Review: The Walking Dead Season Two: No Going Back Is A Painful Ending
The much-anticipated final episode of season two of The Walking Dead is here, titled No Going Back. We know there's going to be a third season, but whether we want it all depends on how this one ends.
- Worth The Time?Yes, this confirms the entire season is.
- Things LovedIt's filled with satisfying character moments, the tension reaches boiling point and it's awesome, the decisions are among the toughest you'll make this entire season, the ending is bold and leaves a wide range of possibilities open, it's deeply emotional, it's wonderfully written.
- Things HatedOne very silly and illogical scene towards the end leaves confusion, tiny bits of predictability here and there.
- RecommendationNow that the final episode of season two is here, it's absolutely easy to recommend you go get it as soon as possible.
- Name: The Walking Dead Season Two: No Going Back
- Genre: Adventure
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: N/A
- Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Vita
- Developer: Telltale Games
- Publisher: Telltale Games
- Price: $24.99 (full season pass)
- Reviewed On: PC
I’ve loved my time with season two of The Walking Dead, and while in some parts over the course of the season Telltale hasn’t managed to outdo the brilliance of the first season, especially with regards to that ending, I have to say that in many others the studio has exceeded expectations. The second season started off with more of the expected, but got better with each passing episode until it reached what I felt was a masterstroke in episode four, which meant the final episode had a lot to live up to for me. And since we already know that there will be a third season of The Walking Dead, it matters more than ever how No Going Back ends, because that would ultimately determine whether we’ll be back for more. As we know well enough from past experiences, endings can make or break the entire story, so there’s always some anxiety in the back of the mind when heading into an ending for anything that’s been incredibly awesome. Then there’s the other school of thought, that all endings suck, but I vehemently disagree. Apparently so does Telltale, going by their finale to season one and now No Going Back.
I could talk a lot about this episode. But as usual, I’m going to reel it in so as to avoid spoilers of any kind. No Going Back picks up the moment the previous episode ended. You’re thrown right back into that crazy situation, and despite its similarities to Breaking Bad you don’t fast forward to the aftermath – which was great in that TV show by the way, so that’s not a criticism, just an observation. From there you’ll be treated to a lengthy episode simply packed with everything you could have possibly expected from Telltale, especially in a finale. This one is going to punch you right in the feels, repeatedly, until your heart (if you have one) is little more than a gloopy mess. And it’s spectacular.
The episode is filled with great and satisfying character moments, some of the best of the whole season by far, which focus on all the pent up conflict within the group, and the journey towards breaking point. You can expect deaths, in-fighting and being forced to choose sides and even break ties. A big theme of this episode is love and loss, and the true hopelessness that can befall those who have lost everything, and I’m confident in saying that Telltale has once again done an excellent job. You’ll definitely be making some of the toughest decisions you’ve had to make all season, and the consequences of these ones are as harsh as you could imagine. If you’re a person of sentiment and lots of feeling, good luck with No Going Back is all I have to say to you.
However, despite all the praise I have for this episode, there was one really disappointing part of it that felt kind of silly and illogical after the fact. I can’t talk about it in detail because of spoilers, obviously, but I will say that it involves Kenny and Jane. It had all the right ingredients and build up to make perfect sense, and the execution until this particular point was great, but I felt some of the logic seriously escaped me in order to actually make it happen in the end. There were better ways it could have been done, but if there’s one thing that’s certain is that what it leads to is really, really fantastic. Other than that, the only other minor criticism I have is that there are some elements of predictability here and there, but it’s not enough to harm the episode significantly or hurt your enjoyment.
The most admirable and impressive thing about No Going Back, however, is the boldness of the ending. Telltale made it so you could definitely have vastly different outcomes, and it opens up a wide range of possibilities for the third season that left me not only satisfied with my conclusion, but itching with excitement. In fact, this is the first time that I have the strong desire to play the game on two different saves, just to see what will happen in each thread. It’s a phenomenal way to conclude things, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be the only player who decides to explore multiple paths as a future investment for season three. After all is said and done, those of you who have been patient don’t have any reason to hold out anymore. Telltale has put in an amazing effort with season two of The Walking Dead, and it’s wonderfully written episodes like No Going Back that really cap off the experience not just conclusively, which is important, but also in a way that spawns so much potential.