The Walking Dead: The Final Season

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The Walking Dead: The Final Season
The Walking Dead The Final Season.png
  • Telltale Games
  • Skybound Games
Composer(s)Jared Emerson-Johnson
SeriesThe Walking Dead
EngineTelltale Tool
Genre(s)Graphic adventure

The Walking Dead: The Final Season is an episodic adventure game developed by Telltale Games and later Skybound Games, and the fourth and final main game in the The Walking Dead video game series, based on Robert Kirkman's comic book series of the same name. Taking place some years after The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, the game focuses on Clementine's efforts to raise young Alvin Jr., AJ, in the post-apocalyptic world, coming to join with a group of troubled teenagers surviving out of their former boarding school. Their path leads them to encounter a violent group of raiders led by a hostile figure from Clementine's past.

The game represents the first major release by Telltale after a major restructuring; it was aimed to return to themes and elements from the first season, and is expected to be the concluding story for Clementine. The game was anticipated to be released over four episodes, with the first episode released on August 14, 2018 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. However, due to the sudden near-closure of Telltale Games on September 21, 2018, the last two episodes will be overseen by Skybound Entertainment, Kirkman's production company, as Kirkman had felt it necessary to properly complete Clementine's story.


As with other games in The Walking Dead series, The Final Season is a graphic adventure game, where the player controls the protagonist Clementine as she struggles to survive in the wake of a zombie apocalypse. The player can move Clementine around the environment to examine items, initiate conversation trees with non-player characters, and progress in the game. Decisions made by the player can affect future episodes, and The Final Season can use previous saved games from The Walking Dead to bring a player's choices from these games into The Final Season. Players that have not played previous seasons, or who may want to adjust choices made affecting Clementine's character, will be able to use a web-based Story Builder tool to create a cloud-based save game that can be used to feed into the game. This also addresses issues with various save game limitations due to platform transitions over the course of the series (for example, previous saves from the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 from the first two seasons are not compatible with The Final Season).[1]

In portions of the game, the player will be required to react to quick time events in action-driven scenes, such as escaping from a "walker" (the name for zombies in the series). Failure to complete the events typically results in the death of Clementine or another key character, requiring the player to retry the event. The Final Season introduces more open-ended action sequences that give the player more control during the sequence.[2]


About 3 years after the events of A New Frontier, Clementine has continued to raise Alvin "AJ" Jr., recalling Lee's own lessons he taught her. They drive along and stop at a train station to scavenge for food. Inside, they find a cellar with a well-stocked supply of food, but the door is rigged with a grenade, and the noise from the blast draws a walker horde. Whilst driving to escape, Clementine crashes the car, and as she blacks out, she sees someone grabbing AJ. Clementine awakens within the ruins of Ericson's Boarding School for Troubled Youth. She meets Marlon, the leader of a group of teenagers from the school, and finds they have also been taking care of AJ while she recovered. Clementine and AJ meet the other kids, learning that they have been alone for some time after being abandoned by the school staff but have found ways to survive by hunting and fishing from nearby woods and using traps to ward off walkers. As she gets to know the others and helps AJ learn appropriate social skills, Clementine learns about the loss of a set of twin sisters, Minerva and Sophie, about a year prior that still troubles the children, particularly Tenn, the younger brother of the siblings.

Marlon warns Clementine they are running low on food, the safe area around the school becoming smaller over time, and has her help the next day with hunting and fishing. Neither effort secures enough food, and Clementine suggests returning to the train station to see what food supplies survived the grenade blast, despite the station being outside of the designated safe zone. Clementine and AJ enter the station to secure the food but are confronted by a man named Abel, who demands a ration of the food at gunpoint. After either complying with or subduing Abel, Clementine and her group make it back to the school, reporting on their encounter. That evening, Clementine hears two voices arguing through the pipe system, and finds Marlon and Brody, another resident, having a heated discussion in the cellar. Brody reveals to Clementine that Abel is part of a raider group that Marlon had traded Minerva and Sophie to in exchange for safety. Furious at the reveal, Marlon hits her in the head giving her a deep gash. Before dying of brain trauma, Brody reveals to Clementine that Marlon also intends to trade her and AJ should the raiders return. Marlon leaves Brody to turn and locks Clementine in the cellar. She dispatches the re-animated Brody and escapes the cellar to find Marlon being held at gunpoint by AJ, drawing the attention of the rest of the children. Marlon takes the gun from AJ and tries to frame Clementine for Brody's death in an attempt to get the group to turn on her. Clementine is able to convince the others of Marlon's wrongdoings, and eventually, Marlon surrenders. As the others discuss what to do with Marlon, he is shot and killed by AJ.

