought back to a satisfying 2+ hours per episode, but this one clocks in at just under those two hours. It all feels too short in the end and the very final scene in particular could have benefited from lasting longer, especially given all that happens along the way.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 4: Take Us Back on Nintendo Switch

As usual, the art remains stunning, just as it was in the rest of the season, and drives the powerful storytelling brilliantly. No surprises there. The question with the Switch version, addressed in the review for Episodes 2 and 3, was whether or not we would see the 1080p docked mode return. Sadly, it didn't. This has already been discussed to great lengths before but, to sum things up, the Episode 2 update replaced a slick looking 1080p docked presentation hovering around the 30fps mark for a 720p presentation in the same mode, to achieve higher but still inconsistent performance that never reaches its 60fps target.

The prettier presentation and more cinematic lower frame rate would have been preferred, with a 30fps cap to make things more stable. Stability and higher resolution is what this game needed to achieve its utmost cinematic impact on Switch, not a higher but still inconsistent frame-rate. This is more a nitpick than anything else as the perceived quality is still very high, but because episode 1 when it released showed what could be, this questionable choice will always remain a point of contention. Portable mode however, as always, is brilliant since the 720p presentation there matches the resolution of the handheld's screen.

Screenshot for The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 4: Take Us Back on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

This final episode of The Walking Dead continues the trend of hard decision making, before finally handing out the results of those decisions through what Alvin Junior ends up being like when the player is finally given control over the little tyke. This result shapes the ending into an emotional climax, no matter what those choices were. While things could have been better if the final moments had been allowed to last a little longer, this ending feels satisfyingly enough because of the emotions it conveys, and that is a commendable effort for a final season that's seen its fair share of development hell.

Developer

Skybound Games

Publisher

Skybound Games

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 Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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