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The Walking Dead: The Winding Down

And they all lived happily ever after ahahahahahahahargh

There’s a still a certain resistance in myself I have to battle when mentioning The Walking Dead games. I’d allowed myself to become so prejudiced against Telltale’s games after their patchy resurrections of franchises that meant a great deal to me as a child, and it doesn’t help that the Walking Dead comics have often demonstrated attitudes I find to be highly unsavoury. But TT’s Walking Dead games are deftly done slices of tension and humanity, reimaginging adventure games’ abstract puzzles as gut-punch moral dilemmas. Tada! My prejudice is defeated.

I imagine a second series of these episodes is all but guaranteed at this point, but the final episode of the current one approaches fast. Will it resolve Lee and Clementine’s tale once and for all, or pull a Homeland and delay much-needed denouements and resolutions until a second series? All we can do for now is watch the finale trailer and comb it for clues.

It appears to be spoiler-free, though I suppose in the brutal realm of The Walking Dead even seeing a character means that character has not yet died and as such that might be too much information for some.

No Time Left is the title for this fifth and for-now final episode, and next week tomorrow is its release date. Prepare hankies and carefully-worded tweets, no doubt. There’s this official summary of what the episode offers, and which suggests some frightening outcomes based on our proclivities over four previous games:

• What have you done and said to get to this point? Who is your ally? Who is still alive? All these things and more will affect the outcome of your story.

• A race against time with overwhelming odds stacked against you

It’s amazing how many times I’ve faced down overwhelming odds in my gaming career, but I guess I won’t have any machineguns or rocketlaunchers this time.

A savegame bug wiped my progress about halfway through the second episode so I don’t know what three and four were like. My plan is to wait for the series to finish then start over from the top in a weekend binge of agonising choices, sudden death and sad-eyed surrogate father figure drama.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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