Despite Clementine and AJ's attempts to make amends, the other children vote to have the pair evicted from the school. Outside, they run into Abel and another member of the raiders, who Clementine is shocked to find is Lilly, a woman who Lee and Kenny had banished from their group after leaving Macon, Georgia 8 years prior. Despite her attempts to negotiate with Clementine to convince the other kids to give themselves over to her group, she refuses and they start to hunt her and AJ down, during which AJ is shot in the stomach. The pair are saved by James, a former member of the Whisperers, who reveals to them the raiders are forcibly recruiting people to fight in their war against a rival community. James tends to AJ's wounds and accompanies them back to the school the next morning, before departing on his own. Despite some of the children's resentment towards Clementine and AJ, they allow them back in so that AJ can have his wounds treated. Clementine warns them about Lilly and the raiders, and they make plans to prepare the school grounds for an attack.

Two weeks go by without the raiders' incoming attack, putting everyone on edge. As the children go to check on final preparations, Clementine can choose to accompany Louis or Violet, and in either case, express romantic feelings for them. Soon after, the raiders arrive at the school, looking to capture more children. In the midst of the battle, Lilly inadvertently kills one of the kids, Mitch. Clementine gets into a fight with Abel that ends with them falling off a balcony, breaking Abel's leg. After Clementine saves either Violet or Louis from being kidnapped, Lilly and the raiders escape, taking Omar, Aasim, and whichever person Clementine did not save. The children vow to get their friends back, while Clementine interrogates Abel. Abel's injuries from the battle prove fatal, but Clementine is able to learn from him before he dies that his group has a riverboat nearby where they have established camp.

Clementine leads a small group to scout the riverboat, and she realizes they should get help from James to mask their approach with walkers. On the way back, they encounter one of the raiders who turns out to be Minerva. They find she has become loyal to the raiders and advises the group to give into their demands should they cross paths again. As the other children return to the school, Clementine and AJ find James, who takes them to a walker-filled barn where he explains how the Whisperers collected them in such spaces, and that he still views the undead as people of sorts, offering Clementine to walk among them to experience how he sees them. Eventually, Clementine convinces James to lead the walkers to help the following night.

Back at the school, Willy discovers materials to make a bomb that he plans to use to destroy the boat after they've rescued their friends. The children return to the boat and meet with James, who confides in Clementine his belief that as AJ has already killed one living human, Marlon, he may be permanently changed should he kill again, relating to his own past. Using the walkers, Clementine, AJ, and either Violet or Louis sneak onto the boat, plant the bomb in the boat's boiler, and then work their way past Minerva to rescue their friends. However, they are betrayed by Minerva and captured. Lilly confronts Clementine, telling her that Minerva killed Sophie when she tried to escape their group. Lilly notices that AJ is potentially influenceable and takes him away, leaving Minerva to guard the others. However, Clementine engineers their escape and incapacitates Minerva. She tells the others to leave the boat before it explodes while she goes to rescue AJ.

On deck, Clementine sneaks up on Lilly as she is trying to convince AJ to join her, and prepares to kill the captured James and Tenn. Clementine attacks Lilly, and a struggle breaks out, with the children gaining the upper hand against Lilly. AJ holds Lilly at gunpoint, and Clementine can tell him to kill or spare her; if spared, Lilly murders James. During the chaos, the bomb goes off and the ship explodes, separating Clementine from the rest of the group.


