When Telltale’s The Walking Dead debuted back in 2012 it was a smash hit. Now the final season is here and after enduring a dumpster truck of emotional trauma and physical challenges Clementine’s final adventure has her entering the fray once again. The Walking Dead: The Final Season Episode 1 – Done Running begins the finale strong by setting up a whole set of new problems for the young survivor and closing off with an ending that will have you asking “When is the next episode coming out!?”.

Fine a Home

Done Running takes place years after the events of season 3. Clementine is nearing adulthood and Alvin Junior has become a fully grown child. Now taking on the role of mother and teacher Clementine’s primary goal is to keep A.J. safe by any means, even preparing him some unsettling things about survival.

A.J. is special that like Ellie from The Last of Us, he has no idea of the world before the Walkers took control. He yearns to find a home and people to talk to, looking to Clementine to teach him about the world, safety, how to read, and so much more. This bleeds into the gameplay when they finally meet the survivors.

Unexpectedly the Done Running takes inspiration from Lord of the Flies, with children being the new group of survivors. Left behind after the world ended the children from this troubled boarding school have banded together and made the school their new home. Clementine joins them in defending and scavenging food. A.J., on the other hand, has trouble socializing with the children.

Who Are You and Should I Care?

Much of Done Running focuses on relationships and setting up the premise this new season. The setting, characters, and situation are all exposed during the course of the episode. Consequential choices are pushed into the background for this, instead, focusing on connections.

Clementine and A.J. can establish themselves in a variety of ways to build friendships or dysfunctional connections. It won’t get anyone killed as most of the episode is on autopilot but these first impressions will likely lead to difficult or easier situations depending on whether these people trust you or not.

It’s obvious that Telltale has put more emphasis on specific characters over others. While you’re introduced everyone characters like Omar and Ruby have benn pushed aside for others like Louis and Marlon who are given much more screen time. This isn’t an issue as Telltale does a great job of providing the player the necessary information to gain an understanding of who these people are and their attitudes.

Press Up to Pick Up

Much of Done Running shows off the improved quality of life things players have complained about. Players no longer have to input commands for every small action and answer each question. In addition, the character animations, models, and environments look amazing and are a step above every past season. All of these things greatly enhance the experience and veterans of the series will definitely notice these things.

Is Clementine a Walker?

What doesn’t perform well is the combat. Despite being a seasoned survivor and an experienced warrior Clementine moves slowly. Walkers, who are walking corpses, are somehow faster and much more nimble than her. This does make combat much harder but it’s hard to believe that she would move in such a sluggish manner.

Another major issue is that you cannot select specific chapters. If you want to change some you’re going to have to play through the entire chapter, erasing your current choices. Hopefully, an update will resolve this issue.

A Strong Start

Done Running starts of this finale with a strong set of characters and a set of critical problems that will surely manifest into difficult choices. The new setting has promised since this is the first settlement run by children and seeing them evolve over the course of this adventure will be interesting. Telltale may need to work on Clementine’s combat skills but by the end, all you’ll be thinking is “What happens next!?”.

The Walking Dead: The Final Season Episode 1 - Done Running Review
  • Great New Set of Characters
  • Improved Quality of Life Features
  • Better Animation
  • Sluggish Combat
  • Can't Select Chapters
  • No Multiple Save Slots
8.5Overall Score
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