REVIEW – This time, I’ll have a slightly different approach with the penultimate episode of The Walking Dead. There’s a going to be the usual somewhat spoiler-free recap, but as well as some thoughts about something else, too.
So in the second episode, Lilly’s brigade has attacked us, stealing a few of the kids in the process. We got a hostage, too. The school is getting emptier, and there’s a new character who will play a significant role in the third game.
So the school is mostly unguarded after the attack, but we have a hostage who should get interrogated. In the end, in one way or another, we’ll get the required information about the taken characters’ location, so we go there. Of course, that place is going to be highly guarded, which is why a complicated plan is getting put together. James will collaborate with us. One of the challenging segments of the game will happen here – you have to keep jogging around NOT delivering fatal blows to the walkers while he tries to find his mask. Of course, in the usual Telltale style (even though this episode is developed by Skybound whose name is written weirdly in the season intro, or the StillNotBitten team to be more exact…), it’s not going to be there.
What else… AJ’s character development continues, and it’s going to be playing a big role at the end of the episode. The episode has an outstanding scene, where Clementine takes James’ mask to be crowded by walkers while she tries to hit the windchimes in a barn. This scene is the best of Broken Toys (the title will be discussed a bit later…), and it is seemingly one of the most important ones so far, packed with ambience to the brim. In the school, there will be a sort of a goodbye party, where multiple characters will go through some progression, and then, we are going back to the raiders’ base.
Here, a not-so-easy task awaited me where I had to avoid getting shot. Well, I believe the game is a bit buggy here: if there’s a sound cue that plays with the spotlight on us, no matter what we do, we will get a headshot, even if we end up going behind a walker to get cover. One time, I even went THROUGH a walker, and this part of the episode is why Broken Toys will not get a 9/10. On the boat – I have to write this down – we might pull off some sabotage, we meet someone who screws us over, the obligatory violence comes, and, at the end of the episode, depending on our actions, we might see an explosive ending. From Telltale, it was common to see the penultimate episode be the weakest in the series, only to come around with a strong finale. Well, Skybound/StillNotBitten (who wrote in the menu that the final episode is coming on March 26!) have quickly removed this thought. During the two hours of gameplay, great music, decent voice acting, a returning character in a dream (!!!) who wasn’t used in just the trailer, and promising events happened, all leading up to a possibly excellent finale. Not bad.
We are all broken. In one way or another, our imperfection gets taken out on other people. Everyone had or has a dumb, annoying boss, teacher or whatever – they keep bothering you with stupid things, pushing you over the edge, without even considering that the other person is a human, too, who might want to deal with their own things that entertain them and keep them calm, doing the „grunt work” with no appreciation or a single thank you for your efforts along the way. How is this related to the game?
This motif shows up at the end of the episode in a dialogue: „You force your ways onto others because you’re afraid. Because you’re weak.” These sentences might not even be noticed by others, but it’s right. The Walking Dead brings up something we all suffer from – days, weeks, months go in the wrong direction via ignoring others’ needs or via unappreciation, as we are the weak links that hold back changes. An unwanted social critique in the game? Maybe.
Broken Toys gets a strong 8.5/10 because after Telltale’s collapse, we got the same quality (okay, there was one typo in the subtitles with four dots instead of three, and one “Uh” from Lilly wasn’t said) as before. Clementine’s story is about to end shortly, and she might be injured for everybody. AJ is growing up in front of our eyes. I’m awaiting the finale – I hope we won’t be disappointed in it, as Telltale’s last game (whose first season was the game that put them on the map) deserves to be ended properly. Although The Council has pulled in the throne of the episodic games in 2018, in 2019, Clementine and AJ might claim it against Life is Strange 2 for a while. Character limit hit.
– A glitchy scene towards the boat
Publisher: Skybound Games
Developer: Skybound Games / StillNotBitten
Genre: Episodic, adventure
Release date: January 15, 2019