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The Walking Dead: Season 2: Episode 5 - No Going Back
Score: 80%
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Previously On: The Walking Dead:

The Walking Dead: Season 2: Episode 5 - No Going Back wraps up another season of tough choices and drawn out suspense. So far, little Clementine has found a new group to work with, seen some of those people die, met up with an old friend, seen some more people die, and then met up with even more people .... only to, of course, see even more people die.

Clemís choices have ranged from deciding how to help a friend being bitten while in the middle of a herd, to deciding whether or not to leave someone behind and, of course, there is the classic choice of deciding which person to save when both are going to be overrun by walkers.

When No Going Back starts, Clementineís group has had a new addition in the form of little baby AJ, but the new mother has passed with the baby in her arms. With Clemís group surrounded and held at gunpoint, you have to decide if you must kill the newly risen walker (and hopefully save little AJ), or if you let someone else do it. Regardless, the last episodeís final decision led to a lot of gunshots being fired and yet even more suspense.

Group Dynamics:

The Walking Dead: Season 2: Episode 5 - No Going Back starts off with the aforementioned gunfight in full motion, and while you can be sure that young Clem makes it through (after all, this is her game), not everyone will leave the fight in one piece. The good news is Clem, Kenny and a few others take young Arvo captive and, with a little convincing on Kennyís part, the Russian boy has agreed to lead the survivors to his groupís house.

The walk is long and it isnít too long before the party takes a break. Itís during this bit of downtime that Clem is tasked with talking to everyone in the camp and trying to sort out any hurt feelings that have arisen in the past few episodes. Some members of the party seem to feel the campsite is safe enough for a bit of merry drinking, but others need convincing in order to help mend the ties that have been working to tear the group apart since leaving Carverís camp.

Kenny seems to be the hardest person to get to in this episode, as he has made taking care of AJ his primary purpose in life. Depending on the choices you made several episodes ago, it could be difficult to get Kenny to relax a bit, but no matter what you do, itís a desire to keep AJ alive that drives Kenny this episode - even if that means working Arvo over a few times to make sure he is guiding everyone in the right direction.

The Lesser of Two (or More) Evils:

The Walking Dead: Season 2: Episode 5 - No Going Back has a slow start. Once you get past the initial excitement, there is a lot of talking and a lot of walking. It isnít until the episodeís final scenes that the player is bombarded by a series of tough decisions. Of course, talking about exactly what those decisions are would be telling a bit more than I care to do in this review. What I can say is that these decisions arenít easy to make. Much like some of the bigger choices seen in both seasons of this game, youíre put on the spot to decide between the lesser of two evils, and even hesitating so that the timer runs out is a decision that could cost someone their life.

Even once the adrenaline passes and youíve made your life-changing decisions (or indecisions), Clementine still has some choices to make. All of these last decisions directly lead the player to one of several different endings in a manner that leaves a lot of speculation about how Season 3 could start off.

Next Time On: The Walking Dead:

The Walking Dead: Season 2: Episode 5 - No Going Backís multiple endings are so drastically different that it seems almost impossible for the next season (assuming, of course, that there is a third season) to follow Clem and whomever she is with. In some endings, you are pretty much alone, others leave you with new group members, and others still find your group whittled down to a select few. The final locations themselves arenít even near the same place. The only thing I can really imagine is that either Season 3 doesnít follow Clementine, or there is a significant enough time jump between seasons so that Clementine finds her way to some new location regardless of where you leave off in No Going Back.

Overall, The Walking Dead: Season 2 is a solid follow-up to last seasonís groundbreaking game, but I never really felt the same level of suspense and heartwrenching decisions that I did the first time around. A fear I had during the first episode of this season still holds. In Season 1, every decision you made had a little girl watching you with her innocent eyes. This time around, you are that girl and while you occasionally have someone judging you while you decide, it just doesnít feel quite as impactful as before.

I still recommend Season 2. As an adventure game, it stands out among a genre of somewhat cookie-cutter point-and-click titles. It just doesnít quite have the same impact as the previous game in this series.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox 360 The Walking Dead: Season 2: Episode 5 - No Going Back Microsoft Xbox One Pinball FX2: South Park Pinball

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