Reviews

The Walking Dead Episode Three: Broken Toys

Due to being caught in the PC bubble over the last couple of months, I was sure that I had already played Episode Three of Telltale’s Walking Dead: The Final Season. With the final episode releasing on 26th March, I was horrified to learn that I had completely missed this episode and have now managed to catch up in time. I still feel a pang of sadness for all of those at Telltale but I for one am glad that Skybound managed to assist in fulfilling these final episodes of The Walking Dead to allow the story worked on by so many to reach its conclusion.

The previous episode left things a little chaotic and broken following a hard fight. As the children (and we must still remember that they are children) try to work out what to do next, Clementine must make some choices as to how they are to proceed. A lot has happened in the two previous episodes with the introduction to a new community, the Whisperers, another community to battle against… and that’s before the dead even get involved. Broken Toys throws you right back in the mix with the hard decisions and the harsh reality that actions have consequences as has always been the running theme throughout the Telltale games.

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This is an episode that gives you the feeling that things are not going to go to plan but there are some moments where certain conversations are quite interesting if not a little too ‘grown up’ and existential at times especially when you remember how old AJ is. It’s almost difficult to know what the right response will be, especially when you never know what might happen in the final episode. The use of the musical score is also very effective at times which I certainly hope does not go unnoticed by the players as it does add to the overall feel of the episode. It’s particularly good during one sequence if you make a certain choice and put Clem into a certain scenario, the mix of sound and visuals work hand in hand very well indeed.

One of the more poignant scenes in this episode is when Ruby produces a box with all of the kids files on the reasons why they were at the school in the first place. It’s a little eye opening but also stands as a reminder of who they are all fighting for and protecting. The children start reeling off names of those that they have lost and the list seems almost endless. This scene is topped off with another lovely musical moment that reminds me a lot of some scenes from the tv series in which an acapella version of a song is sung bringing the group together. There is also a lovely flashback after this scene which I won’t spoil but it did almost bring a tear to my eye and really makes to you realise that everything really is coming to an end.

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What feels like a relatively sedate first half of the episode, soon descends into darkness and the hard decisions start to come on thick and fast, especially when James reveals some information that might change the way you think about the choices you’ll have to make. But then everything kicks off and you have to be stealthy as well as harsh. It’s hard to know what to do but just make every choice as it comes and believe me, it it unlikely to work out well whatever you do. Of course, I won’t spoil anything for you, but I recommend if you haven’t played the episode yet, make sure you do before the finale arrives.

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Broken Toys has set up nicely for the finale I feel and I sincerely hope it is the send off the story, Clem and all of those who have worked on The Walking Dead series over the years deserve. Other than a couple of audio issues with the music level being slightly louder than that of the character voices, this is a well rounded episode with a little bit of everything that was needed to bring us to this point. If this episode is anything to go by, then I really don’t think that we’re ready for Clem’s story or the work of the developers, artists, performers and all of those who have been involved in these games over the years, to come to an end.

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