The game is separated into four episodes, originally intended to be released every six weeks.[3]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byRelease date [4]
161"Done Running"Chris Rebbert, Vahram AntonianJessica Krause, Adam Esquenazi Douglas, Mary Kenney, Lauren MeeAugust 14, 2018 (2018-08-14)
Clementine and AJ join a new group made entirely of children set up in Ericson's School for Troubled Youth. Clementine aims to prove their worth to the group by helping out while AJ has trouble fitting in. They learn the recent loss of twin sisters, Sophie and Minerva, has left many in the community heartbroken. After a tense encounter with a stranger who has been stealing the group's food, Clementine learns the secret behind how Ericson has remained safe for so long. The episode ends with AJ making a troubling decision of his own.
172"Suffer the Children"Chris RieserJames Windeler, Mary KennySeptember 25, 2018 (2018-09-25)
Clementine and AJ leave Ericson, and they run into a figure from Clementine's past, now a new threat to their safety. Helped by a former Whisperer, the pair returns to the school to help the students prepare for an enemy attack. After the raiders make their move, Clementine is forced to choose between two friends, and prepares for vengeance against the raiders with the remaining kids.
183"Broken Toys"Ryan D. Chan, Chris RieserLauren Mee, Mark DarinJanuary 15, 2019 (2019-01-15)[5]
As Clementine, AJ, and their friends prepare for a dangerous rescue mission, they resort to using walkers to infiltrate the raiders' base, enlisting the help of a past ally. Once inside enemy territory, conflicting loyalties are put to the test as Clementine makes AJ make a tough decision.
194"Take Us Back"TBATBAMarch 26, 2019 (2019-03-26)[6]


Announced during the July 2017 San Diego Comic Con, The Walking Dead: The Final Season, is scheduled to launch as a four-episode series on August 14, 2018 for Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, with a Nintendo Switch version to launch later that year.[7] Clementine will return as the lead character, voiced by Melissa Hutchinson, as Telltale found that fans of the series were not pleased with how little interactivity there was with Clementine in A New Frontier. Telltale wanted to have the final season call back to what fans had praised about the first season, and knew they needed to make Clementine the focus. With this direction, Telltale decided to make this the final season for The Walking Dead series so that they can create a satisfactory conclusion to Clementine's story arc.[8] For this purpose, Telltale brought back Gary Whitta, the writer for the first season and "400 Days" content, to help close out Clementine's story.[9][8]

The story will follow from A New Frontier with Clementine having rescued AJ from the McCarroll Ranch, with a timeskip a few years ahead, where AJ is now a young boy. With diminishing resources amid the apocalypse, Clementine and AJ find the importance of staying with communities of vital importance, meeting other characters who have little memory of the time before the downfall of society. Clementine starts to teach AJ the essentials of survival as Lee had taught her during The Walking Dead: The First Season, as a way of paying Lee's lessons forward.[10] Telltale had initially considered writing a version of Clementine that had become more jaded, but found this was far too different from the established version of the character, and reworked her to be more sympathetic.[8][2][11]

The final season will use the updated version of the Telltale Tool first introduced in Batman: The Telltale Series, along with improvements in the visual style to approach the style used in The Walking Dead comic.[8] This included improved dynamic lightning, and a new rendering style Telltale called "Graphic Black" to enforce the comic book rendering style.[12] Some scenes will feature "unscripted" zombies who may attack Clementine if the player is not careful, creating new freeform combat sequences, while other parts of the game will continue to use quick-time events as from previous games.[2]

Due to course-corrections made at Telltale in 2017, The Walking Dead: The Final Season was primarily the only game the company released that year, cutting down from twenty episodes across multiple games in 2017 to only this season's four in 2018. The game's executive producer Brodie Andersen said that "We know we ran a little hot in previous years and weren't able to fully deliver the experiences we may have wanted to, so that was important to focus in on a polished quality experience players love."[12] Because of the reduced product schedule, Telltale was able to establish firm release dates for all four episodes in the season, a first for any of Telltale's episodic series. Andersen said that they were able to achieve this by starting from where they wanted The Final Season to end, and then building the narrative backwards from that, establishing four clear episodes for the series to work towards.[12]

A free demo of the game, offering approximately the first twenty minutes of the first episode, meant to show off the new gameplay features added in this season, was released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on July 31, 2018.[13]

Despite the title The Final Season, Telltale originally did not rule out a possible future for The Walking Dead games; Creative Director Kent Mudle said that The Final Season title represented the end of Clementine's journey from Telltale's view, but could revisit the franchise through other characters.[14]

Transition to Skybound[edit]

On September 21, 2018, Telltale announced they were undergoing a "majority studio closure", laying off nearly all staff and leaving only 25 to complete the studio's remaining obligations. The state of The Final Season was unknown, though other planned studio projects were cancelled.[15][16] The second episode was still released on September 25, 2018. Telltale stated on September 24, 2018, that the studio has been approached by "multiple potential partners" that want to help bring these two episodes to completion in some manner.[17] Until they are able to figure out how the last two episodes will be played out, Telltale asked retailers and digital storefronts to pull sales of the game and the season pass.[18] The game and its season pass returned to digital stores in December 2018.

During the 2018 New York Comic Con, Robert Kirkman announced that his production company, Skybound Entertainment, would be helping to bring the last two episodes to release.[19] According to Skybound, they have acquired the rights of the game from Telltale, and will be working with former Telltale Games employees who worked on the series to finish off the episodes.[20] Ian Howe, the CEO of Skybound Games, noted that there were logistical difficulties in this. Some of the Telltale team had already moved on to other jobs prior to the Skybound deal, and for those still looking for work, they are not expecting them to relocate from San Francisco (where Telltale was located) to Los Angeles (where Skybound is located), but do need to find them space that makes the completion of development possible. They further needed to account for the time that those seeking jobs would need.[21] By November 20, 2018, Skybound announced that development of the series had started up again with many former Telltale Games developers.[22] Howe stated that he fully expected that the third episode would be released before the end of 2018.[21]

Skybound also affirmed that they have gained the rights to sell the former The Walking Dead games, and will not require anyone that had already purchased a season pass for The Final Season to buy one again once the last two episodes are released.[22] Users that had purchased the title before Telltale's closure on Steam or on GOG will receive the final episodes on those platforms, but otherwise the season was moved to the Epic Games Store for all new purchasers. According to Skybound, Epic Games had helped with the season's completion following Telltale's closure, and thus Skybound felt it was necessary to offer the game through their platform.[23] Skybound will also produce a physical release of The Final Season for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on March 26, 2019; they will contain all four episodes on one disc.[24][25]


The Walking Dead: The Final Season received generally positive reviews, earning praise for its characterization, visuals, and upgraded gameplay mechanics, and is considered by many critics and fans to be both an improvement over its predecessor and a return to form for the series.[26][27][28][29]

Episode 1 — Done Running[edit]

Aggregating review website Metacritic gave the Microsoft Windows version 76/100 based on 26 reviews,[30] the PlayStation 4 version 75/100 based on 14 reviews,[31] the Xbox One version 70/100 based on 9 reviews,[32] and the Nintendo Switch version 76/100 based on 5 reviews.

Episode 2 — Suffer The Children[edit]

On Metacritic, PC version of the episode has a rating of 69/100,[33] and PS4 version has a rating of 70/100.[34]

Episode 3 — Broken Toys[edit]

PC version has 74/100 average score based on 17 reviews on Metacritic, while the PS4 version has 78/100 average score based on 9 reviews.[35][36]


  1. ^ Good, Owen (August 2, 2018). "The Walking Dead 'story builder' lets players reconstruct old choices — or alter them". Polygon. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Kim, Matt (April 6, 2018). "The Walking Dead Final Season's First Details Include Unscripted Zombie Fights". USGamer. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  3. ^ Bankhurst, Adam (August 15, 2018). "Telltale's The Walking Dead: The Final Season Full Release Schedule Revealed". IGN. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  4. ^ Telltale Games [@telltalegames] (15 August 2018). ""Done Running" - August 14..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  5. ^ Schreier, Jason (December 8, 2018). "The Walking Dead's final season". Kotaku. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  6. ^ Brown, Fraser (January 15, 2019). "The Walking Dead: The Final Season Episode 3 is out now". PC Gamer. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  7. ^ Singletary, Charles (June 6, 2018). "Telltale's The Walking Dead Final Season Release Date Revealed, Pre-orders Live This Week". Shacknews. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d Summer, Nick (June 15, 2018). "Telltale's quest to end 'The Walking Dead' on a high". Engadget. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  9. ^ Taylor, Haydn (November 30, 2017). "Original co-writer returns for final season of Telltale's The Walking Dead". Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  10. ^ Windeler, James (August 2, 2018). "How Telltale Found Its Story for The Walking Dead: The Final Season". PlayStation Blog. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  11. ^ Nunneley, Stephanny (July 19, 2017). "The Wolf Among Us 2, The Walking Dead: The Final Season coming in 2018, Batman: The Enemy Within out in August". VG247. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  12. ^ a b c Phillips, Tom (August 23, 2018). "Telltale Games: "We have let players down in the past"". Eurogamer. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  13. ^ Wales, Matt (July 31, 2018). "You can play the first 15 minutes of Telltale's final Walking Dead season for free right now". Eurogamer. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  14. ^ Marks, Tom (July 19, 2018). "Telltale Doesn't Rule Out More The Walking Dead Games After Season 4 - Comic-con 2018". IGN. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  15. ^ "Narrative Adventure Studio Telltale Games Essentially Closes Down". Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  16. ^ "Sources: Telltale Games Shutting Down, The Wolf Among Us 2 and Stranger Things Canceled [Update, Correction]". Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  17. ^ Makuch, Eddie (September 24, 2018). "Final Season Of Telltale's The Walking Dead Might Continue, But Many Questions Remain". GameSpot. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  18. ^ Frank, Allegra (September 25, 2018). "Telltale pulls The Walking Dead's final season from sale". Polygon. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  19. ^ Dedmon, Tanner (October 6, 2018). "Skybound to Finish Telltale's 'The Walking Dead' Game". Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  20. ^ Prudom, Laura (October 6, 2018). "Telltale's Walking Dead: The Final Season Will Get Its Ending Through Robert Kirkman's Skybound". IGN. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  21. ^ a b Handrahan, Matthew (October 18, 2018). "Skybound "fully expect" third episode of The Walking Dead's final season to launch this year". Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  22. ^ a b Bankhurst, Adam (November 19, 2018). "Telltale's The Walking Dead Development Underway With Previous Team Members". IGN. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  23. ^ Stevens, Colin (December 20, 2018). "Telltale's The Walking Dead's Final Episodes Coming To The Epic Games Store". IGN. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  24. ^ Moyse, Chris (September 7, 2018). "The Walking Dead: The Final Season to get physical 'Season Pass Disc'". Destructoid. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  25. ^ Wales, Matt (February 4, 2019). "The Walking Dead: The Final Season's last episode gets a confirmed March release date". Eurogamer. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  26. ^ Walking Dead: The Final Season Review - Episode 1 'Done Running'
  27. ^ The Walking Dead: The Final Season Episode 1 Review – Post-Apocalyptic Parenting Sim
  28. ^ The Walking Dead: The Final Season Episode 1 "Done Running" Review - Love at First Bite | COGconnected
  29. ^ The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 1 Review | Attack of the Fanboy
  30. ^ "The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series - The Final Season Episode 1: Done Running". Metacritic. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  31. ^ "The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series - The Final Season Episode 1: Done Running". Metacritic. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  32. ^ "The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series - The Final Season Episode 1: Done Running". Metacritic. Retrieved 2018-08-15.
  33. ^ The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series - The Final Season Episode 2: Suffer the Children for PC Reviews - Metacritic
  34. ^ The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series - The Final Season Episode 2: Suffer the Children for PlayStation 4 Reviews - Metacritic
  35. ^ The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series - The Final Season Episode 3: Broken Toys for PC Reviews - Metacritic
  36. ^